I have just registered with this forum but have read a lot of threads here about wireless.
I was wondering if there was somebody out there who could come and talk to us/demo a Ruckus system. We are a primary school in Hounslow who currently have a Meru system that is not suitable for our needs.
I am currently looking at Extricom but want to compare it to Ruckus.
Please post below or PM me.
Can i ask where meru is nto suitable for your needs, how does it let you down. the reason i ask is that were are looking into the two systems. thanks
I think CP will be able to sort you out on this. We don't do Ruckus i'm afraid :)
Thanks for the pointers jamesreedersmith
LukeC - we were basically mis sold Meru. We are a primary school and required a system that could cope with at least 30 laptops logging on in 1 classroom. We were sold a Meru system with the benefits of single channel and load balancing capacity. The problem is that we were sold a AP150 system which did not have N support (which I didn't think would be a big deal at the time). I have since discovered that the load balancing is rubbish on that particular system, so we get to about 27 clients and then the AP will not accept anymore (although nobody at Siracom or Meru knows why). As it is not N, it cannot make use of the higher speeds or off load in any way by using the 5ghz range, not to mention not supporting multi stream.
The real kick in the teeth though was that our AP150 system has been discontinued. We cannot use the new APs as our firmware is out of date. To upgrade our firmware is going to cost a fortune as you need a support contract to do it and also Meru backdate your support contract for any years you did not have support! We looked at getting a new controller but this comes with it's own massive complications such as them not being able to bill the school directly and not providing credit.
Add to this the fact that their new APs are nearly £1000 EACH and I have totally gone off Meru and think it is over priced and over complicated.
I have done a lot of reading up on Ruckus and Extricom and have come to the following conclusion. Ruckus is great for static clients, Extricom is great for roaming clients. Not to say that either does do both but I think that is each of their main strengths. I am now looking for demos to see it first hand.
I'll resist commenting on Meru but it's an all too common tale unfortunately.
I've droped you a PM about arranging a demo kit for you.
Look forward to working with you,
Ruckus WiSE Guy
Hi, I am in similar situation and lokking into getting either ruckus or extricom; did you manage to get a demo from CP-Ltd and how did it go? Thanks in advnace for your help.
Originally Posted by strawberry7
Hi there. Yes, Mark kindly sent some kit out. I didn't get around to testing it properly, although I have some more kit arriving, including stuff from Meraki. Tomorrow I start making a list and planning the type of testing I want to do.
From the testing I did do of the Ruckus, it seemed good. All clients connected without any issues and it only took 2 minutes to setup and get working.
Thanks for your reply. I am still not sure which wireless o go for; I am considering extricom and ruckus. As you said hey are slightly different, as extricom is channel blanket and ruckus microsel based. It's always best to see them in action in a large secondary school and get first experience feedback. Good luck with yours!
Thanks very much. I would definitely advice getting some demo kit in, companies are always happy to send it out so that you can see the kit working in your environment first hand. I was a firm believer that channel blanket was the way to go until I started reading up more on how wireless goes back to fundamental laws of physics RF. Once I started looking from that angle I came to realise that channel blanket only seems to add more interference. No matter how smart a controller of AP is, if the signals are being bounced around all over the place and not even getting from the client to the APs then it is all pointless.
Ruckus is the only company so far who have given firm figures, data and detailed explanations of how their kit is different. On top of that their kit performed best in the Toms hardware wireless field test which was the only one of its kind as far as I know. Plus I have had them recommended from several sources.
I am going to do a final showdown between Ruckus and Meraki to see who is best in our environment for our usage before I make my final decision. I wish you good luck with yours too.
Originally Posted by strawberry7
Last week I had a chap from Extricom, he presented their wireless and went through all advantages but didn't mention any disdvantages, whihc made think if it's all correct.
Have you managed to test Ruckus? I tested it with 4 APs in a bigish square buikding, used 2 dowsntairs and 2 upstairs and I still had some ded spots, where people coulsdn't connect to network.
Thanks for any help with this.
That's interesting. I still haven't had a chance to fully test Ruckus but the little test we did was pretty good. Certainly the theoretical tech of Ruckus stands up more than any other vendor.
We have had Extricom come out and even have it installed at another school. I used to be a believer in single channel architecture until I started reading more about wireless. The trouble with single channel is that it doesn't address the problem of the laws of physics, basic RF interference. Single channel or not, the more wireless stuff you put in an area, the more interference you create. Extricom and Meru may say that their controller will take care of it but that can only be true to a certain extent because if the packets are not getting from the AP to the client or visa versa (due to the high amount of RF pumping through the air) then it is all pointless.
Ruckus are the only company I have found that very technically and in a detailed way explain (or even address) the actual problem of WiFi. From my viewpoint, other vendors seem to say WiFi with us is perfect and it all works and is amazing. Ruckus on the other hand say, look WiFi isn't perfect and there's nothing we can do about it. Microwave ovens, strip lighting, even fridges all cause interference and there's nothing we can do about that. So instead of ignoring the issue, let's address it and do something about it, which is beamforming and using things like OKC rather than PMK.
I am hopefully going to draw up a plan of what I want to test and then I will be getting all the vendors kit in to battle it out in our actual environment and requirements, that will be the only thing that will give me the real answer.
Originally Posted by strawberry7
Did you mnanage to test any of the wifi you mentioned before?I am in the proces of testing ruckus in one building and it's working well and staff seem to be happy with it as well. I did speak to an IT MAnager at another large school, where they are using ruckus and he's very happy with it. They have 2000 laptops and it always works, no matter where in the school, there is very good coverage.
Any thoughs would be appreciated.
I am actually due to start testing tomorrow. I have narrowed my search to Ruckus and Meraki so it is going to be a shoot out between the two. Interestingly I was in a Meraki webinar with Wellington College the other day and they changed wireless provider for the exact same reasons as us. Used to use Meru and found it unable to cope with demand, poor throughput and very very expensive. Nice to know that it isn't just us at least! I will try to update you all by Friday and let you know my findings.
Just seen this thread - I think you may be able to save yourself an awful amount of dosh if the Ubiquiti Unifi APs do what you want.
At <£200 for a pack of three - I'd really recommend that you buy a set and try them out.
They have worked fine in a trial with me and I'm in the middle of rolling about 12 out to cover a 1.5 form entry primary school.
I don't need 5Gz coverage but I believe new versions are on their way that offer that.
Based on previos experience £200 will be about 10% of a Ruckus system so well worth giving them a go - I'll buy them off you for £100 if they don't work out :)