Unleashed - Per Radio SSIDs

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  • Updated 10 months ago
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So I ordered a few R600 UNLEASHED APs for a client site that is having tremendous interference issues (4 story building with multiple tenants per floor) with their current APs (Sophos JUNK).

I find it frustrating, if not laughable that the Unleashed APs are not capable of PER RADIO SSID assignment. 

Simple facts:

In a typical SMB deployment (or a town home or cul-de-sac for that matter), there are typically multiple (sometimes dozens) of APs in close proximity, but not controlled by the customer. This means that 2.4 channels 1, 6 and 11 are almost always full of interference and noise.

Most SMB customers still require some connectivity on 2.4, for the sake of legacy devices, even if it is saturated and slow.

Putting the primary WLAN/SSID on 5GHz is usually the best practice.

Lastly, when an SSID is being broadcast on BOTH 2.4 and 5, the connection usually ends up landing on 2.4.

Why in the world would Ruckus decide to force unleashed SSIDs to be broadcast on both radios?

Somebody has their head up their backside. 

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William Burnett

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Posted 1 year ago

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Dan Marrero

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You can create two SSID networks and name one 2.4G and the other 5G (of course just examples). Then at the access point level you can disable the 2.4 radio or the 5G radio depending on your desired outcome or you can lower the antenna to min and it will force the device to connect to the desired frequency that has more power. The unleashed product is limited on options but what you are describing can be done with regular R600 access points and a controller maybe even the new cloud product. 
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William Burnett

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Dan,

In the kindest way, that makes no sense.

In a scenario where two (or more) APs are needed for coverage, then the coverage for each SSID is halved and therefore the number of APs needed is doubled. In the case where a single AP is needed, then one is stuck with the nonsensical dual band SSID option or abandoning 2.4, or adding as second AP. 

Moreover, the UNLEASHED is simply firmware for an already existing piece of hardware that is (was) capable of PER RADIO SSIDs already.

There is no reasonable excuse, workaround or reasoning for such shortsightedness. It is best practice to isolate SSIDs per RADIO and this newly released product contradicts that best practice, even though the hardware is capable and the predecessor firmware is capable.  It is lazy and short sighted development and product management... PERIOD.

 
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John D, AlphaDog

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Sorry, I understand the frustration of figuring this out after your purchase. Ruckus reps have already mentioned that per-radio SSIDs are on the short-term roadmap for Unleashed, so it's not like they're not planning to do it, it's just a feature that didn't make the first cut.

It's not out of the ordinary for the first cut of a software release to not have every feature you want. I rely on meshing and that was unavailable with the initial Unleashed releases as well, but has been added since then.

I'm not sure why it's necessary to be so rude about your dissatisfaction with the product, particularly to unpaid volunteers trying to be helpful. It seems more productive to work with your VAR on either returning the AP's, converting them to ZD/SZ/cloud managed, or otherwise finding an acceptable solution.
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William Burnett

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John,

Just frustrated and somewhat tired of situations like this where it appears that pretty graphics and bullet points trump common sense. In this case, the underlying quality of the hardware and previous firmware make it even harder to swallow. 

I think you will find that most of us are tired of buying products that are missing essential components that may or may not make it in later releases. It has become the modern model for product development and it leaves many of us in a perpetual bad spot with our SMB customers.
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John D, AlphaDog

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I understand what you mean. I'm a SMB customer as well and am currently mostly ZD managed but I've been very tempted to go over to Unleashed but the feature parity has yet to get there for me.

I definitely like its lighter weight licensing scheme for SMBs, the lack of dependence on a single controller without paying thousands more for additional controls and setting up redundant failover. It also supports meshing and 802.11r/k FT Roaming which isn't possible with standalone.

In a lot of ways it's already exceeded what Standalone and ZD offers, but in many other ways it's still not reached feature parity yet. 
(Edited)
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Eizens Putnins

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Unfortunately, current practice prevents product to be complited and tested before going to market. Even company which don't want to test rpoducts on customers, is forced to put on market half-ready products, or it is put out of busines by competitors doing exactly this. Therefore it is absolutly normal that some fetures are missing - at some moment project manager has to freez feature list in curret release, and this is based unfortunately not ony on needs, but also on status of developent of each feature. There are also mistakes done by project managers - unavoidable. And, of cause, point of views of customer and developer are not the same.
Anybody saying he had never made a mistake, or never forgot to include really needed requirement in some stage of project just probably isn't in this business.
There are missing features in any product if you look closely, unfortunately. Unleashed isn't exclusion, and it will take probably 1-2 years to become a full featured SMB solution. Currently it has some big limitations yet, not only SSID setting. 
But if you look on  Ruckus SOHO line (cloud managed, but using also same or at least very similar  hardware) -- it has so many limitations and bugs, that  it is actually not usable in many cases. At least it is definitely not what we expect from Ruckus.
It is a fact that bad project management  can kill even potentially very good product.
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William Burnett

