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Wireless Networks Thread, Meru over Ruckus and everyone else? in Technical; Im trying to work out in what situations and environments Meru would be a better wireless solution than say a ...
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    Meru over Ruckus and everyone else?

    Im trying to work out in what situations and environments Meru would be a better wireless solution than say a Ruckus or an Aruba (or anyone else). Feel free to describe in terms of industry, type of environment, number of users, buyer perceptions or any other way you can think of it...

    Cheers,

    Tubs

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    Meru scales really well in high density situations because you can put several access points (each with it's own Gb/s link) in one room, and the whole site acts as if it were a single AP.

    It's also more expensive than Ruckus/Aruba, which are both good solutions for schools.

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    As with most things it depends heavily on your school, how its built, what your expectations are and what devices you have as to which fits your needs best. They are all leagues ahead of individual consumer grade APs hung from walls all over the place.

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    SCA(MERU) do not solve co-channel interference, you will be creating one big collision domain. Most MERU deployments will not have SCA enabled thus making the USP pointless. Why do you think no other vendors have gone down the SCA route?

    It can help greatly with VoWiFi deployments as there are no handoff times howhever you will need a pro in to get the SCA to funtion properly.

    Then what happens if the channel the APs are using has mass interference on it? Well you will need to change to another channel which may not solve your problem. You only have 3 non overlapping channels on 2.4GHz.

    Ruckus wil always be my choice of WLAN for schools.
    Adaptive RF avoids sources of interference providing the client with the most reliable connection, even in very dense environments.

    It's what Ruckus do. Perfecting WiFi

    Look at the latest TomsHardware report.

    Then speak to Net-Ctrl if you want to know more.

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    Quote Originally Posted by StuartWhite View Post
    SCA(MERU) do not solve co-channel interference, you will be creating one big collision domain. Most MERU deployments will not have SCA enabled thus making the USP pointless. Why do you think no other vendors have gone down the SCA route?
    I don't understand why Meru's system creates a single collision domain? you mean like a large broadcast domain? you can have multiple SSID's configured on multiple VLAN's if that is what you are getting at.

    I appreciate that this forum in particular has a reputation of people advocating the solutions they chose themselves, (and I am no exception, we choose Meru). I really cannot relate to the experience that you have had with Meru. If the installation is done properly (and I am no-way suggesting that your company cannot do adequate wi-fi installations) the SCA works fine, and solves the problems you describe.

    I'm not sure why 'most Meru deployments don't enable SCA' perhaps a technical deficiency with the installation company, who knows?

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    Quote Originally Posted by CyberNerd View Post
    I don't understand why Meru's system creates a single collision domain? you mean like a large broadcast domain? you can have multiple SSID's configured on multiple VLAN's if that is what you are getting at.
    Wireless signal collision rather that network collision/broadcast domain. Basiclly you have all the radios screaming away on the same channel so instead of say 5 shareing one AP on one frequency and another 5 close but using a different channel you have all 10 having to share the same bandwidth.

    It depends on all sorts of factors like the signal strength of the laptops and how much of the traffic is broadcast stationwide rather than by individual APs. It just means you need to be way more careful with setup and the system needs to be way more cleaver. TBH a multi channel system gives you way more room, its like running 4 cables instead of one (assuming just the 2.4GHz band). There is of course other stuff which complicates it like traffic handling either via a controller (Aruba) or distributed directly be the APs (Ruckus, Xirrus).

    It does get complicated which is probably why RF engineering is its own occupation let alone the additional complexity of adding the actual computer/network side.

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    Correct, wifi is CSMA/CA, only one client can transmit/receive at any one time to an AP, if a client hears a transmission from a client on another AP(same channel) it will set it's NAV timer to the duration field value and wait for the medium to become free.

    You affectively have clients and APs waiting to communicate but are being held up by other clients/AP that don't need to be holding them up.

    Just hads unnecessary conention overhead, reducing throughput.

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    Hi all,

    I would have to argue that Meru does in fact mitigate Co-Channel interference, providing the ability for channel re-use and indeed a single channel across your entire campus.

    I have yet to see a deployment NOT take advantage of the Meru Single Channel Architecture. As for requiring a Pro to visit to get things working - I'd like to understand the justification for that comment!

    Operating on a single channel is the out of the box configuration, it requires NO intervention or tweaking from the customer or installer to work. It simplifies an installation as there is no longer ANY concern over channel planning, and power adaption (so therefore potentially impacting a functional area by adding an AP).

    Meru's CTO/Founder Dr. Bharghavan has a very interesting set of videos posted on Youtube under the topic 'Dr. Bharghavan Speaks'.

    Hopefully these should be able to answer some of your questions/concerns regarding the way Meru's architecture works. It will explain the core single channel architecture, which makes advanced capabilities such as true WLAN Virtualisation possible.

    If you have any doubts or questions, please don't hesitate to get in touch - I will be more than happy to discuss further....

    Paul.

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    You can find the videos mentioned above here:Dr. Bharghavan Speaks

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    Yes they are very good and informative videos, but the fact of the matter is APs on the same channel will increase the collision domain, if care is not taken.
    Best option - adaptive RF. Not just a system that relies on channel change and Tx power changes to "avoid" interference - That's just running away from the problem, and that doesn't solve anything.

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    The care is taken by the system itself - as described by the videos.

    The beauty of the Meru solution is the ability to squeeze each channel for as much bandwidth as possible. With Meru, it is possible to provide 300Mbps datarate (using the AP300 3x3:2 MIMO AP) everywhere, on every channel without the issues associated with power and channel management.

    When you say the best option is adaptive RF, is this not part of the Meru Air Traffic Control? The ability to adjust power and CCA on a per packet, per client basis? Understanding the full RF environment, and acting accordingly - taking into consideration not just the clients associated to your AP, but all clients and AP's within an interference region (collision domain as per previous posts in the thread).

    Virtual Port on top of this, then enables the ability to take control back into the network from the client. As per the standard, the client chooses which BSSID he associates to, with Meru he is given a choice of 1, and this BSSID is then deployed onto an appropriate radio by the Meru Controller to ensure optimal performance not just for the client, but the entire network.

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    When I talk about adaptive RF I talk about adapting the physical beam of the RF patten using a smart array of antennas, not 802.11n beamforming. That will just result in a negative and positive beam of energy, that could miss the client all together.

    I suppose replacing allot of Meru systems has just taken the confidence of the respectable theory away for me.

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    I would question the use of adaptive beam-forming in a high density environment. It makes sense for reaching a greater distance - as it was designed for, and works well in a point to point configuration or as a Muni-WIFI CPE - again as its original purpose.

    In a high density environment, with say 30 devices per classroom, the use of the more directional beams is reduced, leaving a more traditional radiation pattern from the AP. This means that in these more dense environments, the additional reach is either negated - or comes at a cost of more hidden nodes and reduction of throughput.

    As for replacement of Meru hardware, I am sure that all vendors have the ability to lay claim to replacing all other vendors' equipment. After all, the marketplace has been in an upgrade phase from 11abg to 11agbn for a number of years now. I could lay claim to having lost my confidence in all other Vendor technology also.

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    This is turning into a vendor battle with both sides supporting their stocked product. Long story short the OP should ask for demonstrations of each of the systems, prefferably under usage scenarios that it will actually have to function under. This will allow them to see which system works best for their intended goals and their schools construction.

    Let the technology speak for itself under real world conditions.

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    Xirrus??? maybe have a look at this one too. In my situation it proved to be a superior solution... They do site surveys for free too...

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