Whats the best.. Going on personal experience.
Whats the best.. Going on personal experience.
Meru is great, we are primarily wireless and have no issues. (roaming profiles and all)
Meraki looks a good fit for multisite managed deployments, I have never used it. In a head to head bake off (but not with Meru) they didn't show particularly good performance under load, however that was not a real world test, which would in reality require clients distributed across multiple APs.
A +1 for Meru here. A few teething trouble to begin with but now we have full coverage and it just does the job nicely.
We are currently trying Meru in a trial over our current Cisco Managed wireless. I have got to say that the Meru is winning hands down. We have a large number of mobile devices in such small areas, and the cisco cannot compete. We have also seen some huge throughput differences between the two wifi providers with the same devices, with Meru providing three times the throughput.
Based on your question, you have the two choices. Single cell or virtual cell? Meru and Extranet (i think this is them) are the only providers of virtual cell, all the other providers are single cell (cisco, meraki, ruckus, 3com, etc)
We have just implemented an Aerohive fully managed cloud based system and it just works flawlessly, they have some special offers on if you ask, contact LAN3 and ask for Adam Slocombe he managed the whole thing from cabling to configuration and the service was excellent.
Reason for cloud based management is that of hardware controller if it fails and the cost of that hardware controller plus another as a failsafe unit is quite expensive.
AP's are easy fitted and POE and also fairly cheap and as I have mentioned they have had some cracking deals on lately, they also offer free training at their centre over 2 days which is fantastic all you require is hotel room for 2 nights and travel.
I did look at Meraki before Cisco bought them out and they too have a decent offering in comparison but pleased we went down the Aerohive route.
BTW we are a middle sized secondary school.
Just to add to bossman's comments. We're also evaluating wireless network, we're looking at ruckus, aerohive and meru. Aerohive does have some really good features i must say. Regarding the cloud management, you can also have virtual appliance if you have visualization is in place at your establishment. I'm not sure how much traffic (wan) is required for the cloud controller to manage the APs with aerohive but i guess it would be minimal since all the config is on the ap.
Who has had a wireless controller fail? I don't want to ruin my week so I'm not going to answer my own question.
I have had a number of controller based wireless networks over the last 10 years. I have never had more than one controller on site, initially because of cost. Sometime becuase the DISTRIBUTER (not the reseller or the OEM) has said "don't buy a second one, the chances are that it wont fail, and we've always got enough stock to ship you one same day if you give us a call"
However the subtext to that conversation was "buy more APs" :)
Another vote for UniFi... it just works! There is no hardware controller. Just a service that can run on Windows/Linux/OS X, we have ours running on a Windows virtual server. You can run it on the cloud such as on the Amazon cloud services. Many of the features of the UniFi system work even when the controller isn't running, including zero handoff.
I have several sites running Hosted Unifi on AWS, the cost is staggering... A massive 40p a month for traffic.
I'm so disgusted, I'm off to spend £20k on another popular brand name system as its clearly obvious that spending five or even six figures is the only way to get decent Wifi in system and its not my money anyway so why should I care.
Only joking... +1 Unifi , if Carlsberg made Wifi Im sure it would have a glowing LED ring in the middle.
We have Meru - it needed a bit of tweaking initially because of interference etc but now it just works
My other school has Ruckus - which just works..
Depends on your situation.
Meraki is extremely good for BYOD or multi-site environments due to the features of the cloud controller. It's radio performance is not quite as good as something like Meru or Ruckus, but it's close.
You don't say whether you are considering other brands or whether it is just between those two. If you haven't had quotes already, you will probably find that Meru is considerably more expensive than Meraki.
Others have mentioned UniFi: I tested it here a year ago and the radio performance was excellent. However, the software controller (at least then) was lagging behind other enterprise wireless solutions. A year ago it didn't even have an out-of-the-box guest portal, which was a deal breaker for us. It may be there in the latest version. UniFi is a great value choice if your needs are simple, but it's not right for all schools.
Ultimately, my advice is to get hold of trial kit for each brand you are considering and put it through its paces in your environment.
Hi, Where can we trial 'UniFi' units.. or even buy one?
<cough> Ruckus </cough>