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Michael,

Respectfully, my point is that some of those "certain assumptions about Unleashed use in an SMB environment" made by Product Line Marketing, are suspect (short sighted?) and much of the issue.

What your customers have become "used to" in the other product lines or what you are offering in your new "cloud" product are also not relevant other than proof that the mechanism for SSIDs per radio, was long ago tested, built and deployed in other products based the SAME hardware.  

The simple point is that Ruckus designed and marketed this firmware to attract SMB customers. In that context, there is no reasonable justification for cramming all SSIDS onto both radios, when in an SMB environment it is more appropriate to isolate SSIDs per radio.

What is done is done, but I certainly hope that somebody has their eyes open and this is treated as an oversight that needs to be fixed and not a "wish list" item that may or may not get implemented. It is a deal breaker for me, and most of the other folks I rub elbows with in my profession (SMB primarily 25-150 users).

As for the (another) "cloud" product, no way, not ever, not a chance. :) 



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Eizens Putnins

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I completely agree that removing too much features makes product unattractive. Especially ugly it is taking into consideration that Unleashed is not  a completely new product, but new repackaging of existing one. Yes, some new software is written, but all previous work and experience can be  used.
In many cases reason of discrepancy between customer wishes and real product is because project managers are not actually interested to create a great product, they are interested to create a profitable business. So it looks logical for some managers to remove some useful features, hoping that customer will buy controller-based instead of unleashed -- it means that customer will spend more. In reality angry  customer will more likely buy different vendor equipment.

This reason applies even more to cloud products -- all point of cloud technology is meant to be creating easy to install and use full-featured product, which is cheaper to have than own full-featured system. Unfortunately, in most cases companies go cloud to make much more money on the same product, selling on yearly base what customer previously had paying once. It is justified in different ways, as added value, convenience and lower cost of ownership, but in reality main point that it is more profitable for vendor. Good example is Meraki (owned now by Cisco) -- very  average Wi-Fi and other networking equipment is sold as hardware (for cost similar to other vendor analogical equipment), but to use it you have to pay yearly fee, otherwise equipment becomes a brick. This results in a very poor results of Meraki on many markets, but what they get is obviously profitable enough to make them happy.
I hope Ruckus will not go this way -- it is a risky moment actually, as now pressure on company to be profitable can lead to switching attention to profitability, not to leadership in technology.
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William Burnett

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Cloud products: (not really relevant here, but everybody keeps bringing it up).

No, the point of "cloud" products and licensing is to create a predictable, recurring profit stream for the vendor, especially from products that were historically perpetually licensed or one time purchases. It has nothing to do with convenience for the customer. In fact, all if this cloud crap is an inconvenience for most customers, creating much larger attack surface, added monthly costs, the hassles of dozens of accounts, passwords, passwords resets, outages, etc.

As for "cloud" APs... give me a break. The customer still has to buy the freaking hardware and then pay monthly to allow it to operate. In 3-5 years the hardware is outdated and the process starts again. The difference? The Wifi vendor has profited all along for those 3-5 years instead of at the date of initial purchase.

Go ahead and tie your customers to a cloud based firewalls, wireless solutions, productivity suites, switches and software. Tell me how that goes next time one or more of those services are hacked, attacked (DDoS, etc.), bankrupted, bought out, or discontinued. Tell me how that goes when firmware/software updates are not optional and buggy or non-existent when needed.

Sure, in some cases, hosted services make wonderful sense, but most SMBs are having them shoved down their throats in the name of profits for the vendor, not convenience or need of the SMB.

Go talk to a business owner and ask him/her what their per user rollup costs are now and what they were 5 years ago.  Then ask them how much more productive the employees and IT department have become. The reality? All of this cloud crap has hindered productivity significantly and increased per employee technology costs by magnitudes (literally).   

No cloud for our customers, wherever and whenever possible... Take notice folks, SMBs are tired of paying for, yet one more new "cloud" service every time they turn around.

