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Ruckus Wireless OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

Ruckus Wireless is #3 ranked solution in top Wireless LAN tools. IT Central Station users give Ruckus Wireless an average rating of 8 out of 10. Ruckus Wireless is most commonly compared to Aruba Wireless:Ruckus Wireless vs Aruba Wireless. Ruckus Wireless is popular among the large enterprise segment, accounting for 57% of users researching this solution on IT Central Station. The top industry researching this solution are professionals from a comms service provider, accounting for 34% of all views.
What is Ruckus Wireless?
The Virtual SmartZone Data Plane (vSZ-D) is a wireless LAN data plane appliance in a virtualized form factor. Made to work seamlessly with the Ruckus Virtual SmartZone Wireless LAN Controller (vSZ), the vSZ-D enables secure tunneled WLANs from Ruckus APs while minimizing CAPEX spending and maximizing Wi-Fi deployment flexibility and scale. Operators, ISPs and large enterprises can deploy the vSZ-D in a centralized data center with the vSZ, or at specific venues in a distributed topology.
Ruckus Wireless Buyer's Guide

Download the Ruckus Wireless Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: November 2021

Ruckus Wireless Customers
American University of Sharjah, Baruch College, Centro Escolar Liceo Santo Tomšs, Chevalier College, Chico Unified School District, Colegio de Fomento El Prado, Columbia Public Schools, Delta School District, Dordt College, Douglas County School District, Drew University, Armonea, Central Utah Clinic, Grove Hill Medical Center, Inner South Community Health Service, Midwest Surgical, Satilla Regional Medical Center, Lyndoch Living, Polonus, Roaring Fork School District, Sonora State, Vivid, Sydney, Players Club, Sandals, Scandic Hotels, Sheraton LAX, Sunbird
Ruckus Wireless Video

Pricing Advice

What users are saying about Ruckus Wireless pricing:
  • "It is decently priced."
  • "This is a very expensive solution."

Ruckus Wireless Reviews

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Tim Brumbaugh
Solutions Architect at Golden West Technologies
Real User
Top 5
Great performance, easy to set up and simple to configure

Pros and Cons

  • "The product has some very awesome patents on their radios and their antennas and antenna patterns and how their signaling works. That's why nobody can touch them. If they go head to head with anybody."
  • "The cost could be slightly improved. It's not on the low end, and it's not in the high end. It's in that middle area, which can be a deciding factor between someone going with this solution versus another one."

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use the solution for its performance, compatibility, and general capabilities. We do a lot of schools, colleges, large civic centers, large arenas, etc. That kind of stuff. We know how to deploy this so that the clients get great client connectivity.

How has it helped my organization?

In terms of COVID, we've deployed external access points to the outside of a lot of the buildings. These are very weather-resistant, all-metal enclosures. The students have been able to do assignments and schoolwork and that kind of stuff from the parking lots of the schools. They can drive up in their car, get their assignments, or do work that they need to while they're connected to the school. It made social distancing in this way pretty seamless as everything was already set up on their laptops. Most of the schools are what they call the one-to-one initiative, where every student gets a laptop and they've been able to work through COVID from their cars in parking lots when they needed to be at the school for something. It's really benefited a lot of the schools to be able to do that.

What is most valuable?

The performance of the product is amazing.

The ease of configuration that's on offer is very good.

The product is very compatible with other solutions.

The guest onboarding is so simple. We can onboard guests really easily. Each guest that connects has a pre-shared key that they get which are all unique. We have some great control over the guest and corporate traffic. We can control how much bandwidth a guest user gets versus a corporate user, and who gets priority on there. 

Ruckus is way ahead of the game on a lot of stuff like Wi-Fi 6. They're already rolling out the second version of Wi-Fi 6, which is a huge improvement over even Wi-Fi 5. The way wireless started is you had 802.11b, 802.11a, then 802.11g and 802.11n, then 802.11ac, then AC wave to 802.11ax which is the first version of Wi-Fi 6. The next version of Wi-Fi 6 is rolling out already.

The product has some very awesome patents on their radios and their antennas and antenna patterns and how their signaling works. That's why nobody can touch them. If they go head to head with anybody. They blow Cisco and Aruba out of the water and even Mist for radio plant connectivity. On top of that, they have very good engineering. If I ever need help with engineering stuff, I can call on them. The company does a really good job, which is why we've stayed with them.

What needs improvement?

They're leaders in what they're doing. I don't know what they can do to improve what they're doing currently. 

The cost could be slightly improved. It's not on the low end, and it's not in the high end. It's in that middle area, which can be a deciding factor between someone going with this solution versus another one.

They've got a rotation or a life expectancy of about four years for the radio. Not that radio is going to die right hten. I've got some that are way older than that, that the customers are still using. However, they take them and they end the life of them at four years. Any of their wireless products are end of life by year four. Most of it's because technology has changed so much that those old videos can't do stuff that is now available for PCs to connect or phones to connect to that kind of stuff. 

What they do is they force you into a Cloud controller. We've got a couple of them. If I've got a Cloud controller there and it's on version 5.1, and I want to go to version 5.2, bdue to the fact that I need to support the new radios coming out, I can't if I have some older radios on that controller. I can't upgrade that controller to the latest software to support the new radios as I've got some end of life radios on there that go into life when I upgrade the software. They need to be able to allow us to keep some of the older products on the Cloud controllers or any of their controllers longer, and just start supporting the new controllers. They force you into an upgrade unnecessarily.

