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Wireless Networks Thread, Propaganda: Ruckus versus HP access point in Technical; Originally Posted by bossman @all: Anyone had a go with these: Meraki Cloud Managed Wireless LAN as a competitor to ...
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    Quote Originally Posted by bossman View Post
    @all:

    Anyone had a go with these: Meraki Cloud Managed Wireless LAN as a competitor to Aerohive: Campus Wi-Fi for K-12 and Higher Education Institutions | Aerohive Networks

    With these 2 products it makes the others seem like old news
    We have used Meraki with positive results. They are very popular in our area due to their discounts and everyone we have spoken to about their installation has been extremely satisfied. We have talked to people who yanked out vendors like Cisco and replaced with Meraki because they didn't like the nickel and diming/costs associated with controllers and licensing. Meraki is up front with their costs, offer exceptional education discounts and their controller is very intuitive and powerful.

    The product is not stagnant at all. The cloud controller is updated frequently. They have been pushing out their mobile device management which we find to be very useful. They also have good BYOD support which is a growing trend.

    I have to admit though having an internal or VM controller like what Aerohive offers is very appetizing.

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    For the record Meru now offer VM based controllers as well as physical controllers
    We've successfully deployed many of these over the summer within the UK which makes for a more cost effective solution than our hardware based controllers
    MAny thanks
    Mark

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    AngryTechnician's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bossman View Post
    Anyone had a go with these: Meraki Cloud Managed Wireless LAN
    I trialled Meraki vs. Ruckus for our deployment. I was impressed with both, but we eventually went with Ruckus, for a few reasons:

    1. Our own on-site testing indicated Ruckus had a small but significant edge over Meraki in throughput and range.

    2. Ruckus has higher capital costs but lower annual costs, while Meraki is the reverse. With the quotes we got they actually worked out to be similar in price over 3-5 years (Meraki being slightly cheaper), but finance preferred to pay more upfront. There was also some nervousness over the fact that if you stop paying your annual Meraki costs the APs become useless, whereas if you stop paying your annual Ruckus you just lose the support. It's not something we're considering doing, but it was a contributing factor.

    3. We don't have a leased line (can't afford it) and our VDSL line does go down every so often. I wasn't too happy with the prospect of reduced functionality on Meraki when you lose connectivity to the cloud controller.

    4. Ruckus has a wider range of APs and hardware features. For example, most of the Ruckus APs have additional ethernet access ports on the back, whereas only the cheapest and least capable of the Meraki APs has one. This was important in a few locations where I had to 'steal' an existing ethernet cable from a machine where it would have been cost prohibitive to run new cabling (even though that's my preferred option). We also have a few of the tiny ZoneFlex 7025 APs which I love for the fact you can fit them into a single-gang wall socket.

    That said, I did then select and Meraki for a smaller install at a different institution. The difference was that the other site has very little on-site equipment (not even a single comms rack!), has no on-site IT support, and is almost entirely BYOD. For this sort of deployment I think Meraki is better than Ruckus, because the self-service logon portal is better and the client monitoring you get through the cloud controller is superior to Ruckus. Meraki also has some set-and-forget firewalling built in; for example, in one click you can block almost all common P2P protocols, which is a lifesaver when you are trying to get a bunch of university students to share a single VDSL line.

    Final thought: I'd definitely take either of them over HP.
    Last edited by AngryTechnician; 26th September 2012 at 08:33 AM.

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    apeo's Avatar
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    @MicrodigitUK and @SuperfluousAdjective: Very interesting, and thanks for the explanation on how it works. Haven't read up on how single channel/blanket WLAN works yet so was slightly confused as to how it works or suppose to work.

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    propaganda.pdf...

