I Friggin’ LOVE You, Ruckus ZoneFlex 7055

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Why aren’t the other WLAN makers doing this? Why isn’t MY wireless vendor doing this?

I have ran an awful lot of UTP in my day. Those of us who grew up installing UTP before wireless came along know that network wiring isn’t just copper in the wall. When properly installed by trained professionals, premise wiring is as much a component as anything else in the enterprise network environment.

Where solid, well-provisioned cabling systems are getting less used because wireless is fundamentally changing our access habits, we have an easily overlooked investment at the ready. So why do we have to run more wire for wireless access points when we’re often just a few yards away from perpetually unused UTP runs in the wall?

I get that ceiling-mount APs are the preferred methodology where possible. But holy smackers, sometimes getting there takes huge money, new pathway, hazardous materials abatement, and dancing with a labor union or two. In the right setting, an AP designed to leverage existing wall-plate network jacks would be the cat’s ass, baby.

Ruckus gets it, and just announced their sweet new ZoneFlex 7055 access point.

With dual-band 11n, 2×2 MIMO, support for 16 SSIDs, a Gigabit uplink port and four Fast Ethernet ports all powered by 802.3af PoE, the 7055 brings a lot of capability at a list price of $369. Yes- three hundred and sixty-nine dollars… Shut up!

The ZoneFlex 7055 will also power an IP phone, and mesh other locally-powered 7055s that just can’t be located where cable exists, which amounts to a pretty empowering feature set.

You already own the wire, you might as well use it.

And with that, Ruckus hits one of my top-three requests for WLAN makers!

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13 thoughts on “I Friggin’ LOVE You, Ruckus ZoneFlex 7055

    1. Steve J

      AP-93H better?
      such a statement!
      Single radio only, no PoE Out, rubbish mesh?

      are u sure of what you’re saying?

      Reply
      1. wirednot Post author

        There’s “better”, then there’s “marketing better”. And sometimes, bad is bad- as the great Huey Lewis himself once said.

      2. Seth Fiermonti

        Let’s go over it then. Why do you need PoE out sourced BY THE AP? How much power can the Ruckus take in from its source and still deliver PoE out and provide good wlan output power and functionality?

        As far as the wired ports themselves, can each one have a separate configuration and tunnel back to a controller or be split-tunneled or bridged locally? On the Aruba, each port can have a specific config and all traffic (or a subset) can be processed through our ICSA certified firewall. So, in conference rooms or public areas, there can be a simple deployment that centralizes VLAN configuration (no VLAN config needed on each uplink to the AP), provides industry-best security, provides application and user/client visibility, and for guests, can generate the same captive portal that one would get on the guest SSID. Also, wired clients are role-based meaning students and teachers plugging in would be placed in different access roles at our controller. For application and QoS, Aruba supports AppRF which can automatically prioritize Voice, Video, and UC applications like Lync (we are the only certified wireless Lync partner according to Microsoft). Aruba also gives user centric visibility into these users, what devices they are using, and what applications and destinations are being used in real time.

        Next, let’s bake-off the products and do performance tests. If this is being done in dorms or conference rooms, there can be alternate APs that do 2.4 and 5 designs.

      3. wirednot Post author

        Excellent detail, thanks Seth. I can’t speak first hand on either product beyond having a genuine appreciation for the form factor. But I would agree that side by side comparison of features sets (including ability to operate without controller), performance (always the hardest to prove objectively and reliably), and to me very important- how easy and effective it all is to manage in the WMS (or even manually if just a few are in play) would have value.

    1. Seth Fiermonti

      We would love to participate! It’s not my area (I’m in New Hampshire) but we welcome any opportunity to tell our story! Thanks for the kind words

      Reply
  1. Sriram Venkiteswaran (@wesriram)

    Let me chime in too. I am not sure if any of you have seen Motorola’s wall plate AP – AP6511. It has the industry’s most powerful radio in the smallest form factor. It’s a Single Radio AP, but dual band supporting 2×2:2 MIMO. with sleek, modular design. The best part is AP6511 runs WiNG5 operating system (all the good things about WiNG5) and has Virtual Controller technology built in – it can act as Controller for upto 24 APs providing centralized management / configurations etc. For small sized deployments you don’t need a controller – one AP can act as the Virtual Controller.

    Reply

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