We have some customers that have just a few APs. There are some small businesses that don't want to, or don't need to upgrade their controllers and they're crushing their access points. For us to be able to work with the latest access points, we've got to upgrade our controller, however, we can't. That bites us every year. We'll have customers that have APs that are going end of life that still work fine, but we can't manage them anymore.

I know the reasoning behind it is it could be security features or it's something that the access points don't support that newer devices do. They'll support this new Wi-Fi 6 coming out, however, I can't run the same types of radios on this particular controller software anymore. That kind of puts me off a little bit, however, that's the only thing that the company has done that's made me mad.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for the past six years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability of the product is rock solid. We haven't had any issues at all.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution is extremely scalable. I can have up to three controllers with each one housing 10,000 APS. I can have a cluster of controllers controlling 30,000 different APS. I don't have anything that big. One is close to a thousand and that's the biggest I have. Still, it's nice to be able to build in more redundancy. 

How are customer service and technical support?

As a Ruckus partner, I've got access to Ruckus. I've got access to tech support, and it makes things a lot easier for the end-users and businesses I work with. If they have an issue, they can come directly to me or they can go directly to Ruckus, it doesn't matter. I'll be happy to help them. If I can't answer the question or get them fixed, then we'll get with tech support. I don't call tech support very often. Maybe once a year, if that. They make a good product and offer good training. Once you learn it, it's pretty easy to manage. 

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We used to have Cisco's products for one or two years. I don't know the last time I had to turn in an RMA for a Ruckus radio. They're a solid product.

How was the initial setup?

I've been doing implementations for a long time. If it's brand new to the system, like any system, it can be fairly complex. However, they have great documentation on their website on how to set it up. If a client needs complexity, however, they need help. That's where I come in.

I can go in and configure things securely for guest access and BYOB devices and corporate laptops with 802.1X. I have a stand-alone AP, I just got one office with one AP. I don't need it to be controlled by anything. If I've got one or two SSID, it can still be configured. It's just that you're doing it on the AP or, alternatively, they have what's called Unleashed, which is controller-less. The AP is the controller that can do up to 50 APs all controlled by one AP. If that AP was to die, it doesn't matter, that configuration is saved on all of them. 

There are several different interfaces you may run into, to be able to configure everything. However, they're all very similar in how they work and react. The full controller has much more capability than Unleashed and at least has more capability on the stand-alone. In any case, it's all well documented, and all straightforward.

In terms of deployment times, we figure for AP it's an hour and a half, so you can just figure in that as the base amount of time you need for each AP and that includes configuration and installation. Therefore, if you have 20 APs, it's about 30 hours for 25 APs and that's setting up the controller virtual, or Cloud-based, setting up the AP, the SSIDs, passwords, 802.1X., and then physically mounting them.

What was our ROI?

The solution definitely offers my clients a good ROI after they implement it.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

They don't really need to be cheaper. They're not the most expensive, and they're not the least expensive. They're right there in the middle.

What other advice do I have?

We're a reseller as well as a customer.

We're running the latest software. We deploy through a controller and we use 802.1X. There're multiple ways to deploy to customers. There's a cloud controller, for example. We typically do a virtual controller on their systems.

If a company is new to Ruckus, it's best to work with a partner. You need somebody that knows what they're doing, and knows what questions to ask so that you're getting the right information. When I go to do an implementation, I've got a list of 50 different questions. I'll ask somebody, what about this? What about this? What about this? It will help with the implementation process if someone has a complete view of what to ask for and what to do.

You get what you pay for. People will throw in Linksys, and this other stuff. If you're a business, say you're a coffee shop and you have 50 customers sitting there. You want all of them to get the same performance all the time. I want to make sure everybody gets an equal amount of time without anybody getting any interruptions.

With Linksys and Ubiquiti and all these other brands, you don't get that. When it comes to the head-to-head competition, the Ruckus far out-shines them. Ten to one, you just can't compete. When they say it's going to do something, it does it. They don't put documentation out that is misleading. If it says it'll do 1,024 clients it'll do 1,024 clients. If it says it'll do 4.3 gigabytes, it'll do 4.3 gigabytes. It's great.

Overall, I would rate the solution at a nine out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Private Cloud
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Tim Brumbaugh
Solutions Architect at Golden West Technologies
Real User
Top 5
Easy configuration with a good performance and good scalability

Pros and Cons

  • "The solution has an easy configuration."
  • "They need to be able to allow us to keep some of the older products on our cloud controllers or any of their controllers longer and just start supporting the new controllers. They force you into an upgrade unnecessarily."

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use the solution for its performance, compatibility, and capability.

We do a lot of schools, some colleges, large civic centers, large arenas, that kind of stuff. We know how to deploy this so that they get great client connectivity and have easy guest onboarding. We can onboard guests really easily. Each guest that connects has a pre-shared key that they get. They're all unique. We have some great control over guest traffic, and great control over say, corporate traffic. We control how much bandwidth a guest user gets versus a corporate user, and who gets priority on the network.

