19 Replies Latest reply on Jan 26, 2018 2:56 PM by rschroeder

    How to get wireless clients to display in Heat Maps?


      I built my first wireless Heat Maps in NPM today, hoping to compare how NPM and Network Atlas might replace my Cisco Prime for Wireless information.


      Prime's Heap Map shows clients associated to the AP's:


      NPM shows no clients associated to the same AP's at all:


      Questions for you Thwackers and NPM / Wireless experts:

      1. Why is aren't clients displayed in the Heat Maps?

      To make sure this should happen, I've selected the "Show connected wireless clients on the map" option.

      But the clients don't show up in NPM's Heat Maps.  I've followed SW's instructions here:  View the location of clients connected to access points in maps - SolarWinds Worldwide, LLC. Help and Support  by placing the six AP's for this area on the Heap Map, and then using the Signal Sample discovery option to find my wireless laptop in the Heat Map and record its signal strength in NPM.  Finally I selected "Show connected clients" and "Show every client connected to any AP on the map."  Any suggestions to get this working to show clients on the map?


      3. With NPM configured to show clients, the default client signal strength poll is 5 minutes, so why don't clients show up (preferably with signal strengths)?

      Many 5-minute periods have passed since creating the maps, and I don't see any clients or signal strengths.  What am I missing to get clients to show up?

        • Re: How to get wireless clients to display in Heat Maps?
          John Handberg

          I had trouble with that at my last job.  It seemed to me that even though the client interval was set up, it only really updated the client location on the map during the map generation/refresh interval.  And when that happened in the very early morning, it was out of date very quickly.  It never seemed to be live data for me like Prime was.


          I noticed if I set my map generation to shortly after I set up my test laptop and then checked the map, it was there.  But not until the map generation interval occurred.  It would be nice to know how to fix this, even though we are not using this at my current job.  The network team here uses Prime for wireless and in place of NCM.

            • Re: How to get wireless clients to display in Heat Maps?

              Thank you, John. 


              We use Prime here, with great satisfaction.  But I wanted to ensure I had exposed my team to the Heat Maps from NPM.  I also wanted the experience of building them in a different product than Prime.


              Certainly NPM's floor plan scale entry is WORLDS of improvement over Prime's!


              On the other hand, Prime has seemingly an infinite amount of useful data and filters that can display or remove information from Heat Maps; NPM could certainly take a leaf out of Prime's book on this.


              Worse, although I did the Signal Strength exercise in NPM's Heat Maps, they indicate I have -20 dB signal strength just about everywhere, and if you have any knowledge of AP's, that's impossible.


              So NPM's Heat Maps' signal strength outputs are suspect due to faulty information I've personally observed.  Combine that with not showing clients, and not automatically updating client locations every few minutes (I DO have that at the default setting of 5 minutes, but it's not giving the results I expect and need), I'm not to the point where I'd recommend NPM for Heat Maps over Prime.

                • Re: How to get wireless clients to display in Heat Maps?

                  Agreed, I generally steer my clients to not waste consulting hours on trying to turn NPM into Prime if they already have Prime in place.  Always felt a little half baked in comparison.

                  • Re: How to get wireless clients to display in Heat Maps?
                    John Handberg

                    There might be a disconnect here.  Collecting client signal strength may not mean all of those are shown on the map.  They are shown and updated in the wireless tables and seem up to date.  I just looked at our Wireless Summary view when selecting clients, and see pretty up to date client signal strengths there.  That does not help much with client location, which Prime is pretty good with.  In my experience, they just didn't show on the map unless they were connected during the Map Generation time.


                    Also, I remember back when SolarWinds had a separate wireless module.  This was pre-heatmap, and before I had Prime, but it had far more details and better client troubleshooting.  They lost some of that capability when they merged it with NPM.  That and getting an additional wireless controller and wanting all the reporting aggregated up to what was then the precursor to Prime, before they merged the wired LAN software with it to become Prime was the reason for our switch at the time.

                      • Re: How to get wireless clients to display in Heat Maps?

                        If you are correct about that disconnect, then NPM's Heat Maps' worth is devalued.


                        I need to see all the clients that every AP sees, and I need the option to find them on the Heat Map by name or IP address or MAC address, or any of the other ways we accomplish the same things with Prime.  Of course, the two aren't the same. I can't even say NPM's Heat Maps are "Prime-Lite".


                        But if I find that there are significant improvements on how NPM can discover, track, and display wireless clients, that can be a win.


                        But so far, the front page of NPM shows the Heat Maps have zero clients in each.  And there were about a hundred clients in each when I built the maps and did the discovery.  The next (default) discovery time is something like 5:45 a.m.--well before the clients have returned to the network in their owners' pockets.  That's not going to do me any good if that's the only time clients are discovered and added to the Heat Maps.


                        Nor will it the Heat Maps be useful if the front page of NPM doesn't show their client counts changing throughout the day.


                        I suspect many of us were very excited when NPM began offering Heat Maps.  I have over a thousand Heat Maps created in Prime.  Manually duplicating them in NPM is not going to be part of my future unless something VERY helpful comes along with NPM.

                  • Re: How to get wireless clients to display in Heat Maps?

                    Hey Rich, just out of curiosity what model/IOS (AirOS?) version are your APs and WLCs?