Ruckus Wireless expands 802.11ac Wave 2 Wi-Fi portfolio

New products include high-end outdoor access point, a mid-range indoor access point and upgrades to SmartZone and ZoneDirector platforms; acquisition by Brocade completed

Ruckus Wireless expands 802.11ac Wave 2 Wi-Fi portfolio

Ruckus Wireless, now part of Brocade following completion of the takeover deal on 27 May 2016 (see below for more) has launched two new wireless access points (APs) and upgraded its management software.

The new products double Wi-Fi client density and data rates over previous generations, while improving the wireless experience for retail, hospitality, education, enterprise and service provider customers.

The new APs are based on the 802.11ac Wave 2 standard featuring multiple user-multiple input, multiple output (MU-MIMO) technology, which can simultaneously transmit multiple client streams to different devices on the same RF channel. Ruckus was first-to-market with Wave 2 APs in April 2015, and will now have the industry’s broadest Wave 2 portfolio, it claimed.

All Ruckus Wave 2 APs combine MU-MIMO with Ruckus’ patented BeamFlex+ adaptive antenna technology and ChannelFly predictive channel selection to deliver the highest performance Wi-Fi possible, optimising signals for every client and transmission. The new products include:

Ruckus ZoneFlex T710 access point
This access point is an outdoor version of the industry-first Wave 2 R710 AP. The T710 (pictured above) includes four dual-band antennas—utilising BeamFlex+ adaptive antenna technology—along with interfaces for Ethernet and fibre backhaul, plus built-in GPS for ease of location and inventory management, making it a flexible platform for enterprise and service provider outdoor deployments.

Ruckus ZoneFlex R510 access point
This AP is a Wave 2 version of Ruckus’ most popular indoor AP – the R500. The R510 is a competitively priced AP for mid-market customers, featuring two dual-band antennas (also utilising BeamFlex+ technology) that combine MU-MIMO to service more devices with the highest efficiency.

Ruckus claimed that unlike competing products that require expensive switch upgrades to accommodate higher power requirements, the R510 can work with existing 802.3af-capable Ethernet switches.

Both APs can be managed by Ruckus ZoneDirector and SmartZone controllers. ZoneDirector and SmartZone are software platforms for managing wireless networks, including user access controls, guest networking functions, advanced Wi-Fi security and traffic management.

In addition to the new APs, Ruckus has upgraded SmartZone to version 3.4 with new features for self-optimising Wi-Fi networks, remote network management, simplified installation of new APs, and Amazon Web Services support.

Ruckus is also upgrading ZoneDirector to version 9.13 to enable even better network installation and management. Both platforms also now provide built-in support for Ruckus’ Smart Positioning Technology (SPoT) location-based service and Cloudpath certificate-based security management software, user on-boarding and policy access management software.

“Wave 2 is quickly becoming the high-performance Wi-Fi standard, especially when combined with patented Ruckus innovations like BeamFlex+ technology,” said Greg Beach, vice president of product management, Ruckus Wireless Business Unit at Brocade.

“The early adopters across retail, hospitality and education are seeing tremendous benefits as they rely on Smart Wi-Fi to engage customers, deliver services and run their businesses. With today’s new indoor and outdoor access points, we’re excited to take Wave 2 mainstream for any enterprise or service provider deployment.”

Ruckus ZoneFlex APs are available through Ruckus’ global distribution network. The R510, T710, SmartZone 3.4, and ZoneDirector 9.13 are currently scheduled to be released in July.

Brocade completes acquisition of Ruckus Wireless
On 27 May 2016, Brocade completed its acquisition of Sunnyvale, California-based Ruckus Wireless. Brocade said the move represented an important step in its strategic vision to build a pure-play networking company which supports the rapidly evolving requirements of the digital transformation era.

The combination expands the breadth of Brocade's portfolio of storage networking and IP networking solutions by adding high-performance wireless hardware and software products.

Wireless is a critical access technology for modern new IP network architectures and is a natural extension of Brocade's advanced offering of fabrics, software-based virtualisation, network analytics and mobile networking solutions.

Growth in mobility is driving exponential increases in connected devices and data, and fuelling the need for greater analytics capabilities and more pervasive security across the network.

The combined company's expertise and technology leadership in carrier-grade wireless, virtual Evolved Packet Core, mobile edge computing, and network visibility further strengthens the disruptive mobility strategy that Brocade announced in February 2016.

Brocade added that it also positions the company to provide differentiated solutions and scale-out capabilities in support of emerging opportunities, such as OpenG(TM) technology and 5G services, Internet of Things (IoT), and smart cities.

"The combined company will be able to deliver superior focus and speed of innovation and best-in-class solutions spanning the full spectrum of networking," said Lloyd Carney, Brocade CEO.

"Our combined world-class portfolio now provides customers with greater flexibility in meeting today's infrastructure requirements, including high performance, flexible, secure access networks."

"Together, Ruckus and Brocade create a unique and exemplary leader in networking across the global market," said Selina Lo, CEO, Ruckus Wireless Business Unit at Brocade. Both companies have pursued a similar vision for modern networks built on open systems, network virtualisation and ubiquitous mobility.

“Our combined product portfolio offers numerous leverage points for continuous integration and innovation in the future. The Ruckus team is excited to join Brocade to drive our roadmap further and to jointly deliver innovative, value-added solutions that fulfil the wired and wireless needs of our customers."

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