One very satisfied Ruckus user
My how time flies when you're having fun. Here we are in November already, a full 2 months after the start of the academic year, and it's only now I've really got the time to say a few words about our wireless install over the Summer. Ahhh, those long gone Summer days....
So, through initial investigations I opted to trial Netgear (an update to our existing Netgear solution and recommended to us at the time by our then managed service support team), Aerohive, and lastly Ruckus.
All three carried out some kind of site survey, and yet only C-P-Ltd, the Ruckus reseller, came back with any alteration to our existing deployment of APs. They suggested we could cover it in less than 50 APs (and hence only have to pay for a 50 client licenced ZoneDirector). Given that two other resellers were telling me it would take more than 50 APs, I did have a slight amount of reserve on whether the few Ruckus would be up to the job... but how pleased I was to be proved wrong!
We ended up doing the whole school with just over 40 APs, leaving us some in reserve to kit out one of our partner schools. I think they call that a result.
It's hard to really gauge how kit will behave in the final judgement when you go fully site-wide, when you've been trialling with a couple of demo APs in one small area. Suffice to say they all worked without any problems, so I suppose you more look at whether the management of the wireless network is set at the right level. Too basic software management, you'll feel like you're lacking control; too fiddly and you will just be lost in a sea of mostly overkill options and settings. Oh yeah, lest I forget, cost and keeping within budget loomed large over all of this!
With the option to self-install then, the Ruckus kit came in the cheapest. Not only that, but even if it had been a grand or two more than option B (Aerohive), we would probably still have gone with it. I come back again here to the management (ZoneDirector) catering to your needs. No more, no less.
Anyway, I lost count of the amount of pestering emails I sent the way of Joe at C-P-Ltd, asking for clarification when... well, I wasn't clear on something! Or when I needed the umpteenth alteration to the quote based on late information coming to me from on high in the school. All in all, a thoroughly pleasant and personable experience to deal with those highly knowledgeable guys, so they come with a big Fonz style thumbs up from me!
Gone are the bad old days of clients dropping off for no apparent reason; roaming problems; APs needing a reboot every few days; sluggish speeds on profile loads or say, a SIMS update. I'd heard it said a few times when I was researching which solution to go with, but the Ruckus kit is rock solid, just running quietly in the background without any interference from us in support. Wireless isn't something I want to have to spend my
time constantly monitoring and fussing over.
Now, we only have one outstanding issue: that of Guest access, as we can't use transparent proxy with our provider. They use Smoothwall and have told us transparent proxies are *not* allowed.
It's not urgent at present, and there is a high chance that we will be moving internet provider soon anyway and potentially gaining the ability to use transparent proxy, but if anyone does have any
helpful advice on this?... (yes I've seen the other posts relating to this but haven't been able to make anything work for us yet using wpad and pac files)