Ruckus Wireless has unveiled a new, free Smart Wi-Fi mobile application, the Ruckus Smart Wireless Installation and Provisioning Engine (SWIPE), to help field technicians and IT personnel quickly and efficiently install and configure Ruckus ZoneFlex access points (APs) in distributed deployments using mobile devices such as iPhones, iPads, smartphones, and tablets.
With SWIPE, system integrators and carriers/service providers can more easily register the Ruckus APs deployed on their Wi-Fi networks onto centralised management systems such as the Ruckus SmartCell Gateway (SCG) 200 and/or Ruckus virtual SmartCell Gateway (vSCG).
SWIPE updates the SCG or vSCG with data about the AP, including location specific details (e.g., pictures, location) and validates AP connectivity. SWIPE can also search for APs by name as well as by proximity and error condition.
Deploying a new AP is now as simple as scanning the barcode of the AP, entering in the AP Name, taking a picture of the installed AP, and choosing a configuration profile (AP Group) for that AP. Upon first boot up, the AP will connect with the Ruckus SCG or vSCG and automatically download the appropriate configurations.
Ruckus SWIPE makes it easier to remotely manage or troubleshoot existing APs by reducing errors in configuration and log updates, easily locating and navigating to APs in the field via GPS on popular mapping applications, and triaging problem APs by sorting on alarm severity and proximity.
SWIPE can also test the performance of existing APs and store the data. Reports can then be emailed from the application and printed or reviewed elsewhere.
“Remote WLAN deployments historically have involved entering AP serial numbers into backend IT systems to facilitate DHCP Option 43, the protocol that helps APs associate with the wireless controller, and, in our case, the AP needs to have the backhaul connectivity in place before the AP can register with the SCG,” said Greg Beach, vice president of product management, Ruckus Wireless.
“Now, with SWIPE, smartphones, for example, can serve as a bridge between the AP and a Ruckus SCG to facilitate the AP turn up, even when the backhaul isn’t in place, and without having to use DHCP Option 43-like processes. It’s a great time saver that eliminates time-consuming and inefficient second truck rolls to validate installations.”
With SWIPE, technicians don’t have to drive to and from sites looking for APs, as it offers the ability to sort APs by proximity, highest standing alarm, and by name, allowing technicians to visualise APs on a map, and get driving directions to where each AP is installed. SWIPE also enables technicians to take a picture of each as-built AP, and perform a Speedtest of each AP to validate good coverage.
SWIPE also helps eliminate the inefficient and error prone process of manually updating backend systems with AP serial number, MAC addresses, location, IP address, etc. using a notepad, email or phone. SWIPE users can simply email information such as serial numbers, MAC addresses, AP model numbers, firmware version, location (Latitude/Longitude), as-built pictures, etc.