How has it helped my organization?

When COVID happened, we deployed external access points to the outside of a lot of the buildings that are very weather-resistant, all-metal enclosures, and their students have been able to do assignments and schoolwork and that kind of stuff from the parking lots of the schools. They can drive up in their car, get their assignments, or do work that they need to while they're connected to the school. It made it pretty seamless as everything was already set up on their laptops. Most of the schools are what they call the one-to-one initiatives, where every student gets a laptop. They've been able to work through COVID from their cars in parking lots when they need to be at the school for something. It's really benefited a lot of the schools to be able to do that.

What is most valuable?

The solution has an easy configuration.

The performance is good.

Ruckus is way ahead of the game on a lot of stuff, like Wi-Fi 6. They're already rolling out their second version of Wi-Fi 6 which is a huge improvement over even Wi-Fi 5. The way wireless started is you had 802.11b, 802.11a, then 802.11g and 802.11n, then 802.11ac, then AC wave 2, 802.11ax, which is Wi-Fi 6, the first version. Now, the next version of Wi-Fi 6 is rolling out already.

These guys are an engineering company that has some very awesome patterns on how their radios work and their antennas and antenna patterns, and how their signaling and stuff works. That's why nobody can touch them. If they go head-to-head with anybody, they blow Cisco and Aruba out of the water, and Mist, for radio client connectivity. 

They compete head-to-head with all the big names.

What needs improvement?

As far as what they can improve, that's a good question, as they're leaders in what they do in my opinion. I don't know what they can do to improve what they're doing currently. 

They're not the most expensive, and they're not the least expensive. They're right there in the middle. Pricing might be a deciding factor for some companies. If they were cheaper, they might land more customers.

They've got a rotation or a life expectancy of about four years for the radio. Not that the radio is going to die. I've got some that are way older than that that the customers are still using. However, they take them and they end the life of them at four years.

Many of their wireless products are end of life by year four. That's most of it as technology has changed so much that those old radios can't do stuff that is now available for PCs to connect or phones to connect to, etc. What they do is they force you into upgrading. We've got a couple of cloud controllers. If I've got a cloud controller that is in the same version 5.1, and I want to go to version 5.2, due to the fact that I need to support the new radios coming out, I can't if I have some older radios on that controller. They make it so I can't upgrade that controller to the latest software to support the new radios as I've got some end of life radios on there that go end of life when I upgrade the software.

They need to be able to allow us to keep some of the older products on our cloud controllers or any of their controllers longer and just start supporting the new controllers. They force you into an upgrade unnecessarily. We have some customers that have just a few APs, small businesses that don't want to or don't need to upgrade their controllers. For us to be able to work with their latest access points, we've got to upgrade their controller, but we can't as it's got some older ones on it, and that bites us every year.

I know the reasoning behind it. It's because it could be security features or it's something that the access points don't support that newer devices do, like your laptops and cell phones. They'll support this new Wi-Fi 6 coming out, yet I can't run the same types of radios on this particular controller software anymore. They can't have both. That kind of puts me off a little bit. But that's the only thing that the company's done that's made me mad.

There's a lot of new features coming out of Wi-Fi 6 that they don't even have the chips in the phones for yet. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for six years or so at this point.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is very stable. We don't have any issues with it at all.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution is very scalable. I can have up to three controllers, each one housing 10,000 APs. Therefore, I can have a cluster of controllers controlling 30,000 different APs. I don't have anything that big. The closest one is close to 1000, however, still, it's nice to be able to have redundancy. I can build in more redundancy if I need to. 

How are customer service and technical support?

As a Ruckus partner, I've got access to Ruckus. I've got access to tech support and it makes things a lot easier for our end-users and the businesses that I work with. If they have an issue they can come directly to me, or they can go directly to Ruckus. It doesn't matter. I'll be happy to help them. If I can't answer the question or get them fixed, then we'll deal with tech support. I don't call tech support very often. Maybe once a year, if that. They make a good product and have good training. Once you learn it, it's pretty easy to manage. We used to have Cisco's products die on us every one or two years. I don't know the last time I had to turn in an RMA for a Ruckus radio. They have a solid product.

How was the initial setup?

I've been doing it a long time, so for me, the setup is straightforward. If a person is a brand new to the system, like any system, it can be fairly complex. However, they have great documentation on their website on how to set it up. To do very complex things, that takes somebody who knows what they are doing. I've got a very complex scenario that I need to set up then that's what I get paid for - to help set that stuff up. I will go in and configure things securely for guest access and BYOD devices and corporate laptops with 802.1x. 

You can have a controller version, or it could be a controller-less. I have a standalone AP, I just got one office with one AP, I don't need it to be controlled by anything. I've got one or two SSIDs, and that can still be configured. It's just that you're doing it on the AP or they have what's called Unleashed, which is controller-less. The AP is the controller and that can do up to 50 APs all controlled by one AP. But if that AP was to die, it doesn't matter that configuration is saved on all of them and the next one in line will just take over as the controller AP. There are several different interfaces you may run into to be able to configure the things, however, they're all very similar in how they work and react. The full controller has much more capability than Unleashed, and Unleashed has more capability than the standalone. 

