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8 Messages

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186 Points

Wed, May 16, 2018 6:14 PM

Answered

To cloud or not to cloud the Zone Director?

Our ZD1100 and Aps are end of life. We are evaluating the refresh routes. The question we have is what are the pros and cons of using a virtual appliance zone director on-prem vs the cloud service?
Any input is greatly appreciated, thanks.

Responses

66 Messages

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1.2K Points

3 years ago

I tried Unleashed vs. ZoneDirector.  Unleashed was fine, but I felt like I was crippled from the ZD options.  Sorry I cannot provide more info. as it's been awhile and I forget the details.  I think if I had maybe 3-5 AP's I'd look more seriously at Unleashed.  I'll also share that I moved to the zd1200 a couple years ago from an zd1100, the 1200 is much quicker and has less finicky issues.... could be code maturity but I'm guessing that newer faster hardware had lent a hand in performance and NO issues.  My ZD1200's have been up for over a year with no issues, code 9.12 & 14 AP's.

8 Messages

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186 Points

Thanks for sharing

60 Messages

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1.1K Points

3 years ago

What's a ballpark price on the "virtual appliance" ZD?  We have 4 sites with physical ZDs and at some point it would make sense to consolidate.  I imagine one advantage with something self-hosted is that you're not locked into paying a monthly fee in perpetuity...  that's why we left Meraki.

66 Messages

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1.2K Points

@Bway NOC,

Don't mean to jack the topic but, it looks like I'm being forced into Meraki at my next refresh later this year.  I've demo'ed the equipment and the higher end units seem to perform ok.  I don't like the delay that cloud management brings when trying to make config. changes quickly but that's the biggest complaint I had other than the cost.  Any advice or thoughts about Meraki?
Thanks

8 Messages

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186 Points

Thanks for sharing. I have not checked out anybody else for long time since Ruckus performed great for us since 2013. So we thought we stick with them. 

8 Messages

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186 Points

Thanks for sharing

60 Messages

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1.1K Points

My really quick analysis - we are in a very high noise environment, and we found the RF portion of the Ruckus gear outperformed Meraki.  Where Meraki really shines compared to Ruckus + ZD is logs and analysis.  In a coworking space with a hundred people or so, it was so easy to troubleshoot with the Meraki gear - the logging was wonderful.  With the ZD, we really can only see things in real time and by the time the ticket comes to us, the user is gone and we have no data.

Both of these pros/cons are very specific to us though...

66 Messages

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1.2K Points

Thanks for the info.  I setup syslog for my ZoneDirector, so I can collect some of this info and review in after the fact.  Also if you know the AP in question there's some additional log history that can be found if under monitor you go to "AP's" and then under actions you can click on "system info" & "RF info".

824 Messages

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13.2K Points

3 years ago

said
reading your OP, i am not able to make out what are your current challenges (cost/architecture/) and what is your deployment type & ur expectations if u put some light on that, one can stich a solution based on various product line and then it would make sense for pro/cons discussion...that would really add value to your decision making process ...my 50 cents..

8 Messages

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186 Points

We have a zone director 1100 and ZF7372 access points. All are flagged End Of Life.
We would like to refresh our hardware. We were told we had the option between an on-prem virtual zone director and a cloud based. So the question I had is: what are the pros and cons of each to help us make an educated choice.

12 Messages

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250 Points

I have the same question. I'm looking to move offices and have an opportunity to change the setup. Current office is using a ZD1200 and 5 R710s. For variety of reasons I have a second office site which uses R510 Unleashed. There is also the option to use Cloud Ruckus. So I would also be interested to understand answers to:

- Tradeoffs of dedicated controller (ZD1200) vs Unleashed vs Cloud Ruckus

Things like the following seems to come to mind:

- overall performance of APs and any issues with latency of comms to master node (controller, Unleashed master or cloud)
- differences in resiliency - how do the options deal with failures of the APs, the controller or connectivity to Internet in case of cloud. Do they continue to operate? How do they recover?
- Licensing and costs of operation

Had good experience with ZD1200 and Unleashed appears to be working well. 
Brand User

Former Employee

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2.6K Messages

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44.8K Points

Hello and great conversation topic.

