It’s no secret I am a huge fan of Ubiquiti Networks gear. When I first installed it last year I blogged about the setup and as of today it’s still running. The only exception is I’ve upgraded the 24 port switches to 48 port units and did some cable cleanup. The fact is that this stuff runs my home office network awesome. I don’t have any lab gear connected to it either, it’s all running the network aspects of my house. It’s cloud controller based management means I can even manage other sites besides my house.
Introducing the Unifi Controller App
What just got better and I knew it was in the works, was the release of the Unifi iOS app. Having the controller outside the house in the cloud to have management access from anywhere was the first real win. It costs very little to runt he single Ubuntu machine that configures and manages all the sites. It gives me remote access to the management securely without having to connect back into the house. They have since released a “Cloud Key” and their own cloud access aggregation you can use which is great if you are just managing one location.
The biggest win about the controller app is it will connect to ANY controller, internal but best of all cloud based like mine. This now means there is a mobile formatted interface for me to look at any of the sites and clients in the environment. What I have not tested is if per site administrators can get access themselves into the controller by login. It “should” work since the login screen is the same for all users and you are only presented with the sites you have access to. Below is a few screen shots of the app, but I have to say it’s awesome!
What most people don’t know is for the most part all Ubiquiti Unifi gear is software defined. You adopt new devices into the environment then push the configurations from the controller. In the case of adding access points, those will automatically provision with the wireless networks defined in the default groups. It’s pretty cool technology for the price.
Unifi Controller App Downside
The only downsides of a few are simple. It does not support device rotation, which is a bit annoying especially since they were kind enough to release an iPad specific version. Also you cannot actual control the switch ports from it. You don’t seem to be able to down a port, or change the PoE configuration from it, but maybe that is coming. You don’t have full controller network configuration and VLAN setup access either, but not sure you need it. The rotation and the port based controls would be nice though.