Theoretically MSPs have always been in a position to collect massive amounts of data that would enable them to add business value to the services they deliver. The problem is that the gap between that theory and the ability to actually deliver those insights has been nothing short of massive.
Now comes along HiveManager Next Generation, a cloud management service for wireless networks from Aerohive Networks that makes use of Hadoop to give MSPs access to a “data lake” that can be easily access primarily using REST application programming interfaces.
Network data tools and REST APIs
Abby Strong, director of product marketing for Aerohive Networks, said the company is providing a set of tools that make it possible to explore the data being collected by access points on Aerohive wireless networks. Next up, Aerohive, via those REST APIs, is going to make it possible for MSPs to store data from other sources in the Aerohive data lake.
Aerohive is already collecting data from 100 million data points. Because Hadoop allows all kinds of raw data to be stored together there is now an opportunity for MSPs to, for example, analyze traffic and application usage in a way that provides insight into specific business processes. That means instead of being able to only tell customers about where network traffic is being most heavily generated, MSPs can tell customers what types of applications are being used for what purposes on their networks.
New access point device
To make it easier to collect that data Aerohive has also introduced an 802.11ac access point that Strong said is roughly as wide as a dollar bill and not much longer. At that size, Strong notes that every room in a building can now have their own dedicated access point. Because management of Aerohive wireless networks is delivered via the cloud, Strong adds that it only takes about 15 minutes to set up a network.
Obviously, Aerohive will not only the only provider of a cloud service to use Hadoop and other Big Data platforms to integrate advanced analytics within their service. But as one of the first it presents MSPs with an opportunity to start a conversation that changes the tenor of the relationship with their customers. Instead of merely being seen as a provider of IT services, MSPs can start deriving all kinds of insights from a data lake their either build themselves or, in the case of Aerohive, leveraging one that already exists in the cloud. In either case, the knowledge those data lakes provide, as the saying goes, will be a new found source of much needed power for MSPs.