The Application Control feature is available on APs to provide real-time visibility of application usage by users across the wireless network. Network usage has changed enormously in the last few years, with the increase in smart phone and tablet usage stressing networks.
The AP uses Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) to determine what applications are being used and by whom, and how much bandwidth they are consuming. We can currently manage over 2,000 applications, and that number continues to grow on a monthly basis.
If you have to guarantee a certain level of performance for your business critical applications on your wi-fi network, then application control is a must.
Application Control allows you to manage the traffic on your wi-fi network in three different ways:
- Block traffic – Applications that are blocked never get to your edge switches because the AP will drop those packets immediately
- Prioritize traffic – Give business critical applications such as MS Office 365 or VoIP, or WebEx a higher QoS so that this traffic will go to the front of the line, no matter how many devices are downloading the latest iOS update
- Rate limit – If you have to allow certain traffic on your network, but don’t want that traffic to consume too much bandwidth, put a rate limit on that application. Set a rule that allows xMbps per AP or device
Application control rules can also be scheduled to run on certain days of the week, and certain times of the day. For example, you might have a rule that blocks Netflix traffic on your corporate network on Monday thru Friday, between 8:00 am and 5:00 pm.