PI is the wireless network management system that many a Cisco shop uses for monitoring and management of the WLAN environment. The bigger you are in size and complexity of wireless environment, the more important your NMS is.
I don’t love PI. There are days where I barely like it. But I rely on it, and am fond of one simple feature that I want to call out here.
When you deal with thousands of APs, occasionally a handful go out of service. Sometimes it’s a quickly-corrected failure of the AP or connected PoE, while other times it’s a non-failure condition like space renovations where the AP is located.
It can get easy to lose track of which AP is out and why if you are also busy with other duties, and don’t have the luxury of staring at PI all day. For me, it may be several hours or even days before I can catch up with certain alerts, and it’s not uncommon to come back into the dashboard and have to get re-oriented with what’s out and why.
One simple thing that can help is shown above- adding annotations to the alert for a given AP that is out long-term for a known reason (yes, you can put these APs into Maintenance Mode, but I find that doesn’t always get done when lots of hands are in the pot).
I’ve come to rely on these simple notes to save time, and to remind anyone looking of why the dreaded red dot is next to APs that really aren’t in duress.
The little things help a lot at times, and the annotation option is worth trying if you don’t use it yet.