By Richard Arneson
Question: What happens when you combine AI (artificial intelligence) and Wi-Fi? Apologies to Alex Trebek and Jeopardy, but this particular solution is so cool, exciting and effective that I couldn’t bury the lead and had to skip straight to the answer.
Wi-Fi has been part of our lexicon and lifestyle since 2003 and, no question, it was revolutionary. Connecting your computer to the network without wires…could it get any better than that? The technology remained fairly stagnant and unchanged for several years, however. While any claims that Wi-Fi was stuck in the Dark Ages would have been a gross exaggeration, but it was beginning to feel a bit stale. And with that came dissatisfaction, user (un)friendly experiences and, ultimately, the worst adjective consumers can attach to a technology–frustrating.
It all changed in 2007, though. The launch of the iPhone, including its phenomenally successful marketing campaign, resulted in consumers snapping them up like snow cones on a hot summer day. Hello, smart device. Then came other smart devices—tablets, watches, doorbells, thermostats, et al.–which generate thirteen times (13x) more traffic than non-smart ones. And then came Mist.
Based in Cupertino, CA., four-year-old Mist Systems was funded by several top investors, most notably Cisco Investments. The folks at Mist wondered why 12.6 billion smart devices worldwide were relying on a technology that wasn’t terribly, well, smart. They set out to develop a learning wireless LAN solution that would, among other features, replace time-consuming, often frustrating manual tasks with proactive automation.
Mist began with three (3) end goals in mind: Improve network reliability, transform IT services and enhance the user experience
Mist set out to fix the ills of Radio Resource Management (RRM), which manages several characteristics inherent in wireless communications, such as whether there is any co-channel interference or signal issues. The problem with RRM is that it has always been hamstrung from a lack of user insights due to poor data collection. Not so with Mist, which utilizes AI to create a Wi-Fi solution that heals itself.
Mist constantly collects, per user, RF (radio frequency) information regarding coverage, throughput, capacity and performance. The collected data is analyzed to proactively through AI make changes to enhance the user experience.
Service Level Expectations (SLEs)
Mist offers the only Wi-Fi solution to the marketplace that allows for SLEs that clients can customize based on their needs. In addition to traditional metrics, such as coverage, throughput, uptime and latency, Mist customers can set, monitor and enforce their defined SLEs, which allows them to better understand just how issues, such as jitter, packet loss and latency are adversely affecting end users.
Here’s why Mist is truly refreshing
Mist offers the only enterprise-class wireless solution that is powered by a microservices cloud architecture and doesn’t require a WLAN Controller. As a result, customers enjoy enhanced agility and scalability from an AI engine that gathers data and insight, and utilizes automation to deliver a self-healing Wi-Fi solution.
Mist introduces customers to MARVIS, their virtual network assistant built on AI, deep learning and machine learning. By using Natural Language Processing (NLP), Marvis provides IT administrators with immediate answers, so time wasted digging for them with Command Line Interfaces (CLIs) or dashboards can be better served on other tasks or projects.
Mist can lay claim to another first―they offer the only Enterprise Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) solution that doesn’t require manual calibration. And additional beacons aren’t required; Mist developed proprietary virtual BLEs, which through a simple mouse click or API can be moved around as needed.
Mist’s solution provides what Wi-Fi has always aspired to be, and then some―a predictable, reliable and self-healing Wi-Fi solution based on extensive data collection, AI and machine learning.
There are no dumb smart questions
If you have questions about smart devices, IoT, Wi-Fi solutions―including Mist Systems’― contact the talented, tenured solutions architects and engineers at GDT’s IoT and Mobility Solutions practice. They can be reached at Mobility_Team@gdt.com. They’d love to hear from you.