NaaS Network Visibility Troubleshoots Customer Issue in <1-min
You are about to log out from your computer and head out for lunch, but a notification from your ticketing system comes in as “WiFi is not working.” To make matters worse, if this ticket is from a high-level executive, this will be the crisis of the day. Does this sound familiar to you? If so, trust me you are not alone.
Now you are wondering if an AP went down or a controller is down. Or is something else wrong? Where should you begin to troubleshoot? WiFi, DHCP, RADIUS or perhaps a network monitoring system?
What if someone could point you in the right direction to give you a starting point? This is the question Nile set out to answer. Our goal is to identify if the network is the issue or not. If it is not, then where is the problem?
How Only Nile Can Do It
Nile delivers network-as-a-service that includes wireless and wired access. Our goal is to eliminate complexity and provide a simple, scalable, and secure network that doesn’t need manual configuration. We want to ensure the service is always-on. To achieve this we have taken an outside-in approach using physical and virtual sensors that are deployed across the Nile network (including AP’s and switches). We call this the "outside-in approach" because of its simplicity and the ability to easily verify the Nile sensor data. These sensors monitor the Nile network itself, as well as the DHCP, RADIUS, Internet, DNS, and applications, to identify any issues that can cause end-to-end service interruption. The Nile network is guaranteed to be always-on and backed financially if SLAs are not met.
To give visibility to Nile’s SLAs, infrastructure, devices and applications, we designed the Nile Customer Portal. Our goal was to provide administrators insight into where issues lie within the datapath of users/devices to applications.
When users and devices experience issues, the portal provides all the data needed to troubleshoot. With Nile, every device has a Run Test button, which triggers a series of tests like Active Pings and Address Resolution Protocol (ARP) pings to the device. These tests also gather current and relevant data from the infrastructure and applications, presented in a snapshot to the administrator.
With Nile, even if you do get a ticket that states “WiFi not working” as you head out for lunch, you will have a one-stop shop to look at your end-to-end network with the Nile Portal. This will quickly enable you to focus on the problem areas.
Real Life, Unbelievable Example
It’s Oct, 4 2021. Our customer, a social media tooling company, had all their employees return to the office after the pandemic to a new Nile network that had been installed a week prior. It was go-time.
Immediately, the employees started to complain of inconsistent network connectivity to access a critical business SaaS application: Facebook. Everything on the Nile portal was green except Facebook.
It was an unbelievable situation. Our Nile Customer Portal is immediately and visually showing us that Facebook is down. But who can believe that? Within hours, we saw Facebook publicly release a statement and announce they were down.
Nile indeed had immediately pinpointed where the problem was in the network Not the AP, not the switch, not the NGFW, not the DHCP, not the RADIUS server. It was unexpected: the SaaS application was down.
If the Nile Portal had not immediately shown this network visibility and insight, Nile and the IT team would have been scrambling in a wastage of time to pinpoint the issue.
In the end, Facebook was down for 6 hours that day.
We have set out on a journey to eliminate complexity while maintaining security and detailed visibility into the end-to-end service. We did this so IT doesn't have to spend time triaging if the network is the issue or not. The Nile Portal is the first major step on this journey.