3 key reasons SMBs need AI in network management

It seems like AI is everywhere you look. When it comes to networking, there are transformative changes in management and cybersecurity that can simplify operations and shrink expense sheets for SMBs.

1. Master your systems without a manual

Let’s start small. Whether or not you have limited IT expertise, getting to know new software or finding solutions to your network problems can be a long and painful process.

Now, AI-driven network management tools that use natural language offer a radically simpler option. For instance, the cloud networking platform Nebula streamlines user interaction through two AI-powered features: "Intent" for advanced searching and "Support" for chat-based assistance. "Intent" interprets your queries regarding Nebula features and settings that you may have trouble finding, and promptly provides links to the relevant pages. This helps you quickly become familiar with the platform, transforming the learning process from a challenging climb to a breeze.

The "Support" chatbot serves as your troubleshooting ally, simplifying problem-solving by allowing you to ask questions or describe issues in everyday language. For instance, if you're puzzled about why clients can't find the 6GHz radio SSID or connect to the firewall's LAN subnet, you simply ask exactly that. Nebula will quickly respond with solutions and links to helpful online resources.

Nebula AI chatbot

How you can benefit from natural language processing in networking management.

2. Use automation to keep your network humming

Where AI starts to save time and money is with the routine tasks that can be automated. The integration of machine learning with cloud infrastructure enables the in-depth analysis of huge amounts of data, automates responses to enhance efficiency, allows predictive maintenance, and improves error management.

Take, for example, the challenge of pinpointing and diagnosing poor wireless connectivity. These issues are often transient and resolved before IT staff can investigate on-site; other times, it can be nearly impossible to dig down to the root cause, which might be a DHCP error, a roaming issue, channel interference, or a dozen other things.

Nebula’s Wireless Health can automatically diagnose and optimize wireless quality, sparing the extensive efforts typically needed. This is a game-changing feature, especially for those with limited IT resources, ensuring peak network performance by preemptively tackling issues like signal interference or hardware malfunctions.

Or consider the hotel industry's shift to IPTV for content delivery. While cost-effective, it often encounters performance issues such as slow startups and picture freezing due to complex IPTV setups like multicasting. Tools like the Network Analytic Alert use machine learning to monitor and issue warnings for irregular activities. This proactive approach minimizes service disruptions and resolves issues faster, ensuring a smoother viewing experience.

3. Leverage AI for proactive cyber defense

Organizations today face a significant networking concern: cybersecurity. Take a bustling retail storefront for instance. Ensuring the security of your point-of-sale (POS) system is paramount – but difficult to do when staff’s hands are already full. Similarly, in a complex factory environment with a large amount of networking hardware, it's crucial to promptly spot any unusual or suspicious behavior to maintain operational continuity.

In today’s dynamic threat environment, networks need self-evolving threat intelligence that learns and grows every second. Thanks to AI-powered cloud solutions, such advanced threat intelligence is now accessible to businesses of all sizes. And that’s the killer advantage that machine learning offers for firewalls, enabling them to constantly strengthen their defenses and stay immune to new unknown attacks.

Case in point, Zyxel's AI-powered security combines cloud and firewall learning to adapt to emerging threats in real time. The integration of databases with machine learning-based threat intelligence enhances Zyxel firewalls’ understanding of malware, empowering them to proactively counter whatever attacks come their way.

Security screen shot

Zyxel's AI-powered cloud intelligence service provides instant, comprehensive site analysis and advanced content filtering for real-time protection.

These systems learn, adapt, and provide tailored solutions, shifting network management from reactive to proactive while requiring less human intervention. Now, it’s time to embrace AI in network management – flattening learning curves, automating routine tasks, and elevating your cybersecurity to new heights.