Meraki Health is a suite of tools and analysis to assist wireless administrators by providing each client’s and access points' unique perspective of connectivity to the WLAN, allowing network administrators to drill down into client or access point issues in detail. In this article, we will look at the following Meraki Health components for statistics from an access point perspective:
- AP Summary tab
- AP Performance tab
- AP onboarding and performance metrics
AP Summary Tab
The AP Summary tab will extract information on a per-AP level and display the wireless health metrics on the AP summary page itself. The below graph will be enabled on the APs in any wireless network.
Clicking on the above widget will take you to the updated event log page for the specific AP. This page will display all the issues encountered by client devices on a particular AP.
AP Connections Tab
The AP Connections tab can be found under Wireless > Monitor > Access Points, on an AP's status details page. This tab will show an aggregate of all connections through the access point, as opposed to that of an individual client. The connection stats can be filtered by duration (up to a month’s worth of connections are stored), by SSID, or both.
Overall Connection Stats
The overall connection stats will show the total number of connections that faced issues based on the SSID, frequency band, or duration filter, if applcable.
Issues by SSID and Problematic APs
Below the overall connection stats table are lists of both the SSIDs and the clients that connected the AP and experienced problems. This information can be filtered by connection steps:
- All failure steps
Problematic Connection Steps
A breakdown showing collated client failures at each step of the connection is also shown. It classifies each of the failure stages as a percentage of the overall connection failures seen by the access point. This provides visibility into problems that multiple clients are having when connecting to and passing traffic on the particular access point. Clicking any of the numerical values directs to the failure reasons table with a corresponding filter applied. It will display the number of clients experiencing the same failure.
See the diagram below as an illustration. Of all the client connections through the AP, 78.4% successfully connected, 1.2% failed to associate, 9.1% failed to authenticate, and 11.3% failed DHCP. All the numerical values are active buttons and clicking on them directs to the failed connections of the AP event log.
Clicking on the "9.1% fail to auth" failure step will take you to the Event Log tab with a pre-applied filter, as shown below. The table can then be filtered further using the parameters of time duration, client, SSID, or failure step.
AP Performance Tab
The Performance tab is used to see different metrics around how the AP is performing with the wireless clients connected to the AP. There are multiple parameters that the dashboard will display in a graphic format manner for easy understanding. A time selector is present at the top that will change the graphs depending on the time stamp selected. Also, a network administrator can look for a specific SSID or band of interest when selecting and monitoring all the performance graphs.
These graphs also have an additional connection events bar below the X-axis. Purple boxes on the x-axis of the graphs represent events that may affect wireless performance. The events include changes made to RF configuration, DFS events, and others where the shade of the box represents the intensity of these events.
The usage graph shows the amount of wireless data AP is transferring over time. The graph is overlaid with AutoRF information so you can see the auto TX power and auto channel changes over time.
Hovering over the graph shows the actual usage at a specific time stamp.
Note: The maximum value on the Y-axis is for scaling purposes; you can hover over the peaks in the graph to understand the utilization of the AP.
The clients graph shows the number of active wireless clients connected to the AP across the time span selected. Higher numbers of clients on one AP may result in poor performance and higher channel utilization. This graph is overlaid with AutoRF events for the specific AP. Hovering over the graph in the purple bars will show the number of clients along with any AutoRF change that might have occurred in that selected time frame.
Note: The maximum value on the Y-axis is for visual representation only. Hovering over the peaks in the graph will give the actual maximum number of clients.
Average Signal Quality
The average signal quality graph has a custom selector for RSSI value SNR value. Depending on the selection, the representation of the graph will change. The dashboard will average the value of RSSI for clients connected to the AP at a given time and display it in the graph. When troubleshooting wireless issues in a specific area, this graph can help you understand if the signal quality has dropped over a specific time span.
The graph is overlaid with AutoRF events indicated by the purple bars on the X-axis. The graph will also change colors indicating lower signal quality across all clients.
Average Wireless Latency
The average wireless latency graph calculates wireless latency for individual clients connected to the selected AP and averages the value for the connected clients at any given time. This provides an overview of latency across the clients connected to a selected AP.
Hovering over the graph peaks provides the maximum wireless latency on the AP. The dashboard will also create a list of slowest clients connected over time, and you can choose this tab from the selector shown above. The graph is overlaid with AutoRF events and also is color coded to highlight overall wireless latency. This can be used to identify specific clients that are exhibiting slowness when connected over the Wi-Fi network. If there is a spike in latency for a specific client, a network administrator can look into the client’s performance tab in order to isolate a specific issue.
Note: The maximum value on the Y-axis is for scaling purposes; hovering over the peaks in the graph will provide the actual average wireless latency
The channel utilization graph displays a percentage value of channel usage by the clients operating on that channel. The graph provides a selector that allows you to choose between 802.11 traffic and interference (non-802.11). As the channel utilization goes up, clients may see higher latency and reduced throughput. Hovering over the graph provides the channel utilization percentage value at a given time stamp. The graph is overlaid with AutoRF information for better understanding. Using this correlation, a network administrator can visualize if a channel change was better for the wireless client connected to that AP.
The data rates graph is used to display average data rates across client devices connected to the AP in the selected time span. The data rates are visible by hovering over the graph. The graph also provides a selector between upload, download, and average data rates across all devices on the AP.
Note: The maximum value on the Y-axis is for scaling and is not the maximum value of data rates. Hovering over the peaks provides the maximum value for data rates in the selected time period.
AP timeline is used to highlight any issues on an AP level in the network. This can be used by Dashboard administrators to view any problematic AP and check the logs for all failed clients. The logs that are shown are very similar to the Client History tab but aggregated on a per AP level. This information is available for every AP in Dashboard in the AP list page allowing a Dashboard administrator to look at specific issues at an AP level.
Note: AP timeline will only be available for networks running 27.5 and higher firmware versions. Networks running older firmware will continue to use the Event log tab on the AP page.
APs Onboarding and Performance Metrics
As the dashboard monitors and records the performance of each wireless client device in the network, it automatically captures failures for onboarding and performance observed across each AP in the network. The onboarding metrics provide an understanding of the percentage of clients that failed to connect to a wireless network from any specific AP in the network. As you can see in the below screenshot, some clients failed to onboard the wireless network for some APs in the selected time frame.
Similar to onboarding metrics, the dashboard also captures performance metrics. This is a direct correlation with the SNR value that the wireless clients are maintaining as they connect with the AP. An SNR value of 21dB is considered to be a good connection with the AP. As SNR values drop below the 16dB threshold, the dashboard will reduce the performance score of the AP, since there are clients that are not having the best experience based on the SNR values.
If the dashboard does not have enough data to come up with the percentage values of onboarding and/or performance metrics, the columns will show N/A in the respective fields. This includes clients that are connected to the network but not sending any traffic or are connected to an AP that cannot run 27.5 code or above.