A new kind of Nebula
Kevin Drinkall, EMEA Wireless and Cloud Market Development Manager at Zyxel, takes us through the key enhancements being delivered with the latest version of Zyxel’s Nebula cloud management platform.
In the book Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, the White Rabbit asks the King, “Where shall I begin, please your Majesty?” To which the King replies: “Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end: then stop.”
I would like to do that in telling you about the new release (version 9.2) of our Nebula cloud management platform. But it really is hard to know where to begin. And like the curious creature in Lewis Carrol’s novel, I’d be worried about disappearing down a rabbit hole and never finding my way back again. .
But I will do my best here to tell you about the many new features that come with the new release. At Zyxel, we are quite excited about Nebula 9.2 as it brings so many new capabilities and benefits to our customers and managed services provider (MSP) partners. .
For switching and wireless products customers, there are a number of distinct new features – and I will summarise these below. But if you are especially interested in those product lines, I have also created two distinct blogs that focus on Nebula 9.2 features for Zyxel wireless products and for Zyxel switches. .
In this blog though, I will summarise all the main new features of Nebula 9.2 – in no particular order. .
- Private Pre-Shared Key (PPSK) support – provides a simple way to segregate different groups of users on wireless networks. This allows admins to set up a separate virtual LAN to which only specific users are granted access and makes it easy for those users to log onto that virtual LAN and use its resources.
- Support for new WiFi6 access points – our first WiFi 6 (802.11ax) access point – the WAX650S – is already available and we will be introducing a complete range this year.
- Bridging mode – you can set up point-to-point bridge connections using WiFi 6 APs – ideal for outdoor use and connecting two physically separated buildings.
- Enhanced WiFi Health – uses machine-learning to continually re-assess and optimise each device connection to ensure maximum quality for all users at all times.
- Cloud Authentication Enhancements – a simpler way for WiFi users to log onto a wireless network without having to know the WiFi log-in key. Instead, they can use a normal username and a password.
- Support for GS2220 fully managed switches– our new GS2220 Series of fully-managed Layer 2 switches are being released soon.
Full support for surveillance switches – our specialist GS1300 IP surveillance switches are now fully supported by Nebula. .
These are just the major new features that you will find in release 9.2 of Nebula and there are many more smaller enhancements too. Now, you might well ask why we have included so many new capabilities in this release and not spread them out a little more? The principal reason for this is that with release 9.1, we were really paving the way for all this new functionality. With the 9.1 release, we made Nebula more stable and ready to accommodate all these new features, which we can now introduce with confidence. .
Of course, we will continue to add to and improve Nebula in every way we can, and we will be releasing another update towards the end of 2020/ beginning of 2021 . All the improvements we’re delivering in Nebula release 9.2 will be applied on 1 July. The update will happen automatically, so if you already have Nebula, you will have access to all of these new functions from that day. .
The support on the GS1300 Series of surveillance switches, will need a download to be apply via a free firmware update. Unlike other vendors, Zyxel does not charge for firmware updates – you just need to make sure you take advantage when they do become available. .
You should also be aware that the previous user interface will be retired at the end of June. This means that, if you have not done so already, (and most of our customers have now made the switch), you will need to download and start using the next-generation Nebula interface.
The new design is based on user feedback and we promise you that, once you have tried the new interface, you will never look back. Our teams and our partners have been using the new interface for several months now and it really is much better. It has a cleaner look and feel, gives you greater flexibility and access to much more detailed information.
If you have any questions or just want to find out more about Nebula, please contact your nearest Zyxel Partner or office.