Thursday, 02 June 2016 02:47

Ruckus rides bigger Wave 2 wireless portfolio

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With a cutting-edge, new, Wi-Fi "Outdoor Access Point" and a mid-range "Indoor Access Point" designed to bring "Wave 2 Performance" to the mainstream market, Brocade has purchased a ruckus.

Two new wireless access points (APs) have been launched by Ruckus Wireless with upgraded management software that "double Wi-Fi client density and data rates over previous generations", while "improving the wireless experience for retail, hospitality, education, enterprise and service provider customers".

The news comes a day after Brocade announced it had completed its US $1.2 billion acquisition of Ruckus Wireless, as reported at iTWire here.

The new APs are based on the "802.11ac Wave 2 standard" featuring multiple user-multiple input, multiple output (MU-MIMO) technology, which Ruckus says can "simultaneously transmit multiple client streams to different devices on the same RF channel".

As Ruckus reminds us, it was "first-to-market with Wave 2 APs in April 2015", something iTWire reported on 3 May 2015 in an article titled "Video Internet: Ruckus waves its Wi-Fi wand so you can Wave 2", and in another on 4 April 2015 titled "Waving, not drowning: Ruckus Wireless to drown Wave 2 802.11ac users in connectivity".

The company now claims to have "the industry’s broadest Wave 2 portfolio".

Ruckus also proudly boasts that all its "Wave 2 APs combine MU-MIMO with Ruckus’ patented BeamFlex+ adaptive antenna technology and ChannelFly predictive channel selection to deliver the highest performance Wi-Fi possible, optimising signals for every client and transmission".

So, what’s the added detail on the two new APs?

First up is the ‘Ruckus ZoneFlex T710 access point.’

It is what Ruckus says is "an outdoor version of the industry-first Wave 2 R710 AP delivering multi-gigabit Wi-Fi performance and unprecedented client capacity".

We are told that the T710 includes "four dual-band antennas — utilising BeamFlex+ adaptive antenna technology — along with interfaces for Ethernet and fiber backhaul, plus built-in GPS for ease of location and inventory management, making it a flexible platform for enterprise and service provider outdoor deployments".

Then coming second is the ‘Ruckus ZoneFlex R510 access point’.

This is said to be a "Wave 2 version of Ruckus’ most popular indoor AP (R500)".

The R510 is dubbed by Ruckus as a "competitively priced AP for mid-market customers, featuring two dual-band antennas (also utilising BeamFlex+ technology) that combine MU-MIMO to service more devices with the highest efficiency".

Ruckus notes that "unlike competing products that require expensive switch upgrades to accommodate higher power requirements, the R510 can work with existing 802.3af-capable Ethernet switches".’

Naturally, both APs can be managed by Ruckus ZoneDirector and SmartZone controllers.

Ruckus says both are "software platforms for managing wireless networks, including user access controls, guest networking functions, advanced Wi-Fi security and traffic management".

As part of today’s announcement, Ruckus has also announced it is upgrading its SmartZone controller to version 3.4 with new features for:

  • self-optimising Wi-Fi networks,
  • remote network management,
  • simplified installation of new APs, and
  • Amazon Web Services support.

Ruckus is also upgrading ZoneDirector to version 9.13 to enable:

  • even better network installation, and
  • management.

The company says "both platforms also now provide built-in support for Ruckus’ Smart Positioning Technology (SPoT) location-based service and Cloudpath certificate-based security management software, user onboarding and policy access management software".

Greg Beach, vice-president of product management, Ruckus Wireless Business Unit at Brocade, said: “Wave 2 is quickly becoming the high-performance Wi-Fi standard, especially when combined with patented Ruckus innovations like BeamFlex+ technology.

“The early adopters across retail, hospitality and education are seeing tremendous benefits as they rely on Smart Wi-Fi to engage customers, deliver services and run their businesses.

“With today’s new indoor and outdoor access points, we’re excited to take Wave 2 mainstream for any enterprise or service provider deployment.”

Mike Fratto, research director, Current Analysis said: “Ruckus’ new APs expand options for Wave 2 deployment across multiple industries.

“Fast, reliable wireless is clearly becoming more business critical, and we expect Wave 2 systems will stimulate faster growth for Wi-Fi throughout 2016 and 2017.”

As you might have already guessed, Ruckus ZoneFlex APs are available through the company’s existing global distribution network.

The R510, T710, SmartZone 3.4, and ZoneDirector 9.13 are currently scheduled to be released in July 2016.

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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