In terms of deployment, we figure for an AP it's about an hour and a half. That's for both configuration and installation. Therefore, if you have 20 APs, it's about 30 hours for 25 APs. That's setting up the controller, virtual or cloud-based, setting up the APs, your SSIDs, passwords, 802.1x, and then physically mounting them.

What was our ROI?

Our clients definitely get a return on investment when they purchase Ruckus.

What other advice do I have?

We are a customer and reseller.

I'm using the latest version of the solution.

Through a controller, we use 802.1x. There are multiple ways to deploy it to customers, including via a cloud controller. We typically do a virtual controller on our client's systems.

I would advise, if a company is new to Ruckus, to work with a partner. It's important to have somebody that knows what they're doing, and knows what questions to ask so that you're getting the right information. When I go to do an implementation, I've got a list of 50 different questions. I'll ask somebody, what about this? What about this? What about this?

You get what you pay for. People will throw in Lynksys and this other home stuff up. I'll say, that's great. If you're a business, it won't cut it. Say you're a coffee shop and I've got 50 customers sitting side. you want all of them to get the same performance all the time. If I've got three people, four people in that coffee shop streaming videos or watching movies or whatever it might be, I want to make sure everybody gets an equal amount of time without anybody getting any interruptions. With Linksys and Ubiquiti and all these other brands, you don't get that. In head to head competition, Ruckus far outshines them 10 to one. You just can't compete. When they say it's going to do something, it'll do it. They don't put documentation out that is misleading. If it says it'll do 1,024 clients it'll do 1,024 clients. If it says it'll do 4.3 gigabytes, it'll do 4.3 gigabytes.

I'd rate the solution at a nine out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Private Cloud
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Learn what your peers think about Ruckus Wireless. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: November 2021.
554,382 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Tim Cummings
Systems Engineer at JUHSD
Real User
Reliable with good performance, good backend, and good ability to provision the devices

Pros and Cons

  • "The APs themselves have been pretty solid. We haven't had too many of them go bad or anything like that. The wireless performance seems pretty good. The ability to provision the devices is pretty good, and the back end is also pretty good."
  • "Their support has been lacking a little bit and needs to be improved. I have had a ticket open for a month, and it is really hard to get a resolution out of them. They haven't really come out with anything that is much of an improvement in a long time. It has mostly just been fixes and things like that. We used to have a ZoneDirector or a physical controller for the wireless network, and that was kind of end of life. It was very old, and at the time, we were expanding the wireless network, and we didn't want to rely on one piece of hardware that was pretty old. So, we went to SmartZone Cluster, which has two VMs in a cluster. Unfortunately, we lost the feature ability for guest networks and other things that we were using before, and Ruckus just kind of told us that they weren't supporting that feature in the newer product, which is not really great. I was told initially that SmartZone was an upgrade to ZoneDirector. It is the logical thing to think that it is going to have all the same features, but it didn't. The issue that we have right now is onboarding BYOD devices. It is not really great for us, and we're looking for a new product to make that easier. We did have Cloudpath, which was a product that Ruckus purchased from another company that was an onboarding solution, but it just didn't really work very well for us. So, we discontinued using it, and it actually created more confusion for people. They should make BYOD or guest network portals a lot easier and better. In some areas, we have been having issues because there are just so many WAPs that are so close that we had to manually turn down the radio of power because the automatic feature of the AP wasn't really doing it right. It should also have a little bit better RF analysis capability to be able to see on the controller side. The front end for our staff, students, and guests has also not been quite as good as we had hoped."

What is our primary use case?

We started rolling out Ruckus access points about eight years ago, but it was a very small deployment. We only had about 15 or 20 devices, and later on, we did a bond measure upgrade to basically go and expand that to having one per classroom and a few in the common areas such as cafeteria, gyms, and stuff like that. The idea was that we were going to put on-premises one-to-one, which is like putting a Chrome cart of 35 devices in each classroom. We wanted to be able to have the ability to have high-density wireless in the school district and up to possibly 80 devices per room because we were thinking of BYOD and devices that we already have. Generally, it was to be used for just normal day-to-day access to the network and internet.

We now have about 350 WAPs. Half of them have been installed over three years, and the other half are probably installed just under three years. We did a switch refresh in 2015, and we went with Brocade to replace our aging Cisco equipment, which was probably 20 years old. So, that's what we have right now. 

We are basically using the latest version of SmartZone. We are up to date on that. Unfortunately, about 98 of our wireless access points are now considered end-of-service. They don't support the newer boot code, so we had to create a separate zone. They are on a kind of legacy firmware that is probably about five or six versions back. Our other zone has the latest AP firmware. They basically have separate firmware. They are basically doing a firmware for the controller and then a firmware for the APs. You could even elect to have different firmwares per AP.

What is most valuable?

The APs themselves have been pretty solid. We haven't had too many of them go bad or anything like that. The wireless performance seems pretty good.

The ability to provision the devices is pretty good, and the back end is also pretty good.

What needs improvement?

Their support has been lacking a little bit and needs to be improved. I have had a ticket open for a month, and it is really hard to get a resolution out of them.

