Leave single R500 Stand Alone or convert to Unleashed

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  • Updated 4 years ago

I have a single R500 AP and probably will not need to add another at any time. Just wondering if there are any performance advantages to making this an Unleashed AP?

Another similar question - with a single AP would there be any performance enhancements with a zone director? In other words, am I still getting all of the Ruckus tech like beam forming, and band steering with just the single AP or is the zone director required to unlock those?

Sorry - noob to Ruckus
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Sean McNeal

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Posted 5 years ago

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Andrea Coppini, Employee

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The performance is all there - BeamFlex is a hardware technology built into the APs so it is the same whichever management platform you use - however Unleashed will give you more functionality even on just one AP without impacting performance.
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William Burnett

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More Functionality?

Where? Maybe the guest services (poorly implemented at this point).

. It is insanity to not be able to select or create SSIDS per radio... in fact it is laughable that somebody made the decision that this feature should not be included in a SMB product, where it is needed the most. So we either fully disable 2.4 and cripple some clients, or allow it, knowing MOST devices will see it and connect to it first. So take the typical SMB installation, 1 or 2 APs in a building with numerous tenants and dozens of other WLANS. 2.4 1, 6 and 11 are jammed to the hilt with a SNR so poor that they are barely usable. Yet, you need to keep a 2.4 WLAN running so that older devices can connect if need be. You also want to create a 5GHz WLAN so that you can find some free air space for the bulk of your client connections...

This is the norm, not the special case, yet UNLEASHED does not accommodate this scenario... but it sure does have pretty graphics. Doesn't anybody consider real world use before pretty GUIs and half baked features?

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John D, AlphaDog

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Yeah I could see going either way. The performance due to RF technology is all there whether you use Unleashed or Standalone.

Standalone has a couple features that Unleashed doesn't (or can't) have, including being able to define private subnets and perform NAT, and very fine grained control over the SSID(s) on 2.4GHz vs 5GHz if you want per-band SSIDs.

If you don't need any of those features, then I think Unleashed is a better choice overall. It's much easier to find the admin panel with unleashed.ruckuswireless.com. It shows information in a more meaningful manner including having Application Layer Visibility. And it also supports 802.11r/k fast transition (since you have a single AP, you'd just be roaming between 2.4GHz and 5GHz, but it's nonetheless helpful).
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Daniel M

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In an environment where I had a single standalone AP, I found Unleashed improved everything overall after the upgrade (for one specific example, a couple clients occasionally had issues maintaining connectivity and the issue immediately went away after upgrading).

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Monnat Systems, AlphaDog

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Unleashed AP and controller based AP has following difference in terms of feature set
Unleashed does not provide the entire ZoneDirector feature set. The following features are either not supported, supported but with limitations, or are currently unsupported but planned for a future release:
  • No layer 3 roaming. All APs must be in the same subnet.
  • Tunneled WLANs are not supported.
  • IPv6 is not supported.
  • No interface to communicate with FlexMaster, SmartCell Insight, SPoT, or the ZoneDirector Remote Control mobile app.
  • No North Bound Interface to pass client authentication responsibility to an external entity.
  • No CLI support.
  • No SNMP support.
  • No SpeedFlex support.
  • No WLAN Group or AP Groups.
  • No Role Based Access Controls.
  • Guest Access limitations:
    • Self-Service Guest Pass (not supported in the initial release).
If you need any of the above then you need to get controller or check with your Ruckus SE to confirm on when any of the above features are going to be implemented.
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I would look at what you are trying to achieve first and then look at what can be done by each of the possible solutions.

If you are after a feature rich AP which allows you to MESH (scale your network) and have cool things like application visibility and a UI, then Unleashed might be what you need.

If however you after high client volume and performance then Stand Alone would be the best choice, as features consume resource, and that will impact AP performance.
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Sean McNeal

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Thanks for the replies all. Just installed the Unleashed and really like the dashboard features so far.
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What sort of environment are deploying the AP?
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Sean McNeal

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This one is just for home use and testing. I install home automation systems and I am looking for the best performance AP for range and scale with some larger homes.
My home would never need more than one AP, but some of the houses I work on would definitely need 2-3 on a regular basis.
I like the idea of the Unleashed controller-less setup.
So far Unleashed is working well for me.
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Andrea Coppini, Employee

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For that environment I would definitely suggest Unleashed.  Besides the easier management with Unleashed, standalone APs use SmartSelect channel selection which some WiFi clients may have issues with.  Unleashed allows you to use Background Scanning-based channel selection which is better supported.
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Allen Downs

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Great article, I was thinking the same question as Sean asked.  My only question is if I've purchased a R510, does it cost me anything to upgrade to the Ruckus Unleashed software?  I'm very picky on my home network and haven't found a good wireless device until I found Ruckus.
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No, you can interchange between Unleashed and stand alone firmware as you please.