R700 + 9.8 = 5 GHz Radio issues?

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It appears there a re significant problems with R700 5 GHz radio that have existed in code base since 9.8 was released and they continue or are even worse in 9.8.2. The radios rebooted, background scanning / channelfly doesn't work and now my clients just mysteriously drop off. For now I have disabled the 5 GHz radios on R700 to get reliable coverage which means I don't have 802.11ac of course. This is happening on all sort of devices. Has anyone else seen similar issues? I will open a case when I can troubleshoot it and not disturb clients.
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Brian Hoyt

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Posted 3 years ago

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Michael Brado, Official Rep

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Yes it is software and not the R700 ac radio/antenna hardware that is behind the other, with
added features in each sw release. Seeing the APs all using the same channel 149 for 5G indicates
that background scanning is not enabled. We recommend enabling the Channelfly self-healing algorithm
for a period of hours (typically), then disable it again, for R700 5G channels to be optimized for client use.
If you have frequent client connection problems, please open a ticket with Tech Support for a deeper analysis.
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Brian Hoyt

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It doesn't appear this improves much with 9.9 either given this list:
The following features are not included in this release:
• Airtime Fairness on 5 GHz radio
• Smart Mesh
• Spectrum Analysis on 5 GHz radio
• WLAN prioritization on 5 GHz radio
• Packet Capture on 5 GHz radio
From the release notes.

What is the point of having 802.11ac access points if many of the features are disabled on 5 GHz radios since 2.4 GHz don't support ac?
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John D, AlphaDog

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Speaking from my experience, despite the things you mention missing from the 5GHz radio, side by side comparison between my R600/R700 and the ZF7982 in two sites consistently show that the AC stuff has superior 5GHz throughput whether you're close or far away from the AP. It would definitely be nice to have ATF, background scanning, and meshing but even without that, the performance is significantly improved in my experience, and the reliability is about the same.

I've not seen clients mysteriously drop off. I had some broadcast/multicast reliability issues with 9.8.0/9.8.1 standalone which seem fixed per the 9.8.2 release notes, but with a ZD it's been consistently solid since the R700's release.

Can you elaborate on your 5GHz issues (such as how BG scanning / channel fly don't work, and specifically what kind of client drop issues you are noticing with which devices?), because as you mentioned, it's kind of unfortunate if you have to disable 5GHz since all of the advantages of R700 are with its 5GHz radio.
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Brian Hoyt

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I will try to elaborate on my issues more to help explain. This year we got our first 802.11ac devices in a dozen Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga using Intel 7260 chipset and 35 Microsoft Surface Pro 3 using Marvell chipset. In an attempt to best support them and thanks to a nice deal I got 5 R700 AP to replace in the parts of my building that support those devices. We had some issues initially with the SP3 machines which I thought was due to driver issues. These issues were mainly an inability to connect to wireless after resuming from sleep. Then with each progressive 9.8.x code release it seemed the problems got worse. You might say don't apply updates but in many cases there were specific fixes for R700 radio issues that I thought would improve issues. With the 9.8.2 release I started having clients that couldn't connect at all or couldn't stay connected. I could start a ping on a device to our DNS and would have over 75% packet loss and sometimes would just drop off completely. Neither the laptop nor the ZD would say the device had disconnected, rather traffic would simply stop. I also had devices that were flagged as failing authentication repeatedly and being locked out which was new with the 9.8.2 release. Right before our holiday break I disabled the 5 GHz radios on the R700 (leaving them active on our zf7363) and this week while doing online testing and having maximum device connected I have had almost zero issues and those I did have were easily and quickly resolved as client issues. This is what leads me to the conclusion that the R700 5 GHz radios pretty much don't work. At this time I can't risk further service disruptions for testing purposes and can't enable radios for testing. Once I have a window I can I will follow up with a ticket to Ruckus.
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Brian Hoyt

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Oh I should add the problems weren't only affecting my 802.11ac devices by even 802.11n devices (Intel 6200 Chipset) as well. All of these device can connect fine to R700 2.4 GHz radio or to either radio on zf7363.
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John D, AlphaDog

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That's interesting to hear. I think it's worth a support ticket to investigate your setup. I've got around 20-30 clients, about 10 of which are 802.11ac (iPhones, iPads, iMacs, Samsung TV's, and a PC with a Broadcom chipset), and they've been consistently reliable on the 5GHz radio with a R700 and R600.

