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Wireless Networks Thread, Meru VS Ruckus in Technical; Hi All Just looking for some views/general opinions. I am in the final stages of decided between the 2 following ...
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    TheRobins's Avatar
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    Meru VS Ruckus

    Hi All

    Just looking for some views/general opinions.

    I am in the final stages of decided between the 2 following wireless systems.

    Meru AC Wireless, 20 AP's, Physical Controller (no VMware for virtual controller)

    Or

    Ruckus System, 18APS, Physical Controller. B/G/N.

    Of course we have to decide between Going for N or AC. At the moment we have no AC compatible devices, only a medium sized schools and there are no plans for BYOD.

    If you are running any of these systems I wonder if you have come across any issues or concerns

    Thanks.

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    Joanne's Avatar
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    Ruckus - signal quality is excellent and it just works out of the box. I loves it!

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    stevenlong1985 (16th June 2014)

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    nephilim's Avatar
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    Suggest looking at AC. It may be more expensive, but its backwards compatible with all other techs, and works out the box. I love Ruckus and where possible, will get it installed where I work.

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    EvLPhenom's Avatar
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    I am in a similar boat, i have had a Meru salesman come out and also a retailer that supplies it, i have to say i was very impressed with the whole setup and how it works. I am just awaiting a price for it now though.

    As for Ruckus i look after a school that has that and never had a problem with it and also my old school had a big deployment for site wireless and it never really caused many problems. There were a couple of rooms/areas with black spots but apart from that pretty robust. Would be interesting to see what everyone else has to say about it.

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    TheRobins's Avatar
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    Thanks Both

    I have heard both to be honest. There is an "issue" with Meru which all ruckus re-sellers seem to push, that all traffic has to pass through the controller.

    I personally think for me it will come down to price, however the active antenna's in the Ruckus gear seems very smart technology, similarly the single AP design of Meru has massive benefits.

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    TheScarfedOne's Avatar
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    Removed older meru system and replaced with ruckus. Issues reported with wireless dropped to zero!

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    I moved from Meru to Ruckus a few years back during a School Rebuild.

    We had nothing but trouble with the Meru, I found the management setup very complicated and just couldn't get our Toshiba L500's (realtek WLAN Cards) to sit happily on it. Turns out it was a conflict with the Card and Meru at the time, but it really put me off.

    Ruckus on the other hand has been rock solid, easy to set up and manage, fewer AP's and have the option to turn on or off tunnelling mode (sending all wireless traffic through the controller), which at the time you couldn't turn off on the Meru. I don't know about you, but I wanted my traffic to go straight where it was intended, not forced down a single 1Gbps connection and backup to get to the server, then back down and up again to the client. if everything else worked fine, this would still of put me off... something to check

    We currently have a RADIUS authenticated WLAN for the main school laptops (everything run from AD, GP, RADIUS etc), and separate isolated WLANs for Teacher iPads, School Tablets, Staff BYOD (auth via AD) and a Guest WLAN that pipes straight out to the Internet. Nice and easy to setup, just works...

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheRobins View Post
    I have heard both to be honest. There is an "issue" with Meru which all ruckus re-sellers seem to push, that all traffic has to pass through the controller.
    Really? Why would it have to do that?

    We have MERU currently about 70 access points which will rise to over 100 after the summer. It seems to work well for us for - probably up to 500 concurrent connections at the moment with another 250 to be added soon. I'd need to check traffic to the controller but I'd be quite surprised if the 'all traffic via controller' is true.

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    smithson83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheRobins View Post
    I have heard both to be honest. There is an "issue" with Meru which all ruckus re-sellers seem to push, that all traffic has to pass through the controller.
    If that is STILL the case and you can't turn it off, I'd personally stay clear [Someone correct me if I'm wrong], say you have 10 AP's connected at 1Gbps to your core, each AP has 10 clients on it that's 100 clients suddenly dropping from 100Mbps throughput to 10Mbps (providing your getting a full 1Gbps up and down from the controller).

    and if you had 30 clients they are dropping from 33Mbps to 3Mbps. I know the math is rudimentary and load balancing across multiple AP's would take out some of that, but the whole premise just seems ridiculous to me.

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    nephilim's Avatar
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    Wireless Research.docx

    Here is my old research material which may be of use. I did this in December 2008 - March 2009. Was a reasonable test, and covered what we needed. We had to keep the format the same for each "review" so the governors could see our decision easily enough.

  12. 2 Thanks to nephilim:

    madurham (26th June 2014), TheRobins (14th June 2014)

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    smithson83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pcstru View Post
    Really? Why would it have to do that? ... I'd need to check traffic to the controller but I'd be quite surprised if the 'all traffic via controller' is true.
    That was exactly my response when I discovered it, but at the time, you couldn't turn it off. I was told it was due to the Virtual Cell nature of the WLAN.

    It would be interesting to know if they went away from that approach, as I was told it wasn't a possibility by Meru themselves.
    Last edited by smithson83; 13th June 2014 at 04:06 PM.

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    TheRobins (14th June 2014)

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    Having done a bit more reading, MERU can operate AP's in either tunnel or bridged mode. Our controller has 5 ports, one of which is for management so 4Gbs available for traffic (if need be). I can see if you want to do sophisticated traffic shaping that routing through a central controller would be effective. It's also easy to start thinking 1Gbs is not a lot (probably because of the 1 :-) ) but most of those devices want to suck data from our 100Mbs internet pipe and we don't (quite) yet see that saturating.

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    TheRobins (14th June 2014)

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    TheRobins's Avatar
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    Very interesting points all of which I have thought about.

    From what I can gather, As Soon as I have spoken to anyone competing against Meru they pipe up straight away and say about the controller traffic "issue" word of which I use very lightly.

    Anyway, You are right what is the chance of you using all 2GB at any one time. I have around 190 devices which will not all be on at the same time and I could envisage another 100 other "guest or BYOD" devices. But, if you think about it I personally use WSUS, and a few remote apps. Class switches on 10 laptops, 200MB of WSUS updates just pushed out, sophos updates, and other things which happen such as printer drivers. Add say another 40 devices across the school doing the same thing and suddenly that 2GB could become saturated. I have 10Gb connectivity to servers as well. Meru now offer a virtual controller which could sit on our servers 10GB connections, however I do not have VMWARE or any VM's as I am rebuilding a whole network, and they only support VMWare. However their seamless AP transition is something that really interests me personally.

    However looking at a few responses so far and the threads I have been looking through on here, Ruckus seems to work out of the box and ceases most wireless related support calls and they seem to be able to cover areas with less AP's

    Meru seem to be leading with AC at the moment, but do I really envisage AC being 100% necessary in 3 years, No but i'm sure we all said that when Draft N came in. Have the Ruckus pricing in just waiting for the Meru pricing, I can see it all coming down to cost. At the end of the day I'm sure both systems would work well else they wouldnt be a big in schools as they are now.

    Thanks all for the replies.

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    witch's Avatar
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    Have Ruckus in one school - no issues ever - love it
    Have Meru in the other school - would have been a lot more expensive but was on special offer.
    Has been OK but not as good - eg netbooks take a lot longer to log on to the Meru than Ruckus

  19. Thanks to witch from:

    TheRobins (14th June 2014)

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    We user Ruckus in one of the schools I work at and it's a really reliable system. However we've also had great success with Ubiquity - software based controller, cool UFO shaped APs and much cheaper than the other two.

  21. 2 Thanks to gavins38:

    Out_of_Sync (21st July 2014), TheRobins (14th June 2014)

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