Why Remote Management Makes Sense for Networking
Your thermostat is smart, shouldn't your networking equipment be too?
It seems like every day we hear about a new product that can now be controlled by the cloud such as security cameras, thermostats, lighting, washing machine, and now even your fridge and toaster! Cloud connections adds all kinds of conveniences and efficiencies to modern life. Isn't it time your networking equipment is cloud connected too? The time for cloud connected network is now!
How are switches and network equipment managed?
Traditional Networking equipment such as network switches need to be managed in various ways, usually through a browser interface or command line. Managing a switch involves various operations such as setting port speed, setting up VLANS, creating access lists, adjusting port power for PoE and much more. This is true except in the case of unmanaged switches that ship with a default factory configuration that cannot be changed by the user. In general these web interfaces or command lines need to be accessed while on the same physical network as the switch in question. In some cases a secure cable must be used via an out-of-band control interface for increased security. You can learn more about the reasons and differences for using Managed vs. Unmanaged Switching in this helpful article.
Your head (and hardware) in the clouds:
Options for cloud connected Networking hardware has been available in several form or another for several years now from various manufacturers. Switches in the cloud were usually configured through some sort of specially configured network tunnels or custom router ports which were complicated to set up and rife with security issues. John McHugh, SVP and GM of NETGEAR Commercial Business Unit goes into depth with this concept in his informative blog IoT (Finally) Comes to Networking. Insight is able to address these concerns thanks to the secure platform and auto-connecting cloud-connected hardware.
The Benefits of Cloud Connected Networking:
- Easy Setup: Gone are the days of scanning IP addresses to find your new switch or installing utilities on your desktop. Setup and registration of cloud connected network hardware is a great benefit and can drastically reduce the time it takes to get a typical managed network up and running. With Insight you can simply scan the barcode on the switch or Access Point with your mobile phone.
- System Alerts and Monitoring: Monitor multiple network devices at multiple sites across your business with one simple tool. Do you have any open ports? How many people are connected? What’s your PoE Budget looking like? Did a device go offline - get an alert on your phone and troubleshoot remotely. Realtime access network devices makes it possible and more. This can happen literally anywhere an app on your mobile phone. No truck roll, no VPN’ing into the office on a holiday. The network is ready to serve you!
- Remotely Reboot and upgrade Firmware: Even small networks, and especially as networks increase in size, management and maintenance becomes a complicated task needing specialized knowledge and tools. Having cloud connected devices and specialized apps can help take the guess-work out of the net-work. Traditionally tasks like updating switch firmware, or setting up a new VLAN for your guest WiFi network might take hours of research and implementation. Cloud connected devices make it easier with a single pane of glass implementation and quick graphical configuration tools.
- Unlock new features as the platform evolves. With the recent addition of new features added to NETGEAR’s Cloud-connected Insight Access Points, namely Insight Instant Mesh and Insight Captive Portal, new capabilities were added to the NETGEAR Insight platform with little more than a 1-click firmware update from your mobile phone or Insight cloud-portal app. This brings powerful networking functionality to existing hardware.
- Specialized Tools for Resellers and MSPs. Specialized Network professionals like IT Managed Service Providers need even more tools to properly support their customers networks. Thanks to Insight Pro’s additional tools that are custom designed with Resellers and MSPs in mind. This makes networking as a service (NaaS) more flexible convenient for MSPs to remotely manage networks providing tools such as detailed metric reporting, centralized management of diverse networks.
- Insight Cloud-connection costs are highly competitive and increase efficiency. Thanks to all of the benefits listed above for Cloud-Connected networking hardware you might expect to have to pay a fortune above a standard smart or unmanaged switch. Fortunately NETGEAR Insight is inexpensive and can be activated on hardware for less than 10$ per device per year. Generally there is also a small price premium over unmanaged devices. But, with the overall reduced cost of time spent managing this hardware, cloud-connecting hardware just makes sense.
What NETGEAR Business Hardware is Cloud Connected? Hint: Look for Insight!
The list of NETGEAR Insight Cloud Connected hardware continues to grow. Here is your quick guide: VIsit the NETGEAR Insight Devices page.
Insight Managed Switches: Switches that start with “GC” in their model number. E.G. GC110P 8-Port Insight Managed 8-Port Gigabit Ethernet PoE Smart Cloud Desktop Switch.
Specific (and growing list!) of Smart Managed Pro Switches: Look for Switches with “with Cloud Management” in their name. E.G. GS108Tv3 8-Port Gigabit Ethernet Smart Managed Pro Switch with Cloud Management
Insight Managed WAC5XX series Wireless Access Points with “Insight Managed” in the name.: e.g. WAC540 Insight Managed Smart Cloud Tri-band 4x4 Wireless Access point
Orbi Pro Business Wireless Tri-Band Mesh System: Insight Management works on Orbi Pro Wireless Mesh System for Business too! Hint: Only the router needs a device credit for connecting the entire system to Insight Cloud.
Nearly all current ReadyNASnetwork storage device platform supports Insight Cloud connections for remote management and configuration of NAS Storage ReadyNAS Rackmount storage, and ReadyNAS Deskop series both can be configured remotely with Insight.
Cloud Remote Managed Routers/Firewalls
Business Router BR500 Insight Instant VPN Router. This VPN Router platform is configured via the Insight Management system. Thanks to Insight Instant VPN hardware and software built into the platform, configuring a VPN is easier than ever.
Did this article help you learn more about NETGEAR Insight? Have you tried Insight? Your feedback is appreciated!
Poll: What is your Experience with NETGEAR Insight cloud management? Reply and let us know your answer.
- I’m still considering NETGEAR Insight.
- I manage 1-2 devices with Insight
- I manage 3-10 devices with Insight
- I manage 10+ with Insight!
- I manage a vast network of devices with Insight!