    Seems legit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AngryTechnician View Post
    2. Ruckus has higher capital costs but lower annual costs, while Meraki is the reverse. With the quotes we got they actually worked out to be similar in price over 3-5 years (Meraki being slightly cheaper), but finance preferred to pay more upfront. There was also some nervousness over the fact that if you stop paying your annual Meraki costs the APs become useless, whereas if you stop paying your annual Ruckus you just lose the support. It's not something we're considering doing, but it was a contributing factor.
    ^^^ this

    I had Meraki on test as well at one point, found the management interface very nice but without a reliable crystal ball it's hard to know that a) the budget will always be there to pay for the ongoing cloud controller costs and b) the company will still be there and supporting that particular product at the same price in 3-5 years (less likely than point a but still possible, at which point you end up with a bunch of lovely white paperweights)

    In the end we went with Ruckus. Also considered AeroHive but their cloud management \ support has the same caveats as Meraki and buying the VM appliance was the same cost as a Ruckus ZD. That, coupled with the fact AeroHive's APs were a fair bit more pricey than Ruckus sealed the deal.
    Last edited by gshaw; 26th September 2012 at 11:00 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AngryTechnician View Post
    HP must have made some shocking advances with their wireless kit. It used to be awful, as well as expensive.
    That's probably what they got from buying 3com; better tech.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gshaw View Post
    Also considered AeroHive but their cloud management \ support has the same caveats as Meraki and buying the VM appliance was the same cost as a Ruckus ZD. That, coupled with the fact AeroHive's APs were a fair bit more pricey than Ruckus sealed the deal.
    We didn't find that the Aerohive was dearer per AP in fact it was the other way round from the quotes we recieved (with Ruckus being considerably more expensive) when comparing similar spec AP's so we wen't the Aerohive route with the VM controller, ditching the HP wireless solution we were using.

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    Here are the antenna arrays for comparison from a Meraki, Aerohive and HP MSM ap in case anyone is interested. The Meraki and Aerohive use similar antennas.

    Aerohive AP330

    AP330a.jpg

    AP330b.jpg

    AP330c.jpg

    Meraki MR24

    MR24a.jpg

    MR24b.jpg

    HP MSM460

    MSM460a.jpg

    MSM460b.jpg

  10. Thanks to old_n07 from:

    AngryTechnician (26th September 2012)

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    Quote Originally Posted by browolf View Post
    That's probably what they got from buying 3com; better tech.
    Well, all H3C based wireless equipment won´t be sold any longer within Rest Of World, only within asian countries, starting with year 2012, if I remember correctly. Only those of us who already bought H3C equipment will be able to buy some additional access points (I think it was H3C 2620E?).

    So basically all Colubris based MSM series will be the future. HP makes a lot of advertisement for the next big firmware release 6.0
    Last edited by snoerre; 26th September 2012 at 01:59 PM.

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    @AngryTechnician how have you found the coverage/throughput of the ZoneFlex 7025? We are looking at putting some into areas of boarding house where there will be ~5 users within range but know they dont have the fancy antenna arrays of the more expensive AP's.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dave.81 View Post
    @AngryTechnician how have you found the coverage/throughput of the ZoneFlex 7025?
    Better than expected. I actually bought one myself for my flat (which is admittedly small) and get excellent performance throughout the interior, and working coverage through exterior walls for about 10-15m. Basically, you'll get good performance in the room its in and rooms immediately adjacent (providing the rooms aren't huge and the walls are thin), but anything beyond that will be a push.

    One thing to consider: although it's an N radio, the uplink is only 100Mbps, so you wouldn't want many more than your 5 users on it simultaneously.

  14. Thanks to AngryTechnician from:

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    Thats all i was looking at using them for, boarding rooms with a couple of users in that are beyond the range of the rest of the wifi coverage. Thanks.

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    Without details around who did the testing, what was used in the test (hardware, software version, client, chipset, driver, environment, measurement software, etc.) it's worth absolutely nothing.

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    As I just signed up after stumbling across this posting, I highly doubt HP's offering is besting the Ruckus. I had a 7362 unit that I was able to walk 2-3 blocks down from my office area and get 20-30MB/s throughput on a unit that wasn't even mounted properly. Also, anyone who is looking at going Meraki, I would advise against it as their AP's can't hold a candle to the Ruckus units.

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