Thursday, 21 May 2015 01:38

Ruckus smartens SmartZone with smarter new version


Competitors may well be smarting as Ruckus unveils its new SmartZone, a carrier-grade software platform for operators and enterprises to deliver the ‘wireless networks of the future.’

The latest version of the SmartZone software platform from Ruckus has been designed to be scalable, resilient and carrier-grade to optimise the WiFi experience.

Billed as a future-ready solution that caters to service providers and ever more demanding enterprise needs, Ruckus says it ‘addresses the growing challenges that enterprises and service providers face in delivering high-performance, reliable WiFi, while also providing them with a clear path to meet constantly increasing network infrastructure performance and service requirements.’

SmartZone ‘provides unified software architecture across wireless LAN (WLAN) controllers, for appliance, virtualised and cloud environments’ offering what Ruckus claims is ‘the ultimate in deployment flexibility.’

This is evidenced by the claim of being able to scale up to 300,000 devices, singer and multi-tenancy and ‘WiFi-as-you-grow’ for networks to expand with and adapt to the changing needs of today’s modern businesses.

Naturally, the new SmartZone software incorporates and supports all Ruckus ZoneFlex indoor and outdoor access points (APs), managed by a family of Ruckus physical and virtual appliance controllers.

These include the new Ruckus SmartZone 100 WLAN controller supporting up to 25,000 clients with with up 10Gbps data throughput, along with the ability to manage 1024 ZoneFlex access points, among other features.

It also supports the Ruckus virtual SmartZone (vSZ) virtualized WLAN controller, for service providers and businesses large and small, the Ruckus virtual Data Plane with vSZ-D and the Ruckus SmartCell Gateway (SCG) 200 , which Ruckus says is ‘the most scalable hardware WLAN controller on the market, supporting up to 10,000 access points (APs) and 100,000 clients (with a capacity of up to 20 Gbps) per appliance in a cluster architecture.’

It’s also ‘the only platform that integrates 3GPP gateway functions, allowing mobile network operators (MNOs) and managed service providers (MSPs) to integrate Ruckus Smart WiFi into their existing mobile core to leverage infrastructure services such as authentication and billing, already in place.’

Some of the key benefits and features of SmartZone are as Ruckus explains:

  • Resiliency – including cost-effective, massive scalability, active-active controller clustering, enhanced AP survivability and distributed deployment functionality;
  • Innovation – next gen Zero-IT with Hotspot 2.0, Google and Facebook log-on functionality, and Ruckus ChannelFly technology with adaptive channel selection;
  • Manageability – multi-tenant and multi-site, single pane GUI for easy management of the entire cluster, 30 days of embedded reporting data with data retention, license transfer across the SmartZone controller family, and restful/JSON API.
  • Capacity Based Client Admission Control – designed to maintain best bandwidth option between WiFi and Cellular networks, this feature protects the user experience when an AP is under a heavy load, and maintains minimum bandwidth per client;
  • Service Provider WiFi Gateway Functionality – this feature supports integration with the mobile packet core using SaMOG per 3GPP Release 11 standards, for trusted WLAN access. Other features include support for subscriber management, other value-added services such as traffic breakout directly to the Internet, and Hotspot 2.0 Release 2 technology, which enables the WiFi connection experience to be as secure and easy to use as 3G/4G LTE.

Greg Beach, VP of Product Management at Ruckus Wireless said: “Enterprises and service providers that are providing WiFi are under the stress of increasing mobile device proliferation and constantly escalating availability requirements of business-critical applications.

“As applications evolve and more devices get connected, both of them need to invest in a high performance and high availability network to overcome these challenges today, while investing for their future WiFi needs. With our Ruckus SmartZone software platform, we’re providing them with a solution that is cost-effective and easy to use and manage.”

Pricing and Availability:

  • The new SmartZone range of physical and virtual appliance controllers in now available worldwide.
  • vSZ-D is coming in Q3 2015.
  • The new Ruckus SmartZone 100 starts at US $4995.
  • The The Ruckus virtual SmartZone (vSZ) pricing is US $995 per instance, plus US $100 per access point license.


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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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