Firmware Versioning and R700 Dropped Connection Problems

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I run an office with about 80-100 users (maybe 120-150 devices of laptops/phones).  I'm currently using 2 Netgear R7000s behind a pfSense device and it's OK with some slowness.  I decided to try adding a Ruckus R700 after a recommendation from a friend to see if I could replace my infrastructure with Ruckus stuff but have been very disappointed with it's performance out of the box.

Few questions:

1.  Can someone explain the versioning system to me?  I see 9.8.x, 9.9.x, 9.12.x and the 100.x line of firmware.  If I want to run the R700s behind the pfSense as routers which firmware should I be using the maximize stability?  The release notes aren't that helpful. 

2.  I've turned off SmartSelect since it was constantly jumping and dropping connections.  However, I still see behavior where all the 5G connections will just die (the router is still reachable if I jump onto a R7000 and connect to the web interface).

I've played around with some wireless configuration options (hardcoded channel, 20, 40, 80 Mhz) without any luck resolving the stability issues.  It's hard for me to believe that a $1k device can't outperform a $200 device so I'm assuming it's something on my end - would appreciate any advice or help to get these up and running.
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david.g.yang

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Posted 2 years ago

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Monnat Systems, AlphaDog

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Hi David,

I would recommend that you stick to 9.8.2.0.15 version as its a seasoned version with lots of fixes which brings in stabilty and enhanced performance.

9.8.x, 9.9.x, 9.12.x and the 100.x are various versions which your hardware supports. Years back they only had one platform or product line known as zoneflex so they had 9.8.x, 9.9.x, 9.12.x to support that. Now they have cloud platform too. keeping this mind they came up with 100.x which is interoperable with both platforms. Having said this and looking at your requirements stick to 9.8.2.0.15.
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Monnat Systems, AlphaDog

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I see multiple reasons for this issue where "5G connections will just die":

  1. I know you said that you turned off smart select however may be you just did for 2.4ghz and did not do it for 5ghz. please check it again. thanks.
  2. May be there are some DFS or RADAR detects which makes temporary outage of 5ghz connections.
Quick questions:

  • Can you please elaborate on stability issues little bit more?
  • how do you recover from this issue? do you reboot?
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david.g.yang

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Hi Monnat Systems, thanks for the quick reply and the feedback on the right version to use.  Curious what the other firmware versions are optimized for?

I'm not at the office right now so I can't test it but I'm sure that I set fixed channels for both 2.4 and 5g.  Will double check when I get in tomorrow.

I don't understand about the DFS / RADAR detects.  Are those something I would see in the logs?

As far as the questions:

- I've set up two networks (SSID and SSID5G) but in my space right now I have 2 additional APs (the Netgears).  I'll connect just one or two computers to SSID5G on the Ruckus and eventually at some point I won't be able to connect to any sites or even the pfSense router though my Wireless still shows as connected.  Then I'll switch to the Netgears and be able to login to the Ruckus' Web Admin panel.

- To recover from the problem, I'll switch the channel of the Ruckus, erase it from my laptop's wireless memory and reconnect and that'll reconnect.  Reboot also works.

Thanks!

David
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John D, AlphaDog

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The only thing I would add to what Monnat said is that I would personally run the newest 100.1 firmware or at minimum 9.8.3. The original 9.8.0/9.8.1 firmware in standalone mode FOR SURE had some 5GHz connectivity bugs (especially multicast and broadcast traffic being dropped) in standalone mode that I've posted about and had worked with Support for a while to track down. It looked like it was eventually mentioned in later release notes as a resolved errata.

Once you're using such firmware, if you still run into connectivity issues, it would help to have more details about the client type. It is very surprising that it'd take something as drastic as forgetting the network and even changing the AP channel to get the client to connect again. The R700 has been very stable for me in standalone mode too, and in fact I also migrated from the Netgear R7000 for my home office.
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david.g.yang

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I'm currently running the 100.1.0.0.194 firmware (the newest one from the downloads section) and getting these disconnects.  The client right now is the newest Macbook Pro 15" Retina with the latest 10.10.4 OS that's having the disconnect issues.

I'm going to downgrade to the 9.8.2 firmware recommended by Monnat and see if that improves things, I'm mostly hoping to optimize for stability (even the Netgear's have been mostly reliable with 60-70 clients) and I can't get stability here with 2-3 clients.

In terms of the space, we're in a open office layout and there's only a door and a single wall between me and the AP most of the time.
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John D, AlphaDog

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Yeah, that's kind of surprising, and I don't think switching down to 9.8.2 (btw, use 9.8.3 please -- 9.8.3 is a security update to 9.8.2). It might help to post / pastebin / whatever your support logs. You can get support logs from your AP's web admin console, but remember to search through for your WPA passphrase, as IIRC it's in one of the configuration sections of that log.

It'd help to know the timestamp or MAC address of the disconnecting clients.

But there must be something interesting about your setup because I've got the exact same types of clients and they behave fine.