Should I go Ruckus? I have heard plenty of good things from here and was very impressed with the webcast that I saw a couple of years ago but lately I have been hearing some worrying things. Stuff like service contracts being shortened and models being replaced effectivly dead ending software updates for the old controllers.
I'd like to hear from the Ruckus experts if this stuff is true and if so whether it is still a safe and sane choice.
I am in a school that could quite easily benifit from the unique features of Ruckus, Aruba or Xirrus but given what I have heard from here would really like to give it a go if it is still a good choice.
I've used HP for years, no major problems and their new wireless 'N' kit is pretty good.
On the shiney features list we are after, Wireless N, multiple SSIDs, band and client steering, rogue AP isolation and I am quite fond of the triangulation feature that the Ruckus kit had (this along with the beam forming is probably the features that most draw me to it).
Has anyone ever heard of Ubiquiti? I've been told they're a much cheaper alternative to Ruckus, but it could be sales spiel.
I have heard of it but it has always seemed a little rough for me, reflashing non PoE APs, single ratios, no adaptive band and client steering etc. Many of these things things may have been sorted though.
I'll address the concerns before m25man does.
Ubiquiti is not an all singing all dancing wifi solution, as doesn't offer as much as other manufacturers but then half the stuff the others offer you don't end up using so why pay for them. There is a new Wifi point coming our soon, a Pro version of the current Unifi. Which vastly improves the current offering, including gigabit uplinks etc.
I use Ubiquiti across the school, and have done for about 12 months with no problems, for a school it is perfectly good, maybe for some corperate offices of Microsoft it won't be godo enough but we aren't a corperate user we are a school, I currently have 300+ devices on my wifi and I can monitor them, see there usesage, block them if necessary. I can login 15 laptops happily in about 1 minute, it is everything you need in a wifi system for a school, there are wireless solutions companies even offering this now to schools instead of the "big" boys because it is usually about 1/4 of the price!
Thanks Achandler, that was helpful. Our main issue is that we haven't money in the budget for Ruckus, yet we need to improve our infrastructure to deal with the glut of shiny kit coming our way. Ubiquiti seems like a good alternative
Originally Posted by Achandler
Likewise, I would wait for the new gear to come out as 100MB is quite a limitation, our deployment is more immediate though and I am not onsite all the time so alot of those shiney features are the things that keep my networks running along smoothly while I'm away at other schools/asleep. Still looking foward to hearing mitigating arguments from the Ruckus crowd on how their support will continue, I don't want to be stuck with a 2 year old controller and no updates. @MarkPower @Net-Ctrl
Originally Posted by basicchannel
As with all vendors, kit that has been around a while and will go end of life. The 7942 went EoL as the cheaper and more recent 7343 and 7341 where out performing it, that just makes sense.
The ZD1000 series has gone EoL (currently bug fix support for a further 4years) since the memory was no longer sufficient for the amount of AP firmware it needed to hold. It has been replaced with the ZD1100 series. Same kit just more memory.
Even though Ruckus is our main wireless kit here at Net-Ctrl, I come from a vendor neutral point of view being qualified on the CWNP programs. With that said other vendors are doing some fantastic stuff, Aerohive from the CoOp control point, Aruba from the firewall and security point of view but Ruckus' USP is where it matters: IN THE AIR!!
Its easy to manage just like aerohive (infact even more so) and security is fully supported with 802.11i - where it matters. If you want a firewall....you have one...if you don't you should!
Using a smart adaptive array of antennas to beamform (not to be confused with chip-based .11n beamforming) the RF energy to where it is needed improves client performance drastically.
It is all about getting the highest throughput to the client as quick as possible, freeing up the medium for the next client. Its where WiFi matters and that is at the PHY.
Ruckus have fixed the problems with WiFi, the RF, at the physical layer and no one else even come close to this. Omni-Directional antennas, although work, are not optimum any more for today's explosion of iEverythings. Capacity is key for WiFi these days and Ruckus DO provide just that.
I find it interesting that a forum sponsor, who has a Ruckus dog as his icon claims to be vendor neutral and that Ruckus is just simple the best at everything. Personally I've used Ruckus from a supplier, either the installation was awful or the product was awful because it was worse then the previous mix of G points, this was 3 years ago though. I don't write Ruckus off because it may have been installation by the company that was the issue, it was so bad the wifi points set the burglar alarms off!
My problem is that a lot of wifi manufactuers charge vast somes of money for the same mass produced wifi points, then attempt to convince consumers they NEED them, like other fruit based technology firms. The problem is most people don't need beam shaping, or most of the other functions offered. I compare wifi systems to cars now, sure you spend £250,000 on a car then it will be better, have a nicer interior, won't be as bumpy and make you feel better, but that doesn't mean the car that cost £25,000 doesn't do everything you need and if your £250,000 goes is no longer "fixed" you need to make another huge investment. If your cheaper car is no longer "fixed" well you can buy the latest cheaper model and still be £200,000 to the good.
Any solution can be destroyed by a bad installation, or bad prep work.
Originally Posted by Achandler
The Ruckus solution I installed in my last school just works. Unboxed, configured and running as desired in a half hour. Access points went up and set themselves up easily too.
Achandler, the dog is there because I believe Ruckus is the best out there right now. Why not promote it.
I’m a little worried about your burglar alarm and the company the supplied the solution to you.
I’m presuming your alarm system was operating in the unlicensed 2.4GHz spectrum, they tend to give interference off as a by-product but should not be triggered by it. I’d invest in a new one.
Directing the RF to a particular location in space prevents RF blasting to a location that it is unwelcome.. the AP behind it, avoiding co-channel / adjacent channel interference.
Biggest source of interference in 90% of situations are your own APs. You may not see this if the wifi infrastructure is low capacity but start chucking clients on to it and streaming video, throwing lots of data over it. You’ll see packet loss and reduced throughputs. Prevent the interference and mitigate other sources you have improved capacity on the channel.
Before the fire i had HP. It was ok, did what it needed to...kinda....but me being a newbie to managed wireless felt i needed a qualification to managed the blooming thing!
Had fire, Ruckus installed at Hogwarts and its done the job nicely even in this old rickety building. Nice interface. It's coming back with us (with extra AP's as they have pretty much made the classrooms that were repaired into Faraday cages!).
Just for your information, as I stated earlier I believe it may have been caused by poor installation.
The problem with the burglar alarm was nothing to do with wireless burglar alarm points but if the Ruckus point was near the alarm (IR Sensor) then it set it off, if we movesd the point 1 metre to the left or right then it was fine.
We use Aruba here and its been awesome.
I don't understand the setup but I have not touched it in 3 years because it just runs. You do need a company to set it up in the first place I think.
Its incredibly fast as well and has never crashed in all that time which is amazing really :)