What is a "group"


#1

I’m setting up my second Balance One at another location. I never much thought about it, but what is a “group”? These locations are geographically separated. I’d like them to have the same Wifi SSID. Should I put them in the same group? Should a group represent a single physical location, or a, organizational unit? I’m not sure how to organize this.


#2

A group can be anything you want it to be, a logical group of devices that perform the same function, all devices for a single customer, a geographical location and lot of other things besides.

As a managed Service Provider, I use groups for my own business locations and for customers devices in a single organisation - at least initially.

When a customer only has a few devices I just put them all in the same group labeled with the customers name - then give them access to that group. I then use device tags to assign settings to subsets of devices within the group.

Although this works most of the time, when the number of devices increase and i need better organisation of devices into multiple groups I will get to a point where it makes sense to create a new organisation for the customer and then groups for each of their locations / services and migrate devices into those groups. This doesn’t happen that often as you can still manage hundreds of devices in a single group if you want to.

The biggest driver for creating a new org and group structure is normally when the customer wants more control or visibility of their devices. When they want to give their HQ IT guys Org admin level rights but restrict remote site IT teams to just the devices in their own group.

The other thing to keep in mind is that if you use the auto VPN capability of InControl its much easier (and more automated) if all the devices you want to connect securely are in the same organisation.


#3

Great answer. Thanks!


#4

Hello @andy3,
We do something very similar to @MartinLangmaid, though if a customer is a registered business and has there own logos, we setup for them there own instance/organisation of InControl2, they may only have one Group within that organisation, though it gives from the outset more flexibility and saves having to move devices as much (which is a challenge with configurations) in the future.

One way we use groups for customers is with system updates. For example
Project upgrade
Legacy assignments
Equipment parked for reassignment
(these are just example group names)

Finally, with our smaller clients that just have a single router or smaller setup, we normally put them into an organisation we have setup with separate groups, keeps it simple to manage and support.

There are times when a businesses IT department wants to take full control and responseibility of there equipment and remove access of vendors and distributors from the organisations, this is when it is important to have already put into place the organisation separations and structures.

As Martian wrote, there are a lot of ways to use groups, and when you add in device tagging you end up with some fairly good ways to help your customers with the management of there systems.

Happy to Help,
Marcus :slight_smile: