You are certainly looking at Ruckus at the right time- for the rest of 2012 Ruckus are offering some spectacular educational discounts offering cracking value:
CP Ltd Ruckus Top Dog Edu Bundles
We can also provide site surveys and demo hardware if you'd like to assess the product set.
I have used and would recommend you speak to Mark or Aggy over at Net Ctrl :) have used Ruckus Wireless in a few new WIFI Deployments now and they have always been great people to work with!
Sorry if this post is considered to be a hijack but I am in the position of choosing a first proper wireless network for use at our 1950s built long thin school with 12 classrooms where 4 are on the first floor.
I have had a ballpark quote for a Meru system but have been reading good things on here and elsewhere about UniFi and the much lower cost is certainly appealing.
I am intrigued by the fact that all the suggestions so far for the OP are for two of the established names...is UniFi not a match for these or are there so few users that they have not seen the post yet?
I tried Meru and Ruckus before deciding on Ruckus. Its easier to set up and use, less expensive, and the coverage and throughput was slightly better. People are recommending Ruckus because it works well!
I dont know how urgent your need for a new wireless system is, but we have decided to wait another year before upgrading ours due to the new standard emerging at the moment.
IEEE 802.11ac - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
We are essentially thinking along the lines of why spend £15K this year on a system that will be outdated next year. I know not everyone will agree with me and it will probably come with its own issues, but might be worth taking into account.
I guess we are kind of lucky as we dont have that many wireless devices yet (although we are getting more each year), so we can survive for another year or two with what we have.
We used @CPLTD - awesome service (as usual) and mark knows his stuff.
Never had any issues but CP provide great support if you do have an issue.
+1 for Switchshop. They have a Meru expert who knows the system inside out.
Originally Posted by CyberNerd
We inherited an Extricom system and found the product to be severely lacking on features and performance, especially for the price. Coverage is about half of a traditional access point in the US (assuming radio power is lacking despite set to full). A standard SOHO Linksys in the US will provide double the coverage range as one of Extricom's higher end "access points." The initial price was very expensive considering the 1:1 radio/switchport on their controller as well as outrageous cascading software costs (~$10k USD) to allow two of their controllers to talk to each other which is needed if you require more access points than a single controller can provide for due to port density (max 16) or distance. And recurring annual costs of 10% MSRP on all hardware for support and warranty is more expensive than going with a cloud based controller+licensing. Their "access points" are more expensive than comparable products and they have no inner smarts. They are simply radios at the end of an Ethernet cable, yet they charge more than the competition for their access points. The whole setup becomes very expensive, very quickly. That coupled with the fact that it is a single-channel architecture that does not come with packet management by default (TrueReuse) and requires an additional fee as well. I wish I could say they "nickel and dime" you for everything, but that would imply small fees for everything that adds up quickly. These are large fees that make the product outrageously priced for the features/performance you get. We wouldn't mind paying a premium for a system if it actually worked well. We recently received a bid from Extricom for three sites using a 2x2 access points and TCO over 5 years was triple that of a Cisco system with their top of the line 3602i (4x4) access points w/ CleanAir licenses (same # of APs as Extricom bid).
Originally Posted by FN-GM
For a single channel architecture Meru is really the only way to go as far as I'm concerned. It is a more mature platform. Extricom is just ridiculously priced. The controller works out to cost roughly $450 USD per port (AP) and each AP is roughly $900 USD. When you work out the annual license agreement it works out to be about $700 USD per controller (max 16 ports) and an additional $90 per access point. And because of the weak coverage you need more access points than you normally would have. To put the costs into perspective, with a cloud based system like Meraki you would pay $45 a year (5 year EDU plan) and not have to outlay any up front costs on controllers/software. This includes tech support, 365 next day replacement, cloud based controller, and all licenses. It also trumps Extricom in performance by leaps and bounds. Extricom has been around the block for a while now (founded in 2002, sales went out 2005), but they still operate as a loosely managed startup that has been unable to penetrate the market at any capacity. This is no accident and it shows in their product development. By comparison in this thread, Ruckus was founded in 2004, two years after Extricom. Yet, no one would consider Ruckus to be a startup, nor does the company behave like one in their sales, R&D and product progression. Extricom is Meru's only real competition in the single-channel market and I would hardly consider them a real threat. Meru is the only single channel product that has the engineers and vision to make a competitive product in the enterprise wireless marketplace.
Word of caution re 1950's builds: In my experience the walls are very opaque at 2.4 and 5ghz and be aware that Asbestos might inflate the costs somewhat.
If someone has put a metal roof over the top (as happen a bit in the late nineties) then you might be lucky and be able to site you radios above the walls and use the roof to bounce the signal into more rooms.
Final point: I was trying to source some kit to do some spectrum and wifi analysis and found myself having a really great chat with a guy from LEVER::Mobile and Wireless Solutions, Telecoms Training, WiFi Consultants, WiFi Survey and Installation, Cisco Wireless, Aruba, Meru Wireless, Ruckus, Aerohive, Motorola Wireless, Xirrus, AirTight, Voice over WiFi WLAN, VoIP, SIP, IPv6. I have no idea what their charges are like, but the are very knowledgeable about a number of vendors and their suitability in specific scenarios.
Really my final point: IMHO it will be three years before you see reliable enterprise ready 11ac. If you've go the money now, go for n and match your mimo to the capabilities of your client base (with an eye to the spec for next year's devices). By the time you've got enough 11ac devices to make it worthwhile having an ac infrastructure, the kit will probably only just have started working properly and the next standard with be 18 months away. However you will have saved money, and delivered a good wireless network in the interim. I know of places that wish the still had their 11a/g infrastructure following an ill advised rip and replace programme moved them to n before the silicon was ready.
Thanks for all the input guys, we have had a few quotes, Network IT 24 were by far the best value and they have installed a demo kit for us!:cool:
Its working great so far! and no complaints from staff so far, So I think we will be going with them...
Ive heard xirrus work well in open spaces such as stadiums and what not. Im trailing ruckus, doing my own site survey, first with one ap in set locations then deploying 3 out into strategic areas then doing another test. Going well so far and testing down to about -70 to -75. So far, it just works
Yes, It Just works!
No annoying restarts, changing of settings, trying to move closer to the AP's!
Ruckus stuff is just great!
Network IT 24 were excellent too!
Cant recommend them enough!
My old school got the Aerohive solution from LAN3 - and they were awesome, delivered an awesome system, and we never looked back!
Quick update! Ruckus has been great, no issues what so ever!
Can handle any amount of RM Netbooks, iPad minis and old dell laptops we throw at it!
Great stuff! Much better than the old system we had!
Our partner school is scrapping there Meru system and going for exactly the same system as us now! 7982 Ap's with a ZD3000 Controller!!!
I've just changed jobs after 13 years at the same place. We had Meru there provided under BSF and had no end of problems. Meru did send engineers out to get it working however we have had 2 APs fail in the last 12 months and no response when we have requested compatibility information on NICs. Compatibility and configuration of NICs was the cause of the problems we experienced. We had 120 APs installed to provide almost blanket coverage.
My new job has a Ruckus system in place. It's a much larger site with a mix of 1800-1900s buildings and has 40 7982 APs providing almost blanket coverage to very heavy bandwidth users.