What is our primary use case?
Our primary use case is for wireless networking but we've done more work on the industrial side. I've done work in medical, construction, and business corporates. There are quite a couple of corporate installations as well, but mostly in warehousing and that kind of thing.
What is most valuable?
Ubiquiti Wireless is extremely easy to set up. If you do all the proper working parameters for it, it's extremely easy to set up. It's got something called "adoption," so you connect all of your switches and your APs, give them power, and then you actually open the software. You log into the switch, open the software and adopt the APs. The switch adopts, the AP picks up what it is and what it's doing, gives you diagnostics on it, and it's a 10 or 15 minute process. You can turn around, connect all these switches up, switch the switch on and it tells you those switches are there and it adopts the switches.
With MikroTik for instance, you have a lot of setup protocols to do. If you're not a MikroTik engineer, a MikroTik solution is very difficult to set up. If you're not a NETGEAR engineer, or you're not somebody that knows NETGEAR, NETGEAR is very difficult to set up initially if you don't know the product. Whereas something like Ubiquiti, you literally just switch it on, you adopt the APs, and that's it. There's a couple of parameters you need set, so you obviously have to have a networking background to do it but just from a setup perspective, it's one of the easiest systems that I've ever set up.
What needs improvement?
Obviously Ubiquiti wants to work with Ubiquiti. So if you are setting up any other third party product or any other different product, it sometimes can be a bit difficult. With Ubiquiti, you need to set up because you can adopt the product and that's it, where if it's not a Ubiquiti product it can sometimes be a difficult setup. It also depends on your network knowledge but it can be a difficult set up sometimes.
For instance, not that you ever really do this, but if I've got somebody that comes to me and wants to go with UniFi as a switching solution but they have an existing Aruba wireless installation, you really need to know what you're doing to set up that kind of solution on Ubiquiti, on the switching. There's another setup protocol you can get by and it will definitely work. But there might be a different setup protocol these guys can actually look at to make that setup scenario a little bit easier.
For how long have I used the solution?
I have been using Ubiquiti for four years.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
It is very stable. Out of all my Ubiquiti installations I have not had to go back to one of them for product failure. I've never had a Ubiquiti or UniFi switch fail on me. Ever.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
It is very scalable. On a scale of a point, it depends on who you talk to, if you're going to talk to a hardened IT manager that has to look at security and anything like that, they're going to look at a layer three switch provider. It depends if you're doing any kind of financial institution. It depends on what you build as your backbone. However, from a scalability point of view, I think they're extremely scalable.
I've spoken to guys that run very big corporate networks, like Ford company for instance. Ford uses Ubiquiti as their backbone, so they're happy with the security and they're happy with the fact that it's only a layer two switch. Where somebody like a standard bank would not look at Ubiquiti because it only goes up to layer two capability. They'll put a layer three backbone in but they might use Ubiquiti's APs on that layer two backbone. It comes down to a matter of opinion. I have had other guys say to me that layer two is more than enough because of the way they've set up their network. It's a very interesting question but to be short, it is very scalable.
Everybody starts up- in the beginning, only small companies adopt it and then people slowly but surely will adopt it in a department or whatever else. But my point of view is that I've seen big companies, like Ford motor company use Ubiquiti to a large extent. We are actually about to embark on a very big network setup that's going to go to multiple countries. And we're definitely going to be using Ubiquiti as my wireless connection of choice.
I'm very very happy to do it like that. We've done a lot of research on it and I've still got people that have to do the final go-ahead on it. But eventually, at the end of the day, the choice is ours.
We don't need to do a lot of maintenance. It depends on the nodes. The nice thing about it is that most networks nowadays including Ubiquiti, depending on how your network is set up, all your access points can literally be monitored from a single point. I can have a thousand access points running and I can monitor them from a single point as long as my network is connected and on how your infrastructure is built. I have one network engineer monitor my wireless for multiple levels of my company.
I don't need a lot of people. When it comes to installation and whatever, you need a normal fateful installation team, it's not any more difficult or any easier than most APs to install. It comes down to normal network rules in what you do. You don't need so many network engineers to control different aspects of the network. Nowadays you need somebody to look after security, you need somebody to look after networking, you need somebody to look after software, you need somebody to look after hardware. At the moment the thing that's the most intense is desktop support and desktop maintenance. That's the thing that's the most intense. And thanks to Coronavirus, I think the adoption of remote monitoring, remote support and everything like that has just exponentially grown. Many more people are doing remote support. I think the world is very much going to be moving a lot in that direction over then the next two or three months.
How are customer service and technical support?
Their technical support is very organized, very well run, and very informative. I have had the Ubiquiti country manager and his support team follow up with me up to a month after I reported a fault to find out if my fault has been resolved. The Ubiquiti support was brilliant.
How was the initial setup?
I've had instances where the setup has taken 10 to 15 minutes depending on how big the install is and depending on how complex it is but sometimes an adoption like that can maybe take half an hour.
What other advice do I have?
My first point of advice is, don't get into it blindly. Although, it's easy to set up, don't get into it blindly. Do a little bit of research on the product before you first open the box because it is not like other products in the sense that it's very easy to set up, but you still have to have a bit of savvy around it. There's no other product in the world that I know of that does the whole adoption setup and control set up the way Ubiquiti does. Other products handle things differently, NETGEAR does it differently. A bit of advice is, go and look at how the adoption process on the switches work and how easy the switches are to set up and learn a couple of the tricks and that's about it.
I would rate Ubiquiti a nine out of ten.
Which deployment model are you using for this solution?