Why would I want a Zone Director?

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  • Updated 5 months ago
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I might want one but I can't seem to find out what it gives me over unleashed.    I have 8 offices throughout CA with about 4APs per office.    I have them set up unleashed currently.   When we set up a new location, we clone an unleashed AP and bring it to the new location.    We have about 200 approved MAC addresses.     We typically use R310 units.   Each office has a site to site VPN between them.   Any suggestion on why I would or wouldn't want one would be helpful.   All I can find is that they are for centrally managing APs.   Not much beyond that - e.g. do they give me a larger MAC access list, do they help with something that isn't available on unleashed versions?

Thanks
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boedillard

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Posted 5 months ago

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Abi

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Seriously it's a tough one, It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog.

+1
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Albert Pierson, Employee

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Hi Boedillard,

Unleashed is basically ZD code running on an AP with a simplified GUI interface for entry level.
The only reason you might want a ZD is if you need more then 50 AP's on a site.

ZD and Unleashed architecture has limitation in managing remote AP's, so using a large ZD to control multiple sites instead of individual Master Unleashed on each site is not advisable.

SZ architecture was designed for managing AP's distributed across a large geographic area.  This would be one solution if you wanted a single point of management of your network

You could also use the UMM (Unleashed Multi-site Manager) which is the newest version of Ruckus Flex Master central management tool which can monitor your distributed Unleashed networks on a single server. 

So -for small sites - using individual Unleashed Masters at each site is a good solution.

Hope this is useful to you.

Thanks for selecting Ruckus Networks - a Commscope company.
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Victor Cenac

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Well I have a follow up question... I have a ZD with 100 APs (7372) distributed at different sites. Some of the remote sites have sometime, less than ideal Internet connection, which cause the APs to stop working, because they lose connection to the ZD.
According to the reply above, Unleash would be a far more reliable solution for such a site. Would it work on 7372 and if it would, how would one get that installed? Is it free? Does it need a dealer involved (:()?
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Albert Pierson, Employee

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Hi Victor,

The issue with remote AP's controlled by ZD is that the ZD actually handles association and the WPA 4 way handshake - so if the ZD is not available clients cannot associate. If latency is over 100msec then client association will also be affected. It also handles all captive portal, MAC or 802.1x authentication.

Unleashed does not support 7372 AP's - you can verify supported AP's from the Unleashed Release notes:
https://support.ruckuswireless.com/documents/2756-ruckus-unleashed-200-7-ga-refresh1-release-notes

ZD does have a type of WLAN - Autonomous - which was designed for remote AP sites where association is handled by the AP directly so this SSID/WLAN type is available when the ZD is unreachable.  But this is limited to simple open or PSK encrypted AP's and will not support any sort of Hotspot Guest Pass, 802.1x or MAC authentication.





In general - Unleashed version of code (200.x) can be freely downloaded from the Ruckus Support site but it is only available for newer model AP's.

I hope this answers your questions.

Thanks for choosing Ruckus Networks products - a Commscope company





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boedillard

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Thanks Albert that is good to know.    So if Zone director is less than ideal does this UMM help me easily change the approved mac list and passwords in sync between locations?    Our employees move from office to office on a regular basis so it would be nice to have a single source of administration between locations without the drawbacks of latency if the VPN between sites is slow or unavailable. 

Are there any online videos or free training modules about it?   I watched 2 videos and all I found out is that it is linux based and you can buy a bunch of license skus.    I'd like to know how to install it and how it helps me centrally managed a bunch of APs at different locations (I'm not looking for a video that tells me it can do that but HOW it does that).
(Edited)