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Controller-less, Cloud Wi-Fi Solution Improves Retail Chain’s Operations

When the IT manager for a regional chain of about a dozen retail stores was looking to enhance his Wi-Fi environment, he knew he wanted the most advanced technology available.

“In most wireless environments, you have access points that have to communicate somewhere to access the security policies you’ve set up. That’s how the technology knows who’s allowed to access what information,” says MicroAge’s Topher Spinnato. “And all of those policies have to be presented to the wireless access points via dedicated controllers.”

But physical controllers can also be bottlenecks, and if a controller dies, access points go down and users stop working—unless you have a redundant controller at the ready.

Aerohive HiveAP 330 Wireless Access Point

The Aerohive HiveAP 330 is an enterprise-grade solution capable of 450Mbps data rates.

When this client was looking for a more advanced wireless solution, Topher arranged for him to receive demo units of Aerohive’s HiveAP 120 and HiveAP 330. This controller-less wireless LAN architecture enables secure and scalable wireless networking and utilizes a cloud-based system, called Aerohive HiveManager Online.

The Aerohive solution fit the client’s needs perfectly.

“Aerohive uses an integrated mesh technology that’s easy to manage,” Topher explains. “This intelligent, self-healing mesh design provides for a resilient network. With the hive mentality, access points are essentially able to repair themselves and route the data appropriately. Plus, the cloud based HiveManager allows for easy monitoring and management. Adding an access point is as easy as plugging it in and allowing it to access your HiveManager to automatically retrieve your corporate security policies.”

Troy Roberts, Regional Director for Aerohive, adds that this was an ideal project for Aerohive and MicroAge to collaborate. Plus, the client’s set-up was ideal for Aerohive’s products.

“The Aerohive controller-less architecture removes complexity, especially in an environment like this, where the client previously had a consumer-level wireless system in place,” Roberts says. “It’s extremely simple and fast to deploy, and as they grow, this system will scale out as large as they need with the addition of access points. And for a retailer, security and PCI compliance are important. Aerohive’s robust security, firewall policies and enforcement at the edge of the network make it possible to meet those expectations.”

The client has been delighted with the Aerohive solution, And as with anything, procurement costs matter, and the timing of the client’s purchase was a bonus—allowing them to maximize a manufacturer’s promotion for free access points.

To learn about wireless and other technology solutions that can make a difference in your organization, contact Topher directly at 480-366-2033 or

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Topher Spinnato
26 Years Experience
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