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Managing Multiple sites in UniFi Controller

Published onApril 29, 2024

Managing multiple sites with a single UniFi Controller is a powerful feature that makes network management easier across diverse locations. For example, you can use it if you need to oversee multiple business branches, residential properties, or remote sites.

The UniFi Controller's multi-site feature lets you manage your networks from the central platform. In this article, I (try to) show you how to use UniFi’s multi-site management feature and the benefits to make sure you get the most out of your network management.

Table of Contents

Setting up multi-site management

Step 1: Accessing the UniFi Controller

Make sure you have admin access to the UniFi Controller. This can be either a self-hosted solution or through a cloud service like UniHosted, which provide better reliability and security for your UniFi deployments.

Step 2: Creating sites

In the UniFi Controller dashboard, navigate to the settings menu where you’ll find an option to create and manage multiple sites. Here, you can add a new site by entering the required information such as site name, location, and other relevant settings.

Step 3: Configuring Networks for each site

Each site can have its own unique network configuration. This includes setting up WLANs (Wireless LANs), LANs, and VLANs specific to the site's needs. You can tweak the configurations for different bandwidth requirements, security protocols, and access controls.

Step 4: Adopting devices to sites

Devices such as UniFi switches, routers, and access points must be adopted into the respective site. When setting up a new device, use the UniFi Network application (UniFi Controller) to specify which site the device should belong to. This makes sure that all devices are correctly grouped and managed under their right sites.

Step 5: Monitoring and maintenance

Once your sites are configured and devices are adopted, you can monitor the network performance and status from the UniFi Controller’s main dashboard. Each site will provide real-time data, alerts, and analytics.

Benefits of multi-site management

Centralized Control: Manage all your sites from a single interface, which simplifies tasks such as firmware updates, network configuration changes, and monitoring.

Scalability: Easily add new sites and devices as your organization grows. The UniFi Controller is designed to scale without losing performance, making it ideal for both small and large operations (I see you MSPs).

Custom roles: Define roles and permissions for network admins. This allows regional managers or IT staff to access only the sites they are responsible for, enhancing security and operational efficiency.

Analytics: Get insights into network usage across all sites. This can help identify which sites are overutilized or underutilized.

Best practices

This should speak for itself, but lets mention them anyways:

Regular Updates: Keep your UniFi Controller and devices updated to the latest firmware.

Strong Network Policies: Establish some network policies across sites but also customize them to address specific site needs. This includes security settings, guest access policies, and quality of service (QoS) configurations.

Network Segmentation: Use VLANs to segment network traffic within each site. This improves performance and security by isolating device groups, user types, or application traffic.

Backup and Disaster Recovery: Regularly back up your UniFi Controller settings and configure a disaster recovery plan. This is crucial if you need to restore your network in case of hardware failure or something else.

Use of Cloud Hosting Services: Consider using a managed service like UniHosted for hosting your UniFi Controller. This offers benefits such as better security, reliability, and dedicated support, making sure your multi-site network operates smoothly with no downtime.

Final Thoughts

Multi-site management with the UniFi Controller is a great feature if you are handling complex networks across multiple locations. You can achieve greater efficiency and control, making it easier to scale operations and maintain consistent network performance.

At UniHosted, we understand the importance of this. We provide managed UniFi Cloud Controllers to improve your network efficiency. Especially, if you are an MSP or IT-service business looking for flexible and scalable network deployments, this is something for you.

Feel free to give us a spin! Additionally, I'm happy to walk you through personally. You can schedule a call with me (Founder of UniHosted) here.

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