They haven't really come out with anything that is much of an improvement in a long time. It has mostly just been fixes and things like that. We used to have a ZoneDirector or a physical controller for the wireless network, and that was kind of end of life. It was very old, and at the time, we were expanding the wireless network, and we didn't want to rely on one piece of hardware that was pretty old. So, we went to SmartZone Cluster, which has two VMs in a cluster. Unfortunately, we lost the feature ability for guest networks and other things that we were using before, and Ruckus just kind of told us that they weren't supporting that feature in the newer product, which is not really great. I was told initially that SmartZone was an upgrade to ZoneDirector. It is the logical thing to think that it is going to have all the same features, but it didn't. 

The issue that we have right now is onboarding BYOD devices. It is not really great for us, and we're looking for a new product to make that easier. We did have Cloudpath, which was a product that Ruckus purchased from another company that was an onboarding solution, but it just didn't really work very well for us. So, we discontinued using it, and it actually created more confusion for people. They should make BYOD or guest network portals a lot easier and better.

In some areas, we have been having issues because there are just so many WAPs that are so close that we had to manually turn down the radio of power because the automatic feature of the AP wasn't really doing it right. It should also have a little bit better RF analysis capability to be able to see on the controller side. The front end for our staff, students, and guests has also not been quite as good as we had hoped.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for about eight years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It has been pretty reliable. I have not had any issues recently. A couple of times, we had some issues while upgrading the path to the latest version of the controller software, for which it took a long time to get a resolution, but otherwise, the system works pretty well.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is scalable. It seemed pretty easy to scale. We went from having 25 to 350 devices, and it wasn't too difficult. The hardest part is just getting them in the physical location.

In terms of the number of users, it could potentially be up to 4,000 people. When we had full normal school going on, we were seeing somewhere around 1,900 clients a day on average.

How are customer service and technical support?

One of the deficiencies that they have right now is their support. A lot of times I've opened a ticket with them, and I have this back and forth communication going on. I have had a ticket open for a month, and it is really hard to get a resolution out of them. I would rate them a five out of ten.

Before they had the mergers, their support used to be really good. They have been really good in the beginning, but the company suffered a little bit from being bought out a couple of times. Brocade bought Ruckus, and then ERIS bought them. They then got bought by Broadcom, who sold off half of Brocade's business and then spun the campus switch over to Ruckus Networks. After that, they got bought by CommScope. So, the support has been lacking a little bit.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

In terms of an enterprise solution, this is the only solution that we have been using. Before that, we had some kind of APs that weren't really controller-based.

How was the initial setup?

It was pretty straightforward. Once we had it kind of configured and dialed out, it was pretty easy. Obviously, different buildings, devices, and things can be complex. There is no blanket setting that works for all places. 

On campuses where we have buildings more spread out, it works better. When we have one site that is basically a whole giant building, the WiFi is a little too dense there, and we had to manually change some settings for that.

As far as adding an AP is concerned, it is pretty easy. You plug it in, and it contacts the SmartZone controller and downloads the firmware. After that, it shows up as a new available AP. You just put whatever WLAN or zone that you want it to be in.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

It is decently priced.

What other advice do I have?

I would advise others to make sure that they do a good demo and the feature set meets what they want.

I would rate Ruckus Wireless an eight out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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PhilipSlaughter
Independent Consultant - Wireless
Consultant
Top 20
Very fast with good technical support and very good scalability

Pros and Cons

  • "The solution is very stable. I've worked with it at a hospital before, where we deployed it all over the hospital. It worked everywhere and continuously worked flawlessly."
  • "What would be interesting to see is if they had more of an ability for their customers to capture revenue. They should offer some sort of gateway functionality that you could tie through radius authentication, so you can bill the customers. That way, when you go in, you could just have a device and set up a hotspot, and it's a totally billable tool at that point."

What is our primary use case?

I primarily use the solution for pretty much everything worked-related and for e-commerce and studying. 

How has it helped my organization?

It basically allows you to go everywhere in your office or at your house or even outside your house and be connected. If you wanted to go do a Zoom right by the pool, you can go Zoom by the pool. Or in your office. Basically, I live in a house that's got a lot of trees around it and I've got some outdoor APS. I can pretty much conduct business from wherever I want without having to worry about a lost signal or drop-off.

What is most valuable?

I use the Wave 2 platform. It'll get up to close to approximately 800 megabits or something to that extent. It outruns whatever internet connection you have.

The wireless is just very fast, and it has a frequency set that can work around local interference that houses have even if some of their cheaper routers are broadcasting on a given channel. We can tune our wireless network and open up a lot of channels with DFS and stuff like that.

It's a pretty solid product. Once, at the hospital I worked with, they had a model and they went from a 300 to a 310. The 300 had a certain power output range, and everything was designed perfectly. Then, as it turned out, 310 didn't cover as much. We had to replace it with the next model up which is the 610 to maintain the coverage we expected. They were good about it and didn't charge us for the change.

What needs improvement?

I really don't need anything faster right now. However, if I would like to get a faster speed eventually. I have a gigabit at my townhome. I'd like to be able to get an APX to add a whole gig on.

