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Wednesday, 11 March 2015 12:55

Ruckus ZoneFlex H500: off-the-wall performance from an on-the-wall device


A new switch and access point from Ruckus is designed to fit a standard wall junction box, providing a convenient and discreet arrangement for hotel rooms, student residences and apartments. And according to the company, it delivers superior performance.

The Ruckus ZoneFlex H500 combines four 10/100Mbps Ethernet ports (useful for devices such as set-top boxes, VoIP phones and networked minibars) with a dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi access point for guests' or residents' smartphones, tablets, notebooks and other devices.

The H500 can be powered by a mains adaptor or - to minimise the wiring required - Power over Ethernet on the Gigabit Ethernet uplink port. It also provides PoE to wired devices.

On the Wi-Fi side it features Ruckus's patented BeamFlex+ technology, which uses two antennas to direct the signal towards client devices to maximise data throughput.

The antennas are dual polarised, so the H500 can compensate for the device orientation, increasing signal strength reception by up to three times, according to the company.

The H500 can be used as a standalone device, but is more likely to be managed from the company's ZoneDirector, SmartCell Gateway 200 or virtual SmartCell Gateway.

The H500 will go on sale in the APAC region during 2Q15 at US$365.

One early adopter is Point Clear Holdings Hotels and Resorts, which operates the 405-room Grand Hotel Marriott Resort, Golf Club and Spa in Point Clear, Alabama, USA.

Corporate director of IT Sean Miller described the H500 as "very cost effective" as its Wi-Fi performance meant there was no need to install one in every room.

"The H500 is aesthetically pleasing and cost-effective, yet delivers the high-performance, high-capacity 802.11ac Wi-Fi we want to provide to our guests now, and for years to come," he said.

"The H500 wall switch is awesome - it doesn’t require a lot of management - it just works."

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Stephen Withers

Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.

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