All three options ZoneDirector local or central-office based, Unleashed, and Cloud Wi-Fi are designed to be flexible to our customer needs per the size of your home/business and the network architecture (ie Unleashed is single LAN), versus multiple site support.  SmartZone and virtual SmartZone add even more possible deployment options.  Licensing is available for min/max number of access points.

Our 802.11ac Wave 1 and Wave 2 APs are all still in future support plans, only legacy model b/g/a/n only APs, which lack the hw/mem to support newer features/functions have been "retired".
[ Said, you have the option of using ZD1100/7372 APs on last release code for a couple more years... but updating your hw is "recommended" for future support. ]

The ZD3000/ZD1200 appliances offer great centralized wifi network management, and all the features/functions that we've been migrating to the SmartZone platform, which is our future facing OS.

The Cloud platform is a little different, where Customers don't have direct SSH/WebUI to the controllers or AP for CLI commands.  This platform has a different look/feel for monitoring/event reporting/etc.

Regarding Resiliency, ZD/SZ managed APs that lose network connectivity willl attempt to reconnect and have a Recovery mode if Mesh APs get stranded. They will continue to provide local network resources (printers, etc) on a PSK WLAN, but need AAA/RADIUS or WebAuth to go thru the controller (down if WAN not working).

The Unleashed platform is designed for Member APs to take over Master AP functions (except if used in Gateway mode, when manual replacement would be necessary).

We invite customers considering the migration from older ZD/AP platforms to contact their local VAR or Ruckus systems engineers for more specific design assistance.
Brand User

Former Employee

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2.6K Messages

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44.8K Points

Hi Edward,

   Further to your 2 site deployments, you could add licences to your ZD1200, and manage the R710/R510
APs at both sites thru two different AP groups (and possibly/probably 2 different WLAN groups on each). 
You could also convert the APs at both sites to Unleashed, and use a Management IP address, that you
setup a port forward for thru your WAN router (so you can access the Unleashed admin login from remote
locations). And you could also put Unleashed on the APs, define their serial numbers under two different site
Venues in our Cloud Wi-Fi, reboot them and viola, you have two Venues that have your APs in two sites, with
our Cloud monitoring/management look and feel.  Your AP models would meet any platform you prefer to use.

- Michael

12 Messages

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250 Points

Michael

Thanks. Interesting information. Some questions that don't seem to be answered:

- If ZD1200 (single unit not pair) goes down, my understanding is that APs stop processing so ZD has weakness in this config that could full outage.
- If above true then why use pair of ZD1200 instead of Unleashed within a single site. Sounds like APs would self elect replacement master (and have seen this work in real envirionment). How does ZD add value.... for small deployments or is it mainly targeted at larger deployments?
- I have full connectivity between my sites so could connect to ZD1200. However from description above, suggests that that two standalone Unleashed networks works and one could manage remotely. Drawback being no centralised oversight or control.
- Not sure I see what Cloud adds in the this scenario. Sounds like it is more focused for remote management in large deployments (multi-site venies). Correct?

Looking for:
- site independence so that connectivity, power outages, etc in one location cause service outages elsewhere (issue if using single ZD in one to control across many sites)
- ideally some oversight across site configs so whether this is Cloud or some form of Unleashed multi-site management tool. Oversight here really meaning metrics, config auditing, operational control.

1 Message

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60 Points

2 years ago

Very informative forum... Thank you.

Evan

1 Message

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62 Points

2 years ago

"The Cloud platform is a little different, where Customers don't have direct SSH/WebUI to the controllers or AP for CLI commands.  This platform has a different look/feel for monitoring/event reporting/etc."

Michael,
Does this mean limited control over operations/optimizations compared to ZD in some ways?

Soheyb
Brand User

Former Employee

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2.6K Messages

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44.8K Points

Only that you cannot directly contact your APs via SSH like you may have done under other than our Cloud Wi-Fi platform.

32 Messages

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590 Points

Here's a real-world example... Some guest wifi portals ask for a config change that is currently set via ssh.  What would the equivalent of this be when using the cloud-hosted version?

enable
config
no hotspot_redirect_https
wlan "Guest Wi-Fi"
called-station-id-type ap-mac
end