When I visited Ruckus Wireless as part of Network Field Day 5, I was rather impressed with the enthusiasm of our presenter, GT Hill, who introduced us to the WiFi market and gave us a bit of Background on Ruckus. That was great, but we’re nerds, so Sandip Patel gave us a nice presentation of 802.11ac. You can watch both of these videos, which I have embedded here. I don’t see any reason to recap what’s already in the video.
We were also given a tour of the Ruckus lab, and saw some of the devices and rooms that are used to test wireless signal strength and coverage. An interesting test was performed for us using the iPhone 5, and the results were shocking. I can’t share the results of course, but you should have been there, it was pretty interesting.
We were also given a demo kit which contained a Zone-Director and AP, specifically its a ZoneDirector 1100 and a ZoneFlex 7982 Access Point. Take a look at the stats for the AP and you’re probably be impressed with the capabilities. Using the ZoneDirector makes management easy. You also get some pretty handy stats that would be much more beneficial in a larger network, bit for my 4 Apple TV’s, Hue Lights, iPhones, iPads, and MacBooks it’s a little overkill.
Hands-on with Ruckus
Getting started with Ruckus is easy. I am familiar with the Cisco Wireless solutions, and wasn’t sure how things would be getting started. Here is a few screenshots of me poking around in the interface.
Here is the dashboard you are presented with after you log in. You can click the small “Add Widgets” link at the bottom left and add some additional widgets to the dashboard. I added the Most Active Client Devices widget and found that I am not the most active client on my network, in fact, the most active client is my Apple TV that my kids are watching in the loft.
You can of course get more details on these specific clients:
And you can see in the above image, that some of the details have been called out like the name, OS type, channel, Radio, and how much data has been transmitted to the client.
We can also monitor rouge devices as seen below. Looks like there are a few near me…..
You can see the ability to mark a rouge as known. Clicking the Mac address presents a map view that I haven’t spent any time getting to work. It’s Java based and I’m not interested in dealing with Java on my Mac right now.
The configuration page drops you initially into the System settings where you would configure the system name and additional IP settings.
Another area of the configuration I have played around with is the Guest Access. I’ve created a second WLAN, of which I believe you have have up to 16, and set up guest access to authenticate guest users and present them with a Terms-of-Use page they must agree to.
As you can see from the screenshot there is a great number of features that could be discussed, but I’ll leave those to other posts. The bottom line is that Ruckus is a solid competitor in the wireless market with a full featured solution that you might be interested in taking a serious look at.
While attending Network Field Day 5 some vendors provided delegates with test software and/or hardware. The vendors in no way have influenced the tone of this post or the viewpoint I have by providing free/demo items.