7982 for Bar / Restaraunt

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Looking for advice into the best quality, lowest management and 'bang per buck' AP to suite our environment. The business is a rather busy bar / restaurant / nightclub with high ceilings and a few low hanging dry wall bulkheads. Most clients are within a 250' diameter circle, and are *public* only smartphones and the occasional tablet. That is our focus - public only. Currently we have half a dozen low end Ubiquiti AP's handling the environment (typically 100-150 clients max) and performance is dismal. The Ubiquiti's can handle a few dozen clients each, but as soon as those devices start moving into the building or out of the building performance dies, or if client density gets over 30 per AP or so. Various settings on the Ubiquit's does not help (RSSI, channel power, etc), so we're looking at competiting products that can handle this environment. The 7982 has good reviews for high density and is available for less than $700 MSRP if you dig around, but I'm not familiar Ruckus. Next question is if a single 7982 in standalone without additional licenses will work (two of them worst case scenario). I am not looking for devices to frequently manage once deployed and simply want painless, deploy it and forget it functionality. Thanks
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scott eaton

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Posted 2 years ago

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Eizens Putnins

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I suppose, 1x R700 may be enough (it is same cost that 7982 and is 802.11ac), but for such setup 2-3x R500(ZF7372)  will be probably even better (as most your clients are just 1x1 MIMO). I would recommend to implement them with ZD, if you can.
You'll also see more users, when Ubiquity will be junked, probably 200+.
Actually the best way is to get one R700 (or ZF7982, if you can get it cheaper, for now there will be not much difference) and test. It will be probably anyway better than any number of Ubiquity, but you have to  check if it will be enough for you.
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Munish Dhiman, Employee

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Hi Scott, 


Bar/Restaurant /nightclub are a high demand for guest network throughout the entire premises. Well offering an valuable service and best internet access will be an add-on  to increase the client base. Similarly,  providing them the speed /access  they  want will increase the stickiness in the business. In order to achieve  it,we need to do a
planing which can make a big difference in speed , security and
 management . 

With less Management overhead  all of your access points and locations from one  location, simplifying overall management of your Wi-Fi system. Ruckus wireless can provide you an option of  cloud management.  I would suggest you to contact local sales guy and discuss with him.


Thanks
Munish  
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John D, AlphaDog

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As the others have said, Ruckus is an excellent choice and a huge step up from Ubiquiti for the kinds of environments you're describing (high density public venues)

What is your goal in terms of the speed of wifi you want to deliver your customers? Of course, one bottleneck will always be the bandwidth of your Internet pipe.

My personal recommendation is instead of buying an older model AP that might EOL soon, buy a newer AP, especially one that supports 802.11ac. You mentioned that you expect the majority of your clients are going to be smartphones and other mobile devices. These tend to be 1 or 2 spatial streams at most, so you can use an AP like R500 which is 2x2:2 and save a lot on cost -- possibly coming close to the price of the 7982 you mentioned. The 802.11AC AP's come with newer generation antennas and electronics that result in better bandwidth, even if your clients are 802.11n only. Plus, a lot of new generation smartphones do support 802.11ac Wave 1, so they will be able to take advantage of faster data rates and occupy less of your precious air time.

The 7372 is similarly a good indoor 2x2 AP, and is the 7982's little cousin. If that fits your budget more, that might be a great option too if 802.11ac is out of your price range.

Since you're cost sensitive, one last pearl of wisdom from my experience is that it's almost always more cost effective to put in multiple lower cost Ruckus AP's than one high end one. For example, if for cost reasons you are deliberating between 1 7982/R700 or 2 7372/R500, I would lean towards the latter. The incremental step up to the high end Ruckus AP's is noticeable as icing on the cake, but it will not be an improvement if it's at the expense of having a single AP struggle to cover the whole area, or having too many clients on one AP.

As far as management, I think for your usage as long as you can run ethernet to every AP, standalone will probably be fine for set-it-and-forget-it. You will need some sort of controller (e.g. a ZoneDirector) if you need to extend your network via wireless meshing or if you need more fine-grained access controls like a restricted guest network. One other benefit with a ZD is that it will cache keys for 802.11r/k fast transition, which may entice stickier clients to roam to nearby AP's more willingly and seamlessly. But again, if the trade off is between getting a ZoneDirector or another AP... you know my thoughts on that!
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scott eaton

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Hi john - thanks for the detailed response. Our goal in this environment is to provide stable, reliable connectivity to all our guests with absolute minimal wifi management. However, the the goal *is not* to provide HD streaming experience to every guest that walks in the door. This is where VARs and Solution Provider's tend to not listen to our requests and want to sell us a package of upgrades that do not meet our business needs, and in many respects conflict with them. We want to provide enough bandwidth to our guests so they can do FB updates, texting...maybe share a YouTube video. That's it. We are not a hotel.

I've been agnostic towards AC implementation because everything I read on it shows 5ghz doesn't necessarily provide an advantage over 2.4 when it comes to high density, low bandwidth per client solutions. I'll happily concede to advice contrary if it's backed up by experience. Again, we are not trying to appease high bandwidth users or some client device two years down the road. We want a functional solution that will work now and last a couple years given there will be other devices and technology to choose from.

Your 7372 advice is compelling - I'll have to take a look at that option. Any other suggestions appreciated.
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John D, AlphaDog

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Glad to be of help, Scott. Your needs sound fairly basic and I think getting some mid-grade Ruckus AP's will give you excellent bang for the buck to start off with. It doesn't sound like you need a controller right away. As far as 2.4GHz vs 5GHz, there absolutely is a huge capacity difference. 2.4GHz in most public settings tends to be overly saturated by neighbors, close range bluetooth devices (e.g. wearables, headphones, fitness bands, and so on), as well as personal hotspots your bar patrons might bring. You will greatly benefit from 5GHz, as most modern smartphones and tablets do support 5GHz and use it.

You don't, however, need 802.11ac. So I think the 7372 is the right sized N solution for you, and the R500 is the right sized AC solution, and you'll likely need more than one to comfortably cover all your guests... though one would give you a pretty good start on your network already!

From what you described, it doesn't sound like AC is strictly necessary, though if you expect a few years' of lifetime from your solution, I would personally consider getting the R500 as a way of future proofing for a bit longer. I believe the 7372 was introduced ~2 years before the R500. Its predecessor, the 7363, is already EOL and no longer receiving firmware updates. Of course, an EOL AP is not necessarily a goner -- it probably will still work for some time, but it won't be able to keep up with the latest and greatest enhancements from Ruckus, and won't be able to participate in a controller based network with a newer controller.

So yeah, my recommendation is start with standalone R500 or 7372, and then maybe consider a controller if you need more insight / rate limiting if you find users abusing your service for heavy streaming or need to institute a captive portal ToS screen.
(Edited)
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scott eaton

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Big question: In standalone configuration do the Ruckus AP's support per client bandwidth limiting? One thing nice about Ubiquiti units is I could set a limit per connection and this kept bandwidth hogs at bay. If the Ruckus units require additional controller licensing simply to support this one feature I'll likely have to go back to the drawing board from a budget standpoint.
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John D, AlphaDog

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Yes, they do! Even via the Webadmin GUI, you can go to Configure, the wlan, and then Edit Settings and set a rate limit per station, in the up and down direction independently (a station is WiFi terminology for a client, so it is what you are looking for).

EDIT -- you might be able to find a standalone AP manual online, and search up "Rate Limiting" in there. But it's not terribly exciting and  doesn't say much more than I just said :D
(Edited)