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John D, AlphaDog

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With regards to recurring costs, that I think is a separate issue from the cloud, and more specific to the enterprise business model. Ruckus non-cloud solutions also require recurring annual licensing costs or you lose access to the KB, advance RMA services, firmware/security updates, etc etc etc. And don't forget that vSZ/SZ/SCG are all "Cloud" based and you can choose between whether you own the cloud or you use Ruckus's Cloud, and both seem more expensive than ZD and Unleashed and likely Ruckus Cloud as well....

I won't take a stance here on cloud tech other than to say that most of the infrastructure I've set up is composed of at least one piece of cloud-managed tech. Not because of a love for the cloud or whatever, but because I think that piece of equipment is the best suited for the job even with recurring costs of ownership in mind.

I agree with you that SMB's are much more sensitive to the recurring cost of "the cloud" as well as the cost of 3-5 year upgrade lifecycles for hardware, but at the same time the way they manage non-cloud solutions can be irresponsible as well. I live in an apartment complex that seemed to buy Ruckus 7962's at the time it was built, and has not updated the ZD firmware ever since. I think they are running 9.2.x or so, and full of known issues. 

In the realm of *enterprise* products, it seems like the cloud-offered services have a better track record for timely updates and ease of management, while the traditional methods are far more likely to encourage owners to stay stranded on old, insecure, unmanaged firmware. Of course, consumer / pro-sumer IoT devices are a totally different story with thoughtless examples of poorly executed cloud technologies.


Bottom line is, considering Ruckus just announced sparse details on their solution a week ago, I think it's way too early to label it as one or the other type of "cloud". The devil is in the details and I'd rather not pre-judge it.
(Edited)
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Eizens Putnins

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I agree with this arguments, and they are really valid -- this are exactly cloud benefits.
Also, this discussion reminded me one of the first installations (2007 ?, anyway, long time ago) ---  ZD1000 with ZF2942 in a hotel, and as installation still functions better than many other hotel wi-fi systems with newer hardware from other vendors, there was no new business opportunity. It still works quit stable, and still provides enough capacity for real life needs.
Interesting, that in EU now in many hotels you see 802.11N or even 802,11ac APs, but uplinks are usually DSLs, so speeds are  very low and new equipment is actually wasted. It isn't problem of technology, it is result of business decisions.

I just wanted to pinpoint that benefits of cloud technologies often aren't a real driver of implementation of cloud solutions, but  opportunity to gain much better profit often is.
And it is not related to recently presented Ruckus cloud.  Ruckus actually provides  a wide choice of implementation options,, and there is a choice in fact - if you choose not to buy support subscription,  equipment doesn't become a brick.
So it isn't exactly same as with Meraki (Cisco), and I agree again with you  -- difference is in details.
When implementing cost saving technology, different business strategies can be chosen, and it can mean standard or very high margin for vendor.
Often high margin model together with very agressive marketing is used. As a result market share of product often is not reflecting it quality, and Wi-Fi market is a good example -- by far biggest part of enterprise market is owned by vendor with not the  best product, but the most powerful  marketing... 
Ruckus without doubt has currently the best technology, and it market share is growing but still much lower -- but I personally would prefer that Ruckus continue to excel in technology. not in marketing...
Marketing produces sales and profit, but it may sell anything -- and a bad product as well (which often happens, unfortunately).
Anyway, this all thoughts have no relation with thread subject, so p it isn't a proper place...
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Henry Labbert

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I totally agree, we need per radio AND per AP SSIDs.
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hayk

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I agree with everyone one else that we need to ability to add additional SSIDs and VLANs.  It's very short sighted that they left it out on unleashed since SMB market does have a use.  Even a small cafe might want to have a wireless network that separate from their own network and and customers. Or even a Laundry mat  to have their wireless network separate from staff/security and customers.   Or even a small school that has two standlone ruckus AP could used unleashed, but is lacking in more SSID support and VLANs. As for now my clients have  theirs in standalone mode.  It's a joke that they market it for SMB since it's lacking in features.  I really hope you consider adding those basic features for the SMB.
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hayk

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What's makes it even more of a joke about Unleashed is that Xclaim(a divsion of Ruckus) Products has the ability to do at least 4 SSIDs and VLANs. and is marketed to business. While Unleashed lacks those basic features. At this point Unleashed is more of a high-end Residential product.
(Edited)