A recent article based upon a research report by Parks Associates suggests that 40 percent of apartment dwellers find the idea of broadband internet access bundled into their monthly rent appealing. The article, published on the Telecompetitor website, says that 77 percent of those residents would be willing to pay higher rent for the service. These results are consistent with a trend that those of us in the networking industry have observed for some time—that managed, enterprise-grade Wi-Fi is seeing widespread and increasing adoption in multi-dwelling units. This is likely to further accelerate with work-from-home arrangements offered by more and more employers—something that seems likely to persist even when the COVID-19 pandemic eventually subsides. A recent feature enhancement in RUCKUS® Cloudpath Enrollment System makes CommScope especially well positioned to address this trend. Property managers will have one more reason to choose a RUCKUS network to deliver high-performance, reliable Wi-Fi to residents.
Cloudpath Enrollment System—secure network access for residents and guests
Cloudpath Enrollment System is the CommScope cloud service (also available as on-premises software) for secure network access. It’s all about getting internal users and guests connected to the network quickly, easily and securely. It also supports IT-owned devices. This blog entry covers the most recent enhancement to the Cloudpath service—which consists of a feature that will be of special interest to organizations in the multi-dwelling unit (MDU) industry. It will also cover improved integration between the RUCKUS Cloud™ control and management platform and the Cloudpath service.
Self-service network access in multi-dwelling unit (MDU) environments
As discussed in a previous blog entry, the first quarter of 2021 saw CommScope release an important new capability in Cloudpath Enrollment System—specifically for organizations in the multi-dwelling (MDU) unit sector. An MDU is any environment characterized by communal living—apartment buildings, senior living facilities, military barracks, college dorms, RV parks, marinas and similar environments.
CommScope introduced a resident portal within the Cloudpath service that lets MDU residents self-serve to get their own devices, and those of their visitors, connected to the network. That means IT (often a managed service provider in an MDU setting) does not have to intervene to get residents connected, and can focus on other projects. Cloudpath already had the capability to put users on separate VLANs, and this is also very useful in an MDU setting. With each resident on their own VLAN, to them it looks like their own private network. They only see their own devices and not those belonging to their neighbors. They also stay connected as they roam about the environment—something not possible if they were connected to a consumer-grade home router.
With the recently released Cloudpath Enrollment System 5.9, CommScope has further expanded the service’s MDU-specific feature set. The service now includes a management portal to complement the resident portal. IT teams can use the management portal to centrally provision units for Wi-Fi access, and to notify residents on how to get connected by email or SMS. Residents can take it from there. The new management portal is sure to make IT much more efficient and free up time for working on other projects. With these latest developments, Cloudpath Enrollment System—along with a RUCKUS network—is sure to be the choice of more and more MDU organizations going forward.
Tighter integration between Cloudpath Enrollment System and RUCKUS Cloud enables Dynamic PSK
The recent 21.04 release of RUCKUS Cloud—one of the four control and management architectures offered by CommScope—brings tighter integration than ever before between RUCKUS Cloud and the Cloudpath service. RUCKUS Cloud customers will be able to rely on the Dynamic PSK (DPSK) capability within Cloudpath, which is the most complete and robust implementation of this CommScope-patented core technology. The Cloudpath service offers maximum flexibility with respect to scalability, variable duration of DPSKs, user self-service and more.
Dynamic PSK allows network onboarding and authentication without the need for digital certificates, while offering similar security benefits. This is important because not every device supports digital certificates, and not every situation calls for them. Dynamic PSK is especially useful in support of guest users and Wi-Fi-enabled IoT devices. IT admins can now use the Cloudpath captive portal capability in conjunction with RUCKUS Cloud to facilitate distribution of DPSKs to end users. This new development really establishes a “better together” value proposition for customers who use the two products together. With more and more organizations opting for a cloud-first strategy when deploying new IT functionality, this is indeed an important development.
CommScope continues to build on its legacy of success with cloud-based offerings like RUCKUS Cloud and Cloudpath Enrollment System. The new MDU management portal and improved integration between Cloudpath and RUCKUS Cloud are just the latest enhancements. Stay tuned for future developments in this key area of the RUCKUS product portfolio.