Managing and Monitoring Spectrum Usage in a Wireless Network
In a large wireless network deployment, there are many questions for which the answers are either very expensive or even impossible to find. For example:
How does a network administrator determine if a drop in network efficiency of one access point is due to interference from nearby access points or increase in load?
How does one access point A tell access point B that access point B is interfering with A's communication?
How do I make the access points configure itself so I won't have to worry about these questions?
Currently, to answer these questions, a network administrator must perform a very expensive site survey. While the site survey will inform the administrator about any network interference and help him or her configure the wireless network, it will not provide constant monitoring to inform him or her of a change in the wireless network environment.
Our solution to monitoring the spectrum usage of a wireless network and configuration of the access points is to put the monitoring software and configuration software on the access points themselves. This way, a network administrator could simply add new access points in any convenient area with a network connection and not worry about the new access points adversely affecting the existing deployment. The configuration software will retrieve the current picture of the wirelss network from the old access points and configure themselves accordingly. The monitoring software will build a local image of the wireless spectrum on each access point and share that image to the entire network to build a global tapestry of the wireless spectrum.