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Strategies for scaling UniFi networks

Published onby Dries (edited on )

Deploying a UniFi network is straightforward at a small scale, but as your network grows, complexity increases. Especially for MSPs handling large networks and IT-service providers scalability and efficiency are key.

In this article, we'll explore the best strategies to scale your UniFi networks.

Table of Contents

Start with a solid foundation

Before scaling, make sure your core network is robust and capable of handling increased load. This includes upgrading to more powerful UniFi Security Gateways (USGs) or Dream Machines (UDMs) to handle higher throughput and implementing enterprise-grade switches that support features like PoE+ (Power over Ethernet), SFP+ for uplinking, and layer 3 capabilities for efficient routing.

Plan for Network Segmentation

As networks grow, segmentation becomes more important for security, performance, and manageability. Utilize VLANs to separate different types of traffic (e.g., corporate, guest, IoT) and apply ACLs (Access Control Lists) for enhanced security. UniFi makes VLAN configuration straightforward, allowing for flexible network segmentation strategies.

Leverage cloud-based management

For scalability and ease of management, consider hosting your UniFi Controller in the cloud. Cloud hosting offers several advantages, including remote access from anywhere, redundancy, and scalability without the need to maintain physical server hardware.

Managed providers like UniHosted host your UniFi Controllers in the cloud, providing reliable, secure, and scalable solutions tailored to UniFi deployments of any size.

Optimize wireless coverage and capacity

As you scale, assess both coverage and capacity needs. Deploy additional UniFi APs to eliminate dead zones and consider AP models with higher capacities to accommodate more devices.

Implementing UniFi's mesh networking features can also extend coverage without the need for running additional cabling.

Utilize Advanced UniFi Features

Take advantage of UniFi's advanced features to improve network performance:

  • Auto-Scale Network: Use the Auto-Optimize Network and AI-driven capabilities to automatically adjust network settings based on usage patterns.

  • Adopt a Zero Trust Security Model: Implement UniFi Access and UniFi Talk to secure physical and communication layers.

  • Traffic Shaping and QoS: Prioritize critical applications to ensure bandwidth is allocated efficiently.

Here is a more in-depth guide that outlines more advanced configurations.

Implement a monitoring and alerting system

A scalable network requires a proactive monitoring strategy. The UniFi Controller's built-in monitoring tools provide real-time insights into network performance, traffic, and device health.

Set up alerts for system events, device failures, or unusual activity to quickly address issues before they affect users.

Regular network reviews and audits

As your network grows, regularly review and audit your setup to identify potential bottlenecks, outdated equipment, or security vulnerabilities. This ongoing process ensures your network remains optimized, secure, and ready to support further growth.

Final Thoughts

Scaling UniFi deployments demands a balance between planning and practical implementation. By starting with a strong foundation, planning for future growth, and leveraging cloud-based management and advanced features, you can ensure your UniFi network remains robust, secure, and scalable.

At UniHosted, we understand the challenges of scaling network deployments. Our cloud-hosted UniFi Controller services are designed to support your network's growth, providing the scalability, reliability, and security needed for expanding deployments.

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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