What would be interesting to see is if they had more of an ability for their customers to capture revenue. They should offer some sort of gateway functionality that you could tie through radius authentication, so you can bill the customers. That way, when you go in, you could just have a device and set up a hotspot, and it's a totally billable tool at that point.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for a couple of years. I pretty much use it all the time.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is very stable. I've worked with it at a hospital before, where we deployed it all over the hospital. It worked everywhere and continuously worked flawlessly.

Sometimes they have their own glitches when there's a release of new software, like any company. However, once you get them stabilized, they're really good systems. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution is very easy to scale. That's, what's nice about it. In our office, we only had to have one AP to cover the whole thing. Their whole business strategy is, for every five APs you might install another grid or eight to double. We do it for three, due to the fact that they have such great independent technology.

I have about 20 users at home and maybe ten users in the office.

I just got an internet connection in my house at a 400 megabits download speed. If I max it out on it and I think I did, on my laptop, I'm going to move to the next evolution of the product. I plan to increase usage in the future and I plan on deploying it in the future on other projects I'll be working on.

How are customer service and technical support?

While technical support is very good, I'd advise that you need to make sure that whatever you do, you have a good backup.

Technical support, in general, is not too hard to get to, however, depending on the difficulty of the problem, you need to get advanced level support. If you need them, you just have to ask them for it, beyond talking to the first guy you get on the phone.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I've used a variety of different solutions in the past. I've been using Ruckus for quite a bit of time now. However, before that, it would be just a router that I bought. For example, a Linksys or Ubiquiti, or something like that. 

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is not straightforward per se. You really have to know what you're doing. At my house, I use a commercial-grade solution. I loaded this special software onto the product (that they have on their website) to make it like a standalone product with their own small standalone network. I have basically programmed everything myself. You have to really be pretty smart at it, to be honest with you. It's not just something somebody can just pick up. However, I've worked with it for ten years, so I know the equipment inside and out.

In terms of deployment, for what I had to do, at the locations I'm speaking of, it was very simple. The only thing is that the house is that I have a porch on the second floor overlooking the pool, and then it looks into this wooded area behind my house. It's got a pretty good set up. I have an AP sitting on a tree out there and I'm running power to it. It's like filling in that whole area, mesh unit, wireless swings, so I can get power to it from the pool. It's just awesome to have wifi everywhere.

What about the implementation team?

I handled the deployment myself. I also handle the maintenance, if any is needed, on my own. It's not too hard as I have a good background in the technology.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

For me, licensing is zero. You don't really need to have any licensing for what I own. The only thing is, unless there's some software update that you need, you don't have the support. If you're stable and it runs, you don't need to do anything. However, if you need those software updates they'll make you pay. 

What other advice do I have?

I'm a consultant. I was a partner of Ruckus at another company, however, right now, I am just a customer.

I've got the solution installed in my office and directly connected to an AP. Then, at home, I've got a mesh network. I basically meshed three of these solutions together.

They do a lot of stadiums and outdoor areas and works very well.

I'd advise others considering the solution that, when you're implementing your wireless products or area of coverage, make sure you test it. Also, make sure that you have the proper signaling to the outer edge where you want coverage. That's what I would say, no matter what product you bring in. Just test its capabilities to make sure it does what you need it to do.

Overall, I'd rate the solution ten out of ten.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Stephen Kirby
Founding President at Cambio Broadband, LLC.
Real User
Top 20
Extremely scalable, great mesh technology, and capable of whitelisting networks

Pros and Cons

  • "The mesh technology is the solution's most valuable aspect. Ruckus originally had the patent for it. They might've lost it because I see now that other people are doing it, however, they were the ones who came out with the smart mesh technology first, which is phenomenal."
  • "They have so many products that there are so many different part numbers for the US and other countries. That means it's easy to make a mistake with the licensing. You have to have somebody knowledgeable on the other end with the licensing. If you make one mistake, it can be a $2,000 mistake."

What is most valuable?

The mesh technology is the solution's most valuable aspect. Ruckus originally had the patent for it. They might've lost it because I see now that other people are doing it, however, they were the ones who came out with the smart mesh technology first, which is phenomenal.

Ruckus is superior when it comes to indoor and some outdoor wireless. I use it for some arenas. The T750 outdoor access point is fantastic. The bridges to get to the access points are great. 

Ruckus offers a technology that works with frequencies, which is excellent. That means if there are other access points or other wireless interference in the area, Ruckus has enough frequency band to change frequencies automatically. So they're never being interrupted.

Another excellent feature Ruckus offer is, if you have access points or other items in your organization, in, say New York City, and your network doesn' want interference, they can cancel out other access points around there. Especially in a place like New York city, you're picking up stuff from other buildings. With Ruckus, you could block those access points and those signals to make your network the only one that people can see within that network. To this day, I haven't had this experience on Mist or Aruba. You can also whitelist certain networks. It's an excellent amount of control that's provided to you as a client.

What needs improvement?

The physical device itself is lacking. They're made with plastic and seem a little cheap in construction, especially when compared to other manufacturers and providers.

The company itself has had its time in the sun and may be past peak after so many mergers and acquisitions. They were originally a router and switch company. Then they were bought by one of their distributors. The company is floundering after so many changes to the organization.

The product is great, but the problem is there are other players in the market now. In 2004 when they were founded, they had the market and they were the big name for wireless within an enterprise. The company was also expanding out between buildings and everything. Then all of a sudden, after 2017, you don't really hear their name anymore. 

