Wireless Networks Thread, Meraki vs Ruckus in Technical; My thoughts as it stands now...
- Meraki I think, an unproven (in UK education at least) solution with higher ...
5th October 2010, 11:12 AM #46
My thoughts as it stands now...
- Meraki I think, an unproven (in UK education at least) solution with higher ongoing costs that means we either have to commit for 3 years straight off or risk price rises in future
- Aruba sounds pretty good, waiting on the pricing
- Aerohive was mentioned by the reseller doing the Meraki but they reckon costs more than Meraki so that's out
- Meru, pricey so that's out
- HP, seems to be a solution that's been passed around a bit now and seems more clunky than Ruckus?
Ruckus I think has it, the software as a service wireless doesn't really make a lot of sense as it stands as the costs end up as much (if not more) than the hardware solutions! If the APs were like £200 paying over the long term for the controller software might add up but as it stands there seems to be no cost savings associated with the cloud model imo...
Ruckus is coming in a shade under 5k for 10 APs, pretty good going for a wireless-N managed solution I'd say
5th October 2010, 11:16 AM #47
Get in contact with a Ruckus Reseller and get a demo kit maybe?
I worked extensively with Net-Ctrl and can heartily recommend them, and IMHO once you've used the Ruckus gear in anger you'll see why so many of us on here are total fanboys. We did access point surveys with bluesocket gear and when we put the ruckus gear in it was simply astounding.
and the stability of the gear, well I've never seen the like in a wireless product - all down to the snazzy aerial setup and managed client tracking.
But, like I say, the proof is in the pudding - why not try it?
5th October 2010, 11:34 AM #48
Aerohive will be no more expensive than Ruckus - £425 (in my experience) per AP and no controller to boot. You don't have to have it as SaaS, they do VMware and hardware versions of the HiveManager NMS. Support is the only ongoing cost as it is with any vendor. Moreover there's no licensing required for firewall, WIPS, Voice etc as there are with many controller vendors. They also have a neat feature called Teacherview which allows the teacher to control the clients in their class, turn wireless on and off, check what they're browsing and redirect them to web pages etc. Again, it's included in the price.
Ruckus beamforming is good, but is it really a necessity in schools where you're generally in the same room or next door to the AP. Currently this proprietory beamforming, soon standardised beamforming will become available which uses an entirely different chipset and antennas curently in development.
I understand you can get demo kit from Aerohive, free of charge. Most vendors will do this, you need to try a few and see what fits best.
5th October 2010, 12:14 PM #49
But how far in the future is that? I think at the moment we want a proven system that we can see being successful in other educational environments and with Aerohive and Meraki they seem to be in the early adopter stage as far as I can tell?
Originally Posted by Wes
5th October 2010, 12:55 PM #50
Meraki, certainly. There case studies tend to be very focused on guest wireless hotspots. Aerohive is up and running in the UK, the last year has really taken off for them. They have good case studies on their webiste.
Originally Posted by gshaw
Last edited by Domino; 5th October 2010 at 01:24 PM.
7th October 2010, 05:19 PM #51
From Meraki's website:
So authenticated users are okay it would seem but any new users will not be able to authenticate. So it would be problematic in education with classes changing every hour or so.
Stand-alone mode: Should your network ever be unable to communicate with Merakiís Data Centers, your network will continue to provide basic service to your customers. Network management and user authorization capability resume automatically as soon as the connection is restored.
I know a certain LEA which have chosen Aerohive's wireless solution for all their BSF schools (these ones are built already!) because every student will use a laptop, day in day out. So you could have 900 students all wishing to authenticate at 9am. Aerohive can handle this as authentication is done at the AP, not via wireless controllers. Meraki would want to push all this traffic out through the internet and therefore through the core, to their servers. Every solution has it's place, I believe Meraki has some merits for sure.
7th October 2010, 05:22 PM #52
What happens if the internet goes down and the access point can't access the cloud controller?
7th October 2010, 06:25 PM #53
Channel and power optimisation requires constant updates from the cloud controller though right? So no internet, no auto RF/auto power?