But of course, my setup working for me does nothing to help you with your setup. My past experience is that Ruckus support has been helpful in troubleshooting a specific issue, which is difficult to do in a discussion forum environment.
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Brian Hoyt

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I agree in creating a ticket, and will definitely do so. It is just right now I can't do troubleshooting in a live environment which is what I need. I was just curious what others were seeing with R700.
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Michael Brado, Official Rep

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The remaining features on 5G are to be fully implemented in ZF 9.10, currently expected in Feb 2015.
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Brian Hoyt

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I wish I had known in July that the R700 wasn't going to be fully supported until early to mid 2015. I would have waited to buy them when I refreshed to ZD1200 rather than wasting my time this year with incomplete product.
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John D, AlphaDog

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While I agree that I'm looking forward to R500/600/700 reaching feature parity with the 802.11N Ruckus lineup, I don't think the lack of these specific features explains why you had to resort to disabling the 5GHz radio altogether for reliability.

While ATF and prioritization and background scanning are great features to have, the lack of them shouldn't spell doom for your network.
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Scott Dean

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We too are experiencing these same issues. We are a new Ruckus customer and rolled out redundant ZD 3050 controllers and just shy of 200 r700s in the fall 2014. After many support cases and firmware versions (9.8.2.0 build 24 is the latest attempt) that are supposed to address the software problem, we have disabled the 5GHz radios. We’ve decided to give up performance for stability.

We’re cautiously optimistic for the 9.10 release but my confidence that this resolves our issues lessens by the day.
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Michael Brado, Official Rep

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9.8.2.0.24 is a custom build with the latest R700 fixes, that are not yet in 9.9.
If you are having problems and need this firmware, please contact Tech Support.
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Sal Buscemi

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Tech support sent me this:
" I am sorry we don't have 9.8.2.0.24 now"

Any other way to get it?
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Scott Dean

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I had to get it directly from support after opening a trouble case. My experience is that it was not significantly better than build 15 which is public.
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Scott Dean

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Also, I've been told by tech support that the 'fixes' in build 24 will not be included in 9.9 and that I will have to wait until 9.10. 9.10 is apparently due out perhaps as early as March.
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Brian Hoyt

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Well I guess 9.9 is going to be very short lived, it may have been released only to get initial support for ZD1200? The updates seem to be fast but not fixing much.
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Scott Dean

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Tech support believes they've discovered a very slow memory leak in the APs related to the NTP service.  We've disabled NTP time sync on the controller to eliminate this issue.

Time will tell if it truly resolves our problem.
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Max O'Driscoll, AlphaDog

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Groan! But nicely put.
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Brian Hoyt

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While this may be an issue that is causing problems I find it hard to believe it is root cause. Mostly because my R700 work fine on 2.4G G/N but have issues on 5G N/AC. I don't think a memory leak would only affect one radio, but who knows?
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Michael Brado, Official Rep

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The 9.9 supports new 802.11ac models, and also enables background scanning for R700s.  If using 9.8.2.0.24, you will be advised to run ChannelFly on 5G for a period of time, then disable again, as background scanning for R700 is disabled in 9.8.

An AP memory leak related to NTP (ER-2167) has just been verified to affect 9.8.2
(only).  Until 9.8.2, APs did not synchronize time with NTP except for once when they
first join a ZD.  Necessary for accuracy with SPoT/LBS, we fixed this in 9.8.2, but
found if an AP cannot reach the NTP server, a memory process can be left open,
upon hourly attempts.  The AP to NTP synch may be due to FW/ACL rules, etc.

To workaround, disable NTP server on the ZD, or resolve connectivity issue between
AP and NTP server.  If an AP has leaked some memory, disabling NTP will prevent further loss, but rebooting APs fully restores memory.
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David Henderson

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Did this ever get resolved? Is the R700 now working fine with all the 802.11ac features at 5GHz?
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John D, AlphaDog

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Yes. I wasn't sure which maintenance release these issues got resolved with, but I'm happy to say that with 9.10 MR or 9.12, I've not had any issues with the 5GHz radios on the AC AP's. No need to mess around with directed multicast either.