They have so many products that there are so many different part numbers for the US and other countries. That means it's easy to make a mistake with the licensing. You have to have somebody knowledgeable on the other end with the licensing. If you make one mistake, it can be a $2,000 mistake.

I'd like to see them do some licensed frequency stuff on the 365 gigahertz band, more for service providers, and then on an enterprise level.

I'd like to see them do something with LTE.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution since about 2015 or maybe as early as 2014. It's been about five or six years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is quite stable, even in large networks. I've sold 50 access points and the client swears by them. They run the largest car dealership in the country. It's very, very reliable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

You can scale the solution as much as you want. There's never a problem with scalability. 

How are customer service and technical support?

Ruckus used to have amazing support. It was impeccable. Before, when something broke, I had to go through these channels to get stuff resolved under warranty. I still sell their products to select customers that are stuck with them because they won't switch off due to the fact that they use the same management server. They can only use Ruckus access points or Ruckus management servers.

The last time I had to deal with them, I had to go through CommHub. I wasn't impressed with it. It may have been when they were going through an acquisition transition. Still, the level of technical support was awful. It's really dropped off. Their staff needs more training. 

What they need to do is not have technical support under CommHub, They need to keep Ruckus as a separate division for support.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I have knowledge of many different solutions, including Ubiquiti and Mist. I don't use Ubiquiti. However, Mist that does BLE technology and I don't believe Ruckus can do what they do. BLE technology is superb because you could track people with it using their cell. There's a ton of features available if you look at Mist. I sold probably about $300,000 or $400,000 worth of equipment from between 2005 and 2017. That's about $250,000 worth of equipment. Then, all these other players came into market. Ruckus was expensive, but you didn't need as many access points with Ruckus as you did with other access points because they were that good. With the wireless, more doesn't mean better.

How was the initial setup?

I have an extensive technical background with Ruckus, especially on an enterprise level. I was able to figure the implementation out easily. It was pretty simple. To set it up is easy, however, to work with it is more complex. It takes a while to understand all the features. 

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Their pricing is expensive. That said, being a partner, their competitive upgrade pricing is phenomenal. 

I don't remember the exact pricing. When we bought it, we bought the warranties with them for three years. We got advanced replacement.

What other advice do I have?

We've been using the latest version of the solution. We're resellers of Ruckus.

Typically, I would recommend the solution. However, their market share has really dropped off and their marketing is terrible from the logo to the name.

Their partner portal is great because you could register as a partner, and, because I'm a partner, I could register easily and use the backend and frontend for salesforce.com. I can log in and register deals with them. 

It looks like CommScope created their own technology with Ruckus technology and an LTE solution. Some sort of small cell. I would advise users to stay away from that because if they were better in the enterprise, they should stick to their wheelhouse and market that instead of going out into the small cell.

I'd rate the solution nine out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
MZ
Asst. Manager Technical at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
Reseller
Top 20
User-friendly with an easy setup but needs to diversify its hardware options

Pros and Cons

  • "The solution is very user-friendly."
  • "They lack in some hardware stratification."

What is our primary use case?

We are a distributor of Ruckus. We are actually maintaining their channel partner in the Pakistan region. Our business model is that we create partnerships where we are the retailer for Ruckus and the partners going to sell Ruckus to the end customer. We are actually the box mover for them. We act as a bridge between Ruckus and end customers.

We are box movers. We handle all the deployments in Pakistan, across industries including in the education sector, in the military sector, in health organizations, hospitality, etc. We cover every vertical. Whenever Ruckus is deployed, it goes through our channels. We are the ones who can provide the boxes to end customers. There are many use cases. Thousands of boxes are shipped from us and deployed in different market segments.

What is most valuable?

Their wireless products and their switching LANs have been the most valuable aspects for us.

Their hardware, such as their access point controller and their ICX switches, are great. 

The solution is very user-friendly.

The initial setup is easy.

What needs improvement?

They lack in some hardware stratification. They do no have a complete product line with respect to customer requirements. Their product line is limited and does not have the options which the end customer is actually looking for. For example, if a customer is looking for some redundant power supply switches, they have that option available in their mid-range or high-end switches. They don't have that option in their low-end or entry-level switches. That is the main problem we are facing when we are proposing a Ruckus solution to an end customer. That customer actually wants redundant power. If the customer wants the redundant power supplies in their entry levels switches, Ruckus doesn't have that option for them. 

The same problem exists with its wireless platform. Some hardware limitations are there, which definitely need to be addressed. They need more controller options and more hardware options. They just have two models, ZoneDirector and SmartZone. They need to put some other hardware options on the market to fulfill the customer requirements. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution since about 2007 or 2008. It's been about a year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is quite stable. We haven't had any issues in that regard. It doesn't crash or freeze.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Ruckus solutions are scalable. When you talk about flexibility, their solutions are very flexible. A single access point can work on any controller. As in wireless, your access point should be worked as a standalone with a controller or as a controller-less environment. 

Their access point is flexible enough to work in any sort of deployment. They can work as a standalone, they work on their different controller platform. Their same access point can configure to the Ruckus cloud. 

