They're both good systems in their own right - so really it's down to price, features, but also talking to others that are using such devices.
The alternative altogether is to do away with a managed system. 20 WAPs isn't that many and with a lot of thought, they can work independently - but more crucially work with other correctly configured WAPs serving the same network.
Ruckus will beat Meru on price
I looked at this 18 months ago and the ruckus users swear by it and the meru users do thd same. We have meru and its been great and all access points work on same chanel and roaming is possible most of the time without loosing connection
Ok, so Meru's USP is single cell architecture, personally I think its a USP because nobody else will touch it. Meru's solution appears to be flood your entire school with APs, put one in every room. If you need to connect more clients then stick 2 APs in every room. The solution is very costsly to get decent results.
I investigated this when we were putting in our 1:1 deployment of iPads and we looked at Cisco, Ruckus, Meru, AeroHive and in the end went for Ruckus for a combination of reasons.
I can say that we have used the system with very little configuration out of the box. we have a site that is 1/4 mile from one side of the building to the other, all single floor. We have 38 APs 3 of which are external, and we have 100% coverage on site. We can have almost 200 clients connected to an AP and have over 1000 devices connected to a WLAN at any one time.
There are never any complaints about wireless speed or connectivity, it simply does what it says on the tin!
For Meru make sure you are working with a Meru partner.
I have never seen a network as reliable and predictable as my Meru network.
The number of APs required is really dependant on the radio transparency of your walls and the expected client density.
Two or three classes of iPads physically next to each other can quite happily be serviced by one AP. However if they were shared laptops trying to pull roaming profiles and interact with SMB shares a higher ap density would be required.
Every vendors' "high density with high performance" solution looks the same. Two (or three) APs in close proximity on different channels. It is actually unusual to need it in a school.
If I needed to improve wireless performance I would add a few AP's to improve signal strength on 5ghz in a couple of locations.
I suspect that 11ac is, in general, going to require higher density of AP's in order to achieve it's promise due to propagation properties of 5ghz.
Last edited by psydii; 14th June 2014 at 09:20 PM.
We've had various issues with channels interfering with each other on our HP wireless system that we've had for a few years, so the single cell feature of Meru is definitely something I'm going to try to opt for when we need to replace them...
Bill Kish on 802.11ac | Ruckus Wireless, Inc.
I'm sure I'm not miss reading his message, he doesn't seem very excited and seems to suggest its for high density areas such as conference rooms and stadia. No mention of education at all. Im not sold on AC to be honest.
No I'm not sure about AC yet, I was only confirming the quoted post about that... if you're not looking at BYOD in the next few years you may be okay without it... but it sounds like AC will future proof it more... depends what budget's available I guess...
11ac Wave 1 doesn't add much for education really.
Wave 2 will add MU-MIMO which will be a massive improvement. That's still probably a year off being release.
I don't think many vendors are too bothered about 11ac now but obviously have to release products to keep up with the game.
TheRobins (16th June 2014)
I wouldn't touch the Meru gear. The marketing is great, but performance in the real world leaves a lot to be desired.
Meru: Courthouse wireless network works 'perfectly' | Amarillo Globe-News
I would only consider three WiFi systems myself, in order of preference: Ruckus, Aerohive, or Ubiquity. If you don't have a lot of money, Ubiquity is a good option. If you have the money, go with Ruckus and never look back.
Why Your Wi-Fi Sucks And How It Can Be Helped, Part 2 - Welcome To The Wi-Fi Cage Match
Meru would have cost us £115,000 but we went ruckus for £75,000. 95 APs, two controllers, 15 HP 2920 switches, 5 year premium support.
No issues as yet, been in for the last year now.
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