Ruckus Wireless (News
) delivered a collection of new Smart Wireless LAN (WLAN) products and capabilities for large-scale enterprise and branch offices for easier and cost-effective deployment of next generation Smart WLANs.
Smart WLANs extend signal range, actively reject interference, and constantly adapt to changing environmental conditions without human intervention.
The new WLAN products and capabilities include the ZoneDirector 3000, which is a new line of scalable, easy-to-use Smart WLAN controllers to manage Ruckus ZoneFlex Smart Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n access points (APs).
It has a FlexMaster remote Wi-Fi management system for centralized management of ZoneFlex APs and/or ZoneDirectors over a wide area IP network. A unique Wi-Fi performance utility called SpeedFlex will help in measuring client wireless throughput.
It has also a range of new ZoneDirector Smart WLAN capabilities, such as integrated DHCP support, 802.1x roaming, Dynamic Pre-Shared Key (PSK) for Windows Mobile and CE devices and Layer 3 support.
"Larger companies have begun demanding simpler wireless LAN solutions that still provide high-end capabilities but at a much lower overall cost of ownership," said Bart Burstein, VP of product management for Ruckus Wireless. "Our ZoneFlex Smart Wireless LAN systems are the only such products to combine the best of classic centralized wireless management with state-of-the-art RF signal routing to give enterprises more consistent Wi-Fi performance, extended range and streamlined deployment without the traditional hassle and high costs associated with conventional wireless LANs."
The ZoneDirector 3000 is a first of its kind in line of enterprise-class Smart WLAN controllers that delivers a secure, robust and easily expandable Wi-Fi solution at an affordable price. It is capable of managing up to 250 ZoneFlex 802.11g and 802.11n Smart Wi-Fi access points from a central point and, is simple and easy to use.
The ZoneDirector 3000 line is a single hardware platform that offers pay-as-you-go support for 25, 50, 100 and 250 ZoneFlex access points (software upgradable). It has Smart Wi-Fi meshing, the ability to generate dynamic pre-shared keys and sophisticated performance and monitoring tools.
The ZoneDirector 3000 employs a flexible distributed forwarding architecture, hence avoiding traffic to flow directly through it, thereby providing more flexible deployment options and better overall system-wide performance.
The Ruckus FlexMaster system has the ability to remotely manage and administer Ruckus ZoneDirector Smart WLAN controllers located in remote offices. Thus, it’s suitable for solution providers, hotel chains, school districts, retail chains, distributed enterprises and other environments where deployed discrete WLANs are required to be controlled and monitored from a single point without dispatching IT staff.
FlexMaster allows the grouping of multiple ZoneDirectors based on any of a number of attributes and consolidates system-wide views on a single dashboard. FlexMaster also replicates the configuration from one ZoneDirector controller to others through simple configuration templates and task scheduling.
Unlike other management platforms, the Ruckus FlexMaster system easily integrates with existing OSSs. It uses industry standard protocols to access devices on networks that otherwise might be blocked by local firewalls or network address translation (NAT) devices. ZoneFlex WLANs or discrete ZoneFlex APs can be managed across a private, public or hybrid IP network.
Integrated within each ZoneDirector, SpeedFlex is a new Wi-Fi performance utility that allows administrators to quickly and easily measure the Wi-Fi throughput of associated WLAN clients. With SpeedFlex, administrators can better plan, troubleshoot, monitor and measure WLAN performance, eliminating the need to use Internet-based measurement tools or costly performance tools that often provide inaccurate results of the local Wi-Fi environment.
SpeedFlex is developed specifically for Wi-Fi and focuses on characterizing performance at the wireless Link Layer.
ZoneFlex software release (7.0) adds a number of enhancements that enable more flexible and scalable deployments for large enterprises. Layer 3 support for ZoneDirectors allows ZoneFlex APs to be automatically discovered and managed across different subnets. Also, ZoneFlex WLANs support the seamless roaming for VoIP clients within a Layer 3 environment.
Ruckus ZoneDirector system provides caching of pairwise master keys (PMK) and opportunistic PMK caching. This eliminates the requirement for traffic to be sent back to a remote RADIUS server when roaming across managed APs. Ruckus Wireless has also extended support of its popular Dynamic PSK technology to now include Windows Mobile and CE devices.
Arun Satapathy is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Arun's articles, please visit his columnist page.
Edited by Eve Sullivan