Nyansa was back at Mobility Field Day again this year and I have to admit, I took away more from them this year than last. Nyansa makes a product called Voyance which delivers a crazy amount of data and insight into your network. You might think you have a good idea about what is going on in the network, but I bet Voyance can show you things you never knew were there. In a market full of dashboards, this dashboard gives you a plate full of data that you may or may not be able to consume.
Anand Srinivas, Co-founder and CTO of Nyansa, began by describing how Voyance gives us a full client picture. Voyance can give you full end to end visibility into your network; meaning it can deliver most/all data you have between your client and your application, which includes all the pieces in between. This data can be collected several different ways before it is ultimately delivered to Voyance. Nyansa also has an agent which can be loaded on a client (supporting most major client types) to collect. At this time Voyance has built in support for Cisco, Aruba, and Extreme infrastructure equipment, as well as specialized equipment in specific verticals (ie. medical devices). When listening to the presentation you start to wonder about the amount of data they are talking about. Several delegates including myself had questions about how they expect customers to translate the data, how they support the data, and even how data is shared. Watch the video below where Anand goes into detail about gathering the full client picture.
More than a few delegates had questions about Nyansa’s agent. Installing agents on every device in an enterprise can be a daunting undertaking. There are also questions about which devices are out of bounds for an enterprise to deploy to; such as BYOD devices. As an example, in my case the overwhelming majority of the wireless clients on my network are BYOD devices. Being able to deploy an agent on enterprise owned equipment shows a VERY small piece of the pie. IT support members also become hesitant with how much overhead agents put onto a client as well as other factors. This question seems even more relevant based on what sounds like an overwhelming amount of data that is being sent. We were assured by Anand that data sent via the agent was done so with minimal impact to the client or network. Even though it may sound like there are more downsides than upsides with the agent, an agent will give you the best visibility into how the client is behaving. You will be able to see things such as driver versions, software versions, hardware specs, client roaming information, etc. These are all very awesome details to have when troubleshooting and are often the parts left out when using a vendor specific NMS solution within your wireless network. Watch and listen to Anand explain the Voyance agent below.
Nyansa is also taking on another hot button topic in the wifi industry; IoT. For those who don’t know what IoT is, it is short for Internet of Things. Manufactures are putting wifi capability into all kinds of crazy “things” these days. Refrigerators, thermostats, TVs, coffee makers, door bells, lighting, etc can all be connected to your wireless network now. Most of the time the wireless devices that manufacturers put into their “things” are very limited in capability, poorly designed, or of poor quality. A refrigerator manufacturer is usually very good at making refrigerators, but they may not be educated in the ways of wireless networking. Lacking an understanding of wireless networking could potentially cause poor performance for the refrigerator, the wireless network it is connected to, or both. Keep in mind that IoT devices are not all novelty. There are very important “things” out there such as life supporting devices in healthcare, robots in manufacturing, or other devices critical to specific verticals. Either way Nyansa has something to keep those pesky IoT devices in check. Check out both videos below.
I believe Nyansa can be a player in the wireless analytics market. There were many discussions among delegates about the feasibility of a high cost, third party analytics platform for wireless networks. As already noted, many of the current wireless solutions themselves have “more than basic” analytics cooked into their respective controllers. This does not downplay the information that Voyance is capable of providing though. Voyance can give you great insight into the client, end point, as well as all things in between, which most controllers cannot. There are upsides and downsides to this amount of information though. I think that the amount of information could potentially be overwhelming to prospective customers. I believe Nyansa understands this. Molding the data that is collected by Voyance to suite each customer’s need is of utmost importance as to not overwhelm a customer. There could be a very thin line that separates information overload and just the right amount of data to solve a problem in an enterprise. That is where Nyansa should be careful.
The more I listen to Nyansa the more I am intrigued by the product. Last year I was left somewhat confused. This year I have a better idea about what they are about and where they are going. There is no dispute that the information gathered by Voyance could be very helpful, but are potential customers going to bite on a product that adds another dashboard into an already crowded dashboard arena? I often wonder if Nyansa is candidate for purchase by an existing wireless vendor for integration into their own portfolio. This idea makes more sense to me as it doesn’t add an additional dashboard to a customer’s toolbox, but offers a potential “single pane of glass” to their existing wireless infrastructure. A solid infrastructure paired with built in analytics from Voyance could be a very powerful combination.