Network and Wi-Fi equipment maker Ruckus Wireless has announced Microsoft Lync Server Wi-Fi certification for several of its latest ZoneFlex access points for ‘crystal clear Wi-Fi calling’.
The products include the new Ruckus ZoneFlex R500, R600, T300, ZoneDirector 1200, 3000, 5000 and Ruckus SmartCell Gateway (SCG) 200.
The company explains that Microsoft Lync certification ‘ensures an exceptional user experience for small and mid-size businesses (SMBs), and large enterprises that utilise Microsoft Lync and Office 365 by enabling a seamless, fully integrated unified communications (UC) solution.’
Ruckus Wireless also states that Microsoft Lync certification of its Wi-Fi products ‘reflects unique technical advances in handling delay-sensitive voice and video traffic over Wi-Fi.’
To differentiate against competitors, Ruckus says its ‘Smart Wi-Fi access points integrate patented SmartCast technology,’ which ‘combines sophisticated scheduling and queuing mechanisms with advanced heuristic algorithms that automatically identify and characterise traffic based on its unique behaviour to ensure peak performance.’
When using Ruckus’ Smart Wi-Fi systems, we’re told that ‘all traffic is queued/de-queued by specialised schedulers, optimised for the corresponding traffic type, the delay/jitter tolerance and bandwidth requirements of the traffic, and the changing characteristics of each station on the wireless LAN.’
Furthermore, ‘this automatic Type Of Service (TOS) tagging also eliminates complex Quality of Service (QoS) configurations, with automatic management of lower-speed 802.11 devices to assure bandwidth availability for prioritised video and voice over Wi-Fi applications.’
Combine this with Ruckus BeamFlex adaptive antenna array technology, and each packet is then directed ‘over the fastest signal path that yields the highest data rates’, with multimedia Wi-Fi performance being ‘effectively perfected.’
As you’d expect, Ruckus Wireless bills this as ‘simply better Wi-Fi calling’.
The company notes this is ‘particularly important with emerging applications such as Wi-Fi calling that now provide the ability to place a cellular voice call over a Wi-Fi network, terminating the call with the carrier network.’
What happens with many existing Wi-Fi calling solutions is the utilisation of the 3GPP IR-92 standard for VoLTE (voice over LTE).
This standard has an option that allows the entire LTE stack to be tunnelled over Wi-Fi using IPSEC. As a result, the payload is encrypted thereby preventing conventional Wi-Fi access points from differentiating traffic types.
Ruckus SmartCast is different in that it is ‘able to prioritise Wi-Fi calling traffic by acting on the TOS bits set by the smartphone in the IP header, using advanced heuristic algorithms that allow the system to detect voice traffic by looking at the size and frequency of packets in a flow, regardless of whether the flow is encrypted.’
So, where does this all fit into Microsoft’s Lync Certification Details?
The explanation is that ‘Microsoft Lync delivers a platform for unified communications on devices of all types, including mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops—one that is widely accepted in the enterprise environment.
‘In addition to communication processes such as instant messaging, voice and video calling, Lync is also capable of managing electronic file transfers, Web conferencing and sharing modalities. These services can be utilised not only within the internal organisation but with the external world as well.’
It’s here that Amer Hassan, Principal GPM of Microsoft Lync Partner Engineering chimes him. Hassan says: “Ruckus continues to meet growing customer requirements for higher capacity, managed Wi-Fi enabled UC solutions that support the explosion of smart devices connecting to enterprise networks.
“By qualifying Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi with Microsoft Lync, Ruckus is delivering the type of infrastructure needed to help meet growing customer demands for increased unified communications capacity and mobility.”
At this point, Greg Beach VP of Product Management at Ruckus Wireless, is sent into the breach, saying: “Microsoft Lync delivers a platform for Unified Communications which is widely accepted in the enterprise environment.
“Utilising the many capabilities Lync provides with a Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi network infrastructure, we believe enterprises can deliver a very high-quality user experience.”
More information on Ruckus Wireless network infrastructure qualified for Microsoft Lync can be found at this part of Microsoft’s TechNet site - just click on the ‘Networking’ tab.
There’s several other certified brands there, too, but Ruckus is definitely on the list!