You have made the decision that you need to upgrade your wireless infrastructure. You know you want to use Ruckus Wireless Access points but now you have the decision of how you want to control the AP’s. Gone are the days of having to worry about configuring thirty stand-a-lone access points, having to purchase an expensive WLC (Wireless LAN Controller) which costs big bucks when renewing services or support or learning to configure a non-intuitive controller that means you need to hit the books again.
With today's wireless technology you have many options to choose from when it comes to how you want to control your access points.
Ruckus Wireless delivers several software platforms that are complimentary and address different needs for customers from small to large enterprises. Now you can pick the platform that is right for your wireless needs. There is a controller for every type of business need with a very easy to use intuitive GUI for each platform. Platforms vary from controllerless, virtual, physical to cloud based.
So what is the difference between the Ruckus Controllers:
Ruckus ZoneDirector - The Ruckus ZoneDirector is the original enterprise wireless controller, it has a number of models available and runs the first controller OS that Ruckus developed. A physical appliance that comes with a lot of features but potentially does not have some of the newer features that larger enterprises would want. The controller is still a great appliance and it integrates with all of the latest Ruckus technologies. I would be aware that we may find some of the larger ZoneDirector Appliances making way for the Smartzone controllers.
Ruckus SmartZone - The Ruckus SmartZone platform is available in both physical and virtual appliances. It is the latest controller OS being originally made available in March of this year. Originally called RuckusOS. The SmartZone has a number of advances in features that has made the smart-zone controller one to watch and offers some very good features in terms of reliability and scalability. The SmartZone brings a new updated GUI with a real fresh and slick interface that makes wireless even easier to mange than it was on the Ruckus ZoneDirector. It looks like this is the OS that Ruckus will be championing as the flagship OS for medium to large enterprises in the future. It is supported on Hyper-V, KVM and VMware.
Ruckus Unleashed - The Latest controller from Ruckus is actually controllerless, allowing SMB's to benefit from the advanced wireless access points without having to pay for a controller. Ruckus Unleashed allows the AP's to be managed by a primary and secondary AP and has more or less the same controller operating system as the Ruckus ZoneDirector running on the AP. It supports up to 512 devices and can work with up to 25 access points. A number of new features are road mapped with the unleashed project, so watch this space.
Over the following weeks I am going to be creating a number of short blogs to cover the differences between the controllers to help you make a decision on which controller will best suit your needs. If you are keen to learn more about the controllers or would like to see our demo environment, then please contact your Computerworld account manager and we can arrange a one to one demo for you.