By: David Dean

Top MikroTik Cloud Management Feature Requests At WISPAPALOOZA 2021

In Las Vegas at WISPAPALOOZA 2021 we received a lot of encouragement and terrific feedback from internet service providers. Many network operators were excited about what we’ve built so far and could see the potential of the ISPApp platform. Here are the top feature requests we received along with our thoughts on each requested feature!

 

60 GHz signal values

ISPApp charts historical signal strength of the wireless interfaces for the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz interfaces but does not presently chart 60 GHz signal values.

We plan to include 60 Ghz signal values. MikroTik RouterOS puts the 60 Ghz interfaces in a different location than other wireless interfaces and it will be easy for us to also include 60 GHz information in our charts.

 

More wireless info (Modulation Coding Scheme (MCS) indexes, modulation, channel width, data rate)

ISPApp already charts received signal strength indicator (RSSI), signal-to-noise (SNR), and bandwidth consumption per connected station.

We agree that wireless information including Modulation Coding Scheme (MCS) index, modulation, channel width, data rate would be very useful and we intend to chart these as well. Here are some of the data values available from MikroTik RouterOS that we can also include in ISPApp.

 

Bulk commands

ISPApp already has the ability to send terminal commands to devices individually. Many ISP operators understand the power of the web shell and also want the ability to send commands to multiple devices simultaneously.

We intend to include the ability to send commands to devices based on search results. We also plan to allow you to filter the results of the search to narrow down the results to more specific target groups. We will also provide a list view of devices with filtering options.

 

LTE data utilization per billing cycle with alerts

Some operators use SIM cards from other carriers. In these situations it is helpful to know when the data consumption associated with each SIM card reaches the service plan limits and receive alerts, throttle the connection, or programmatically switch carriers.

When we add a feature to our core product we want to be sure it is a feature that most of our customers will use. We don’t believe this feature request will be universally useful so ISPApp will probably not implement this directly.

However, we are collecting and storing all the relevant data and ISPApp includes an open API so it will be easy for operators to build their own extensions to do exactly what they need.

 

Configuration backups and diffs

There are many scenarios where it is helpful to backup and restore files with MikroTik RouterOS. Common scenarios include: 

  1. Restoring a previously known-working configuration to a device with a broken configuration.
  2. Replacing a device and loading the configuration of the previous device
  3. Replacing the firmware and needing to restore previous licensing or configuration files

In all of these cases it is helpful to centrally store files associated with the devices and record changes over time.

When MikroTik RouterOS equipment fails, ISPApp will notify you right away and you may need to replace the device. In recovery scenarios it would be extremely useful if technicians could quickly download the last known working configuration to the new device. This would allow operators to more quickly recover from equipment failures and broken configurations and minimize downtime during recovery.

MikroTik has a “system print history” tool which is very useful for discovering configuration changes. However our system works by running a scheduled script to send an update to a server. When someone views a host on the server then the schedule changes to update every couple of seconds. RouterOS considers this a configuration change and this process pollutes the system history.

We are working with MikroTik to determine how to best identify relevant changes in RouterOS and send the updated configurations from the devices to the server to minimize network traffic and processing.

It is also useful to backup the RouterOS license prior loading OpenWRT firmware to a MikroTik device. This allows you to restore the device to RouterOS at a later time if you need it. 

We plan to add the ability to backup and restore configuration and licensing files and track changes over time.