They are scalable in the sense that you can add access points to their controller. Switches have their own scalability and flexibility option. Basically, the solution is 100% scalable.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is good. They're very responsive to any technical issues. Their tech team is good enough on the technology side, so they can resolve the issues in a timely manner. I would give them 70% to 60% marks in terms of knowledge and responsiveness. Of course, there is some room for improvement. All in all, it's an average support experience.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is not complex at all. It's very easy and very straightforward.

It's very user friendly, so it's not hard to set everything up and deployment is pretty quick.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

If I compare Ruckus licensing costs with the market leader, they're on the cheaper side. Our competitors are actually charging more for support and licensing fees to end customers. However, Ruckus charges less for both licenses and support. They are not expensive when you compare them to the competition. They are very cheap.

What other advice do I have?

We are a Ruckus distributor.

We are proposing the Ruckus solution to our customers with the latest software versions, not the older versions. Whichever the latest version is, we propose them to our customer. We are always working on the latest version and all the products in the Ruckus, like switching, wireless, software, etc. They do have some different software versions. However, we are working on the latest, stronger versions.

We use both the cloud and on-premises deployment models.

I definitely recommend the Ruckus solution, however, there are pros and cons to every brand. Ruckus does have some benefits and they are very strong in their RF technology. If you talk about their switching side, they are the pioneers of that. Their switching platform is stable. They are using some proprietary technologies like BeamFlex and ChannelFly. 

They are providing greater flexibility alongside the best scalability. They're great.

Overall, I would rate the solution seven out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Distributor
D6B8
District Technology at a educational organization with 1,001-5,000 employees
User
Top 5
Ruckus is a big dog in a dog-eat-dog world, if given the chance; will take a bite out of their competition

Pros and Cons

  • "Valuable features include Bonjour Gateway and the hardware antenna array."
  • "Sometimes doing mass changes on their products can be challenging."

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?

About four years.

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?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Scott Tunis
Vice President at a comms service provider with 51-200 employees
Reseller
Top 20
Good performance, easy to deploy, and the support is responsive

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable feature is the performance. It works great."
  • "I would like to see this product made a little more economical because it's very expensive."

What is our primary use case?

We are a solution provider and Ruckus is one of the wireless networking products that we implement for our customers. In this context, we are a managed service provider because after well sell the package, then deploy it, we manage it for them.

This is a full solution including Rucks Access Points, Rucks Switching, Ruckes Cloud Controller, and we have a point-to-point set up in these installations. It's multiple locations, but they're all pretty similar to each other.

As a managed service provider, we are a little different than a reseller. Our relationships are not with the companies that are selling us the equipment, it's more with our customers. So, we're trying to put ourselves in a position that we're making those decisions not based on a relationship with a vendor because those can change as technology changes. Today it might be Ruckus, tomorrow it could be Cisco Meraki. It's all based on customer needs and what they're looking for. Though, the vendor relationship is also important because, obviously, we need to support all of this stuff

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the performance. It works great.

The second most important feature is that it is super easy to deploy. As an example, we deployed this without having any of our physical techs on site. We basically used a contractor to put stuff where we asked for it to be put, but there were no real technical people on site, due to COVID. It is a very large processing plant, so they have maintenance people that we were able to ask to plug things in and place hardware. Pretty simple stuff. After that, we were able to remotely configure and optimize the setup remotely. Again, we didn't buy it because of that, but that turned out to be a huge benefit to going with this product.

What needs improvement?

The management software is cloud-based and they're constantly revising their cloud software, so there's always room for improvement.

I would like to see this product made a little more economical because it's very expensive. If I look at the percentage of my customers that I can sell it to, it's under 5%.

For how long have I used the solution?

Our deployment for Ruckus Wireless started several months ago, at the beginning of this year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Ruckus Wireless is extremely stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

This product is very easy to scale and I have a couple of pretty decently-sized Ruckus deployments.

The one that we are currently working on is a very physically large deployment and it's a mix of indoor and outdoor access points. Inside the single physical location, there's a pretty large distance between the location itself and an offsite, which is the reason we have a point-to-point.

There is the main physical location and then there is an offsite a couple of miles away, which is part of the deployment. The offsite doesn't really have any physical structures, though it does need the ability to have wireless. So, we're using a point-to-point to connect the two.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is tiered. Their first level of support is very responsive, maybe not super technical. But again, depending on the size of the problem, they are pretty quick to offer more advanced, technical support or escalate technical support pretty quickly.

We ran into a few issues during this deployment, where stuff wasn't working the way we thought it should be, or we were having some difficulties configuring things, and they were very, very responsive to get involved in it. It seemed like that response was also pretty much on demand. So, even if we would call late in the day or at night, they were able to get someone on support. We rarely had to wait until the next day to get anything resolved.

How was the initial setup?

It is set up as a public cloud, with the vendor's controller on its cloud. All of the equipment is on-premises but managed remotely through the cloud.

What about the implementation team?

Our in-house team is responsible for deployment and maintenance.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

This is a very expensive solution.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Ruckus has a very specific niche and is surely not the cheapest solution. You have to have customers that are willing to spend that kind of money. If they are willing, then it's a really good solution.

What other advice do I have?

I would rate this solution an eight out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Reseller
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