Poll: Ruckus or Meraki

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Wireless Networks Thread, Ruckus or Meraki in Technical; We are looking at a new wireless solution and I am now stuck between Ruckus and Meraki. What solution do ...
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    Ruckus or Meraki

    We are looking at a new wireless solution and I am now stuck between Ruckus and Meraki.

    What solution do you have in place?

    Why did you choose that solution?

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    Hi not sure i can help much as we only looked at ruckus - found it to be quite a good system but we went with Meru in the end bought throu viglen - Found it to work almost out the box bit tricky setting it up with the radious server but did the admin course and have not needed to do any work on it in two years and with 44APs only had one fail that was in the sports hall so prob a football didnt help!But for signing in 30 deviced hitting one AP all at one time it has been very stable. Ruckus when we looked seemed to have a similar system. I do not have any knowledge of Meraki.
    Good luck choosing

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    This poll is not going to reflect Meraki's technical competence, they are pretty new to the UK market and very few will have experience of their kit. It will show that in the edugeek audience, the experience with Ruckus is good-excellent.

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    We bought Ruckus and had a demo of Meru.

    No experience of Meraki so can't comment

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    Personally out of the two, Meraki.

    I've had a bit of experience with their kit, it's absolutely solid, and runs very well.
    Had a demo of their kit at BETT, and was so impressed with it! It just seems so rock solid.

    Would really advise you look at Aerohive too

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    We have Ruckus, not had any issues in 2 years of use. Easy admin. Looked at other suppliers but found Ruckus the best value at the time. Would choose them again having used other choices at different schools.

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    nephilim's Avatar
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    I voted Ruckus, but that does not mean it is the right solution for you.

    You need to test all available options, and ensure that you have the solution that fits your school, and fits your budget.

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    Ruckus here with zero issues in 3 and a half years. Use Meraki for iPad management but that is about it.

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    Evaluated both but went with Ruckus, the main point against Meraki was the on-going subscription cost to keep it operational. The issue to me seems that if you don't pay the cloud controller license one year (an entirely possible scenario within education) then the whole lot becomes basically a pretty set of paperweights whereas in the Ruckus scenario it will still work but without any further updates \ support.

    (this was in 2012 so not sure if anything has changed since but looking at the Meraki website it still seems entirely cloud-controlled as far as I can tell)
    Last edited by gshaw; 5th February 2013 at 03:55 PM.

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    truebluesteve's Avatar
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    I'm currently doing the same excercise and I've got to say they all have their unique selling points - i.e. features that set them apart from the competiton. Ruckus seems to have very good coverage and will normally require fewer AP's than the rest, whereas Aruba has a system that doesnt have a controller (although one can be added) which seems to work very well and obviously reduces the cost. The Meru stuff is single channel and is supposed to stop the problems of co-channel inteferance

    I have looked at Meraki and it seems quite expensive and there seems to be a lot of confusion over annual licences since they were taken over by Cisco. Things are never cheap if Cisco are involved!

    Its a difficult decision and at the end of the day you will hear people say good and bad things about all of the systems, and it may come down to the toss of a coin if all things are equal.

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    Just to put the cat among the pidgeons - if you are looking for now- Ruckus have a good educational deal going on till the end of march-- we bought £30,000 worth of kit for just over £12,000

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    The main selling point for meraki for me at least is the zero config VPN access point. Basically it's just a little access point which you give to a teacher. They connect it to their home network and it forms an isolated Wireless network which is VPNed into your school network.
    I'm not sure but I think you can buy this desperately but it's nice to have everything integrated in this day of jack of all trades.

    Cloud management seems great in theory as you can give admin rights to your LEA support team if you wish and they can do config if the need arises. But as said the license cost for this is a bit off putting.
    Last edited by j17sparky; 5th February 2013 at 06:35 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by j17sparky View Post
    The main selling point for meraki for me at least is the zero config VPN access point. Basically it's just a little access point which you give to a teacher. They connect it to their home network and it forms an isolated Wireless network which is VPNed into your school network.
    I'm not sure but I think you can buy this desperately but it's nice to have everything integrated in this day of jack of all trades.

    Cloud management seems great in theory as you can give admin rights to your LEA support team if you wish and they can do config if the need arises. But as said the license cost for this is a bit off putting.
    I have done a lot of work with Meraki and have to say its very good kit, reliable. I have deployed quite a few Meraki solutions in small, medium and largish clients (the largish being teleworker rather than wireless)

    The Zero Config VPN is very good, there is also the Z1 unit which is cheaper than an AP (about £150) which is a built in switch and AP. Yes it can be purchased seperatly although for the Z1 you need one of the MX security appliances.

    With regards to the ongoing support cost for the cloud controller yes it becomes flawless without this but you can either bulk upfront the payment which reduces the cost.

    This is a similar cost to the ongoing support you would pay for with the other solutions.

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    AngryTechnician's Avatar
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    There have been a few posts on this already but I'll repeat what I said last time:

    I trialled Meraki vs. Ruckus for our school deployment. I was impressed with both, but we eventually went with Ruckus, for a few reasons that I'll outline below. That said, I did later select Meraki for a smaller install at a different institution, so I have first-hand experience of both in production environments.

    1. My own on-site testing indicates Ruckus has 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 I'm 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.

    5. Ruckus seems to cope better with interference. I've had to manually select AP channels on multiple occasions with Meraki because the Auto setting did not adjust channels away from interference from neighbouring wireless systems, which was causing severe connectivity issues for some clients. Ruckus, on the other hand, is very quick to pick a new channel. Some might argue that it is too quick at times, but I've never had client connectivity problems as a result.

    The difference between the two sites, and for picking different solutions for each, is that the Meraki 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 (though it has trouble with iOS6 like many other captive portals) and the client monitoring and logging you get through the cloud controller is far 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.

    I haven't voted on the poll because I think they are both good systems in different environments, and I don't know enough about your use case to recommend one over the other.
    Last edited by AngryTechnician; 6th February 2013 at 09:08 AM.

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    Ruckus vs Meraki vs Ubiquiti

    Hello.
    Ruckus is best for radio and hardware, but not an impressive management interface.
    Meraki has a great management interface, but hw is not as good as Ruckus. Pick this if you want the simplest management interface.
    If instead you are looking for something cost-effective, I would suggest Ubiquiti, e.g. UniFi, managed with their controller locally, or via cloud through AWS (big networks) or through Tanaza (small networks).
    Last edited by sebax; 6th February 2013 at 11:39 AM. Reason: typo

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