Ruckus Wireless Debuts Smart Wi-Fi Products For Large Enterprise and Branch Offices

By PRESS RELEASE — September 10, 2008

SUNNYVALE, Calif. /PRNewswire/ -- Ruckus Wireless delivered a collection of new Smart Wireless LAN (WLAN) products and capabilities targeted at large-scale enterprise and branch offices to enable easier and more cost-effective deployment of next generation Smart WLANs.
Smart WLANs are the next step in corporate Wi-Fi technology that extend signal range, actively reject interference, and constantly adapt to changing environmental conditions without human intervention.

The new Ruckus Wireless Smart Wi-Fi products and capabilities include:

  • The ZoneDirector 3000, 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),
  • The FlexMaster remote Wi-Fi management system for centralized management of ZoneFlex APs and/or ZoneDirectors over a wide area IP network,
  • SpeedFlex, a unique Wi-Fi performance utility that measures client wireless throughput, and
  • 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."

Scaling the Enterprise with Smarter Wi-Fi
The ZoneDirector 3000 is the first line of enterprise-class Smart WLAN controllers to deliver a secure, robust and easily expandable Wi-Fi solution at an unmatched price. Capable of managing up to 250 ZoneFlex 802.11g and 802.11n Smart Wi-Fi access points from a central point, the ZoneDirector 3000 system is designed for simplicity and ease-of-use.
The ZoneDirector 3000 line, a single hardware platform offering pay-as-you-go support for 25, 50, 100 and 250 ZoneFlex access points (software upgradable), offers unique capabilities not found in other controller-based systems, such as Smart Wi-Fi meshing, the ability to generate dynamic pre-shared keys and sophisticated performance and monitoring tools.
Unlike other centralized WLAN systems, the ZoneDirector 3000 employs a flexible distributed forwarding architecture. This eliminates potential performance bottlenecks by not requiring all traffic to flow directly through it thereby providing more flexible deployment options and better overall system-wide performance.

The ZoneDirector 3000 also offers unprecedented price and coverage. Today the cost of deploying a wireless 802.11n infrastructure for 1000 users (100 APs) with the leading wireless LAN supplier exceeds $175,000. With the ZoneDirector 3000 and ZoneFlex 7942 802.11n access points (though typically fewer Ruckus ZoneFlex APs are required) this same WLAN infrastructure costs only $94,000 while providing more than three times the Wi-Fi signal coverage, higher speeds, and streamlining operational costs by eliminating the need to run Ethernet cables to every access point.

Smart Wi-Fi for the Distributed Enterprise with FlexMaster
The Ruckus FlexMaster system, the first-of-its-kind remote wireless LAN and service management platform, now supports the ability to remotely manage and administer Ruckus ZoneDirector Smart WLAN controllers located in remote offices.

From a central location, administrators can log into any ZoneFlex WLAN controller through the FlexMaster system and perform all ZoneDirector management and configuration tasks. This is ideal for solution providers, hotel chains, school districts, retail chains, distributed enterprises and other environments where discrete WLANs are deployed but must 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 (e.g. geography) 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, providing total flexibility where help desk personnel are located.

Remotely Measuring Client Performance with SpeedFlex
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.

From any centralized ZoneDirector WLAN system, administrators can remotely invoke a speed test for a specific user thereby isolating client issues. SpeedFlex differs from existing test tools because it was developed specifically for Wi-Fi and focuses on characterizing performance at the wireless Link Layer.

Flexible Deployment Options and Capabilities Make Robust WLAN Simpler
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. Additionally, ZoneFlex WLANs now support the seamless roaming for VoIP clients within a Layer 3 environment.

Finally, the Ruckus ZoneDirector system now 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.

Pricing and Availability

Available immediately, the U.S. list price of the Ruckus ZoneDirector 3000 starts at $6,000. Software license upgrades allow customers to quickly and easily upgrade the number of APs supported on ZoneDirector as their environments grow. ZoneFlex 7.0 software support for the ZoneDirector platform is a free upgrade to customers with Premium Support contracts. A ZoneFlex Mobility license that adds 802.1x roaming and WLAN tunneling for VoIP layer 3 roaming support on a per controller basis is priced at US $3,000 for the ZoneDirector 1000 and US $8,000 for the ZoneDirector 3000. Also available immediately, the Ruckus FlexMaster system starts at US $5,000.

About Ruckus Wireless, Inc.
Based in Sunnyvale, California, Ruckus Wireless is a next-generation Wi-Fi company credited with pioneering "Smart Wi-Fi" technology. Named a 2007 Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum, Ruckus Wireless was formed in 2004 at Sequoia Capital. The company designs, develops and markets Smart Wireless LAN systems that provide reliable and adaptive distribution of delay-sensitive multimedia content and services over standard 802.11a/b/g/n technology. The company's patented hardware and software technologies deliver predictable performance, extended range and real-time adaptability to changing Wi-Fi environments. The company has raised approximately $42 million in financing from premier venture capital investors, consumer electronics companies and broadband operators.


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