Why Ruckus?

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We are a public school district looking to do a complete overhaul of our wireless network. A bit over 725,000 square feet of indoor space, 4,300 students with nearly 1,400 students in the High School who are heavy users. We are looking at 5 different wireless vendors including Ruckus. In a nutshell, why should we choose Ruckus? We have engaged the local Ruckus sales staff and engineers but it is always good to hear from current customers.
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David Henderson

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Posted 2 years ago

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John D, AlphaDog

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Ruckus almost consistently scores in the top of performance tests in high density environments (e.g. more than just a few clients connected to an AP at a time).

http://www.ruckuswireless.com/carnet-performance-testing

In these tests, even the old Ruckus 7982 3x3:3 (802.11n) outperformed Cisco's highest-end 802.11ac 4x4:4 AP with 60 clients connected!

Also, Ruckus is the only AP with BeamFlex antenna technology, which directs the wifi beam in the direction of clients. This tech makes a huge difference in delivering excellent signal strength to clients, without all the traditional problems of nearby AP's interfering with each other.
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Monnat Systems, AlphaDog

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HI david,

i am pretty sure you are going through all kind of marketing and technical literature to make a wise decision however most of the product kinda look alike HOWEVER when you test RUCKUS V/s other...
it will outperform THEM in most of the metrics relevant for education...
I think you got to see it yourself first to believe it
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Max O'Driscoll, AlphaDog

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Kit works!
Lots of settings to alter/tweak.
Regular firmware updates with readable detailed change docs.
Good forum...never underestimate usefulness of other users who have probably met your problem already.
Tech support friendly and responsive.

I sound like a walking advert.

Other manufacturers will say the same no doubt - I can only vouch for my own experience.
Zone Director - 25 APs - 1000 pupils on 2 sites but low user density. 50-100 clients at any time is normal.
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David Henderson

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Thanks for all the great information. Yesterday I brought up the virtualized SmartZone controller and my local salesperson just dropped of an R710 AP. I will start putting it through its paces. During my testing is there anything I should really focus on?
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Max O'Driscoll, AlphaDog

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This is more general than focused.

Try and find as many different client types as possible to connect to your AP,  the more devices (and by extension wifi chipsets) you try the more chance you will find any anomalies before it becomes an issue. Or at least make an informed purchase choice.

The more devices you can have in use at one time the better to test density but obviously this can require "help" from others!

What are the most likely scenarios you are going to use and test those.
BYOD, guest pass creation,  radius authentication, ZeroIt features.
How easy to create groups and ssids to segregate your users.
How easy to use vlans to seperate traffic.

Put your AP on a ceiling somewhere and see how many walls you can still get a workable connection through.  Plus check the floor above and below (if your building has them). One AP in the right spot can give remarkable coverage. Doors open can make a difference so make sure any testing is done with them closed!  Are you expecting coverage in outside adjacent courtyards, open spaces?

POE on your switches? Otherwise you'll need power points near APs - just an extra install hassle.

Worth noting that every supplier will claim seamless site roaming...they all implement clever tricks to force this but it's very much a client side decision for roaming aggressiveness. Ultimately a client wants to connect consistently -  whether at 30Mbs or 300Mbs is much less of interest. Gigabit wifi sounds great but it's connection and density you want to implement not the fastest speeds to a select few.

You'll get a site survey from your prospective sellers, beware the ones who try to skimp on APs to keep the price down. The Ruckus dealer I used gave a minimal install option and also a comfortable one with a few extra APs to make sure there were no dead zones.
(Edited)
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David Henderson

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We narrowed the 5 vendors down to 2, Aruba and Ruckus. We are getting 4 APs from each vendor along with controllers and will be testing both product. We have not use 802.1x authentication and decided not to use it going forward so we will be testing Aruba Clearpass or Ruckus Cloudpass. We will be looking at Aruba Airwave and Ruckus SmartCell Insight.

Working on formulating a fair set of tests
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ThX

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Are you happy with your decision?
(Edited)
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Luke MacKinney

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I just ordered my gear last week and am anxiously awaiting its arrival. I went through numerous tests during my two week trial and they performed well at all of them. The test that most impressed me was my density test. I took three classes of students (62), all with Chromebooks, and had them within one classroom of a single R710 with a specific SSID so I knew they were connected to THAT AP. I then had them all pull up YouTube and watch videos. I didn't have a single failure, every single one of them was watching a YouTube video at the same time. I had had numerous complaints about not being able to even get all students on to surf the web in those classrooms before. In another building, a smallish vocational shop with mostly block interior walls, I was able to run the whole building off of one AP instead of three, with better performance. Distance had never been the issue before, it was that block wall construction.
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Michael Brado, Official Rep

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Glad to hear your great results!
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David Henderson

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I was the person who started this thread a year ago when we were trying to make a decision between Ruckus and Aruba. Just a month a go we brought up our first school on Ruckus R710 APs. Last week we brought up our Junior/Senior High School and within 2 months we will complete campus. We will use a bit over 400 APs and two Virtual Smartzone Controllers running under VMWare. We are very happy with the results. Our fleet of Windows and Mac laptops as well as Chromebooks have a rock solid connection. We have a all district owned devices on 5GHz and personal devices on 2.4. We also use Cloudpath to onboard all personal devices.