Tag Archives: Interop

Live From Interop- On Ruckus Wi-Fi

So here I am at Interop, coming to you from the Mandalay Bay Hotel at the end of the famous Vegas strip. This prestigious IT event is expected to bring in around 12,000 participants, and I hope to see a lot of them at my own sessions (I’m the Chairman for the Mobility Track for this edition of Interop.) And while we’re all here, we’ll be making use of the conference-provided Wi-Fi.

Getting Wi-Fi service properly working for the wildly varying client base under some of the toughest RF conditions around is always a challenge at these events, and it can be risky to the reputation of whatever brave company takes on the duty. This time around, that brave company is Ruckus Wireless. 

Given my lofty status as a media type and industry analyst, I worked my extensive intelligence network of insiders, moles, turncoats, stoolies, and blabbermouths to get the confidential scoop on what Ruckus is doing to make it all work. Well, I would have done all of that, had Ruckus not provided me with a press release on their setup. Here’s what The Dog has going on here in support of Interop:

A full press release is here.

As I pen this, I’ve not yet formed an opinion on the network yet, but there will be more to come on that.

Ruckus Wireless will be at Booth 642 during the Expo- stop by, get a tour of their product set and a demo on SPoT, as location analytics are hot tech these days.

Are you at Interop? Add your comments here and let me know how the Ruckus/Acrux experience is working for you.

Are you a Ruckus customer? The same invitation is extended to you- let me and your fellow readers know how your Ruckus Wi-FI experience is going for you.





Mersive’s Solstice- A Nice Alternative To Complicated Presentation Paradigms

UPDATE: https://wirednot.wordpress.com/2014/02/20/so-close-yet-so-far-with-mersives-solstice/ my take on Mersive’s pricing.

Mersive is a company that only recently made it to my radar, but I’m glad they did. I covered their interesting Solstice product for Network Computing back in March ’13, and was so smitten with the promise of what Solstice could do that I nominated them for Best of Interop award consideration. Fast forward to today, and I’m liking Solstice more, as it has gained some polish and added features.

Here’s a quick summary of the problem that Solstice solves, as I see it: since wireless became mainstream, users have wanted to walk into a projector/display-equipped room and quickly mirror the screen on their laptop, tablet, or smartphone to the in-room display for all to see.

Options to accomplish this have been clunky at best. There are ad-hoc wireless connection protocols and thingys that don’t play well in the enterprise for a number of reasons, and that paint the single user that might leverage them into a corner of sorts where they can only project (usually while causing interference to the corporate WLAN) and not be on “the network” at the same time. There are new Wi-Fi direct hardware options that also create odd little islands of radio noise where used. Then there is Bonjour, the limited, dated protocol that requires what I consider to be ugly rejiggering of the LAN/WLAN to make desired display functions work only for select Apple devices.

In other words, there has not been an easy-to-implement, OS and network friendly (and agnostic) way to solve the simple paradigm of letting users show what’s displayed on their devices on the big screen without plugging in.

Back to Mersive and Solstice.

The cats at Mersive are computer scientists and display experts that understand getting pixels where they need to be, and generally don’t give a rip about hardware. Mersive’s software magic powers most of the biggest, most impressive video walls you’re ever likely to see, and they approach the boardroom/classroom display problem differently from all of the clunky alternatives that came before.

If the goals are:

  • Require no additional hardware
  • No network changes and make it work across subnet boundaries (piss off, Bonjour)
  • Let any mainstream OS project to the central room display
  • Don’t let the users in one room hose their neighbor’s display
  • Make it simple to use
  • Keep it affordable

Then Solstice’s latest (1.2.1) hits the mark *almost* perfectly. I have been experimenting with it for a couple of weeks, and like what I see. I have the server software installed on my mocked-up “podium PC”, and free Solstice app software on several Android and iOS mobiles, along with Win 7 and 8 laptops all on different wired and wireless subnets on the same network.

And it just works.

There is the briefest of learning curves, excellent documentation, adequate security, and it all is simply an add-on to what you already have for network topology. Specify the name or IP address of the Display server from the client device, hit “connect”, and display away. Reliably,  for both pictures and video, or for the whole device desktop.

You can get a little fancier with Solstice’s operation, and allow for several users to collaborate by all projecting their content to a common display simultaneously (it is touted as a collaboration tool) and do a few other advanced options that may or may not fit for individual use cases.

Though I am only  kicking the tires right now, I can say that after years of fighting the display paradigm fight, I have found the best weapon I personally have ever seen in Solstice.

Did I mention that you don’t have to touch the network to make it work?

It’s not cheap at list price of $3,500 per server instance, but then again, this is a quality solution that instantly takes care of a number of display headaches.

Oh yeah- and you don’t have to touch the network. Me so happy.