10th October 2010, 07:43 PM #54
- Rep Power
Meraki's solution is so feature-poor that it's a poor fit for a school of any size. No directory integration, no fast/secure roaming (called Opportunistic Key Caching), no policy (QoS, Firewall, etc) enforcement at the edge (in the AP), etc. Ruckus's solution is OK for mid-market, but for an enterprise, it too is feature-poor (some of the same issues as Meraki). Ruckus's beamforming causes the AP to be a downlink hidden node, which tanks throughput in dense client environments such as schools. Additionally, it's downlink range is cut approximately in half when data starts flowing due to them having to use omni antennas for reception (uplink). In 802.11 (Wi-Fi), you never know where the next transmission is going to come from, so you can't listen in any given direction. That means that they are constrained by their omni antennas. Their system is designed for downlink video delivery in the home, and for that, it's excellent. In the enterprise, where bandwidth use is symmetrical, it's extremely hard to perform a good survey and to get any more range than any other platform in the market. Aerohive's platform is a feature-rich as any on the market today, focusing on K-12 and universities. Our platform is free to try at aerohive.com/demo and aerohive.com/planner Note that Aerohive focuses on high client density, directory integration (AD, eDir, OD, and LDAP), and has integrated RADIUS so that you don't have to buy and maintain a RADIUS infrastructure. With no controller in the mix and no feature licenses, Aerohive is a perfect fit for education.
10th October 2010, 09:04 PM #55
How perculier. Many of our members have Ruckus (and indeed Meru + others) installs and ono have reported anythign like the issues you seem to describing. I'm sure after several years of Ruckus deployments we would have heard about it. You arn't an Aerohove reseller are you by anychance? I'll give you 24 hours to clarify the situaltion before dealign with your post as it is part of our policy not to allow unsubstanciated comment.
Originally Posted by DevinAkin
11th October 2010, 12:16 AM #56
- Rep Power
This is definitely not unsubstantiated, as I have done this testing myself over the last couple of months and have recently (this week) spoken to Motorola's QA dept who substantiated exactly the same. I work for Aerohive as Chief Wi-Fi Architect. Aerohive Networks, Inc. | Company | Management Team
Here is a case study (with associated press release) where customers chose Aerohive over Ruckus in particular in a K-12 environment:
Aerohive Networks, Inc. | Resources | Case Studies
Aerohive Networks, Inc. | Company | Press and Events | Press Releases
Ruckus's system is designed for in-home, downlink streaming video deployments, and they play quite nicely there. They have stated many times that they are focused on the carrier market who sells into the home and not focused on the enterprise market. Meraki is, in fact, aiming to be an SMB player, but not just in Wi-Fi. Instead of working toward large enterprise Wi-Fi, they are going toward cloud management of SMB Wi-Fi, SMB Ethernet, and other SMB plays. This came directly from their management staff to someone we hired who had interviewed with Meraki. Thanks.
11th October 2010, 09:03 AM #57
Hmm... Aerohive employee promoting Aerohive and saying the competition isn't much cop, providing Aerohive documents as evidence. How unbiased is that?
11th October 2010, 09:44 AM #58
No company would ever release a case study that didn't end up with the customer choosing said companies product so thats just smoke and mirrors.
12th October 2010, 04:23 PM #59
Hmmm this thread is becoming an epic battle of suppliers! It does strike me now as each supplier dropping in lots of wireless tech jargon but not so convinced about the real world implications of a lot of it, in theory based on what each have said about the others no-one would have a working wi-fi deployment at the moment!
Signed up for that Meraki webinar, might as well, got nothing to lose by having a look I guess...
12th October 2010, 04:33 PM #60
You hit the nail on the head. You should demo as many as possible. They will all do a job, some better than others. Which one fits comes down to many factors including cost, deployment scale, your requirement, your RF environment etc. But you can't deny, not having a controller to limit scalbility, pay for, support and license is a massive bonus. They will all demo for free.
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