What is our primary use case?
Ruckus has been deployed in our most demanding site, which has roughly 3400 associated clients per day. We are also leveraging Cloudpath to provide the WISPr guest portal with MAC authentication.
It should be noted that this site was previously serviced by another vendor. Due to the demands of wireless and the inability for the other vendor's deployment to meet our needs, we switched to Ruckus. It's been rock-solid since the implementation.
More recently we have moved our initial deployment to our elementary buildings. We have Ruckus implemented in about 25 sites currently.
How has it helped my organization?
The Ruckus solution was brought in to meet the higher than normal demands that we placed on our wireless network. After the minimal effort to get the system up and running, we've seen most if not all of our major wireless headaches disappear.
With the Cloudpath integration, our guest experience has been greatly improved. Our guests are now able to be self-sufficient in registering on our guest wireless network with a more streamlined and simple approach. The software was very easy to deploy and set up, which was a huge improvement over our previous solution.
Their Bonjour Gateway setup is also built into the product and has been helpful in bridging services from our wired network to our wireless network.
What is most valuable?
- Ease of management - the system is very easy to manage and learn.
- Cloudpath - this allows us to deploy captive portals that are advanced in nature to meet every need we can dream up.
- Hardware antenna array - this is the secret sauce to why Ruckus is above their competition. They built the antenna array from the ground up, allowing them to achieve higher rates for clients and a more solid connection.
- Bonjour gateway - built in Bonjour gateway to allow sharing services from one or two different VLANs.
What needs improvement?
Sometimes doing mass changes on their products can be challenging. Ruckus should spend more time developing methods to give enterprises more control over making needed changes quickly and easily. Their documentation also needs to be improved.
For how long have I used the solution?
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
In the past year, we've seen issues on their platform in regards to slow speeds if you use firmware later than December 2018. They are working through it, but it does give pause for concern. Their recommended vSZ is actually older, so we are pushing the limits with our versioning.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
No, their solutions are built with scalability in mind.
How are customer service and technical support?
Customer service is by far one of the best outcomes of this product, I've been getting significantly better customer service than our previous vendor (Aruba).
We've had to engage both Ruckus and Cloudpath on a few things that have come up and the level of resolve they have shown is outstanding.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
The previous solution was Aruba, but after many issues with the performance of their solution, we were forced to make a needed change.
- Clients would be kicked off randomly
- Slow wireless network
- APs would randomly reboot
- Complicated management
How was the initial setup?
We attempted to leverage our existing ClearPass solution, but ran into issues with the integration in regards to MAC authentication. We ended up going with the Ruckus Cloudpath solution, which has been a blessing in disguise due to it being much easier to deploy.
What about the implementation team?
We implemented this solution with in-house resources, as well as Ruckus itself, and a vendor. The Ruckus level of expertise was far greater than the vendor.
What was our ROI?
We haven't calculated it, but with this implementation it would be in the thousands (for just one building). Less wiring was needed (fewer AP locations), less hardware was needed, and less licensing was needed.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
Ruckus was much cheaper than their enterprise competition (Aruba, Cisco, etc.). We've found that Ruckus can handle the client density load with greater success than Aruba, so leveraging Ruckus has allowed us to lower our purchasing needs since we would need to procure fewer APs. Cloudpath would be an added cost if you wanted to deploy that solution.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
We did not evaluate other options as our previous experience using Ruckus was positive.
What other advice do I have?
This solution is absolutely amazing! What they tout is very accurate and will work with your network/IT teams to develop a proven and well-catered solution to meet your every need.
I would highly recommend this product in high-density environments such as schools, universities, and hospitality settings. With the ease of setup, lower cost, and record of success, this is a slam dunk for schools that need to stretch their resources further.
Which deployment model are you using for this solution?