October 17, 2016

OpenG Rap: Unlicensed to Ill

Indoor cell signal feels so wack! Do not worry though, MC Ruckus and the Dawgs (aka Ruckus OpenG engineers) will set you straight with this funky gold-teeth-laden introduction to new technology. We got your back, yo! #OpenG #WhatDidIJustWatch

Read more about OpenG...


Catch OpenG in the Wild

Juan Santiago


By: Juan Santiago, Director of Product Management


In partnership with Dell/EMC, Ruckus, now a Brocade company, will be showing its first live demo of OpenGTM at Dell EMC World this week.  OpenG is a solution that greatly improves in-building cellular coverage and capacity at a much lower cost than DAS or traditional small cells.  Because OpenG uses the newly-released US 3.5GHz CBRS coordinated shared radio spectrum, enterprises and venues can finally deploy a single in-building cellular solution to serve subscribers of all mobile operators.  To learn more about OpenG technology and why it’s the best approach to answer the indoor cellular coverage problem, visit https://www.ruckuswireless.com/openg Openg_dellworld blog post

The Dell EMC World demo highlights the Quality-of-Service (QoS) advantages of the 3.5GHz CBRS spectrum versus the existing Unlicensed 2.4GHz ISM or 5GHz UNII spectrum, especially in crowded Wi-Fi environments like the Dell EMC World conference.  A high-quality video stream and a video conference call are shown simultaneously over wired Ethernet, Unlicensed and CBRS.  Whereas, Unlicensed degrades as traffic increases and more users tune in. CBRS uses a central coordination service to assign a clean channel base on the exact location of the base transmitter.  In addition, Ruckus OpenG small cells use LTE technology on the CBRS spectrum, resulting in truly cellular-like QoS, mobility and seamless roaming. 

The demo will also include different components from key industry players, including:

  • Dell - Servers, NFV software, laptops
  • Brocade - Virtual Enhanced Packet Core, Ruckus CBRS LTE access points
  • Qualcomm - CBRS LTE modems
  • Federated Wireless - CBRS spectrum allocation database service

Look for me and check out the live demo at the Emerging Client Technologies area of the Dell Customer Solution Center, Booth C6, at the Austin Convention Center, October 18-20.

Can’t make it to Dell EMC World? Don’t worry, you can also visit Booth #C44 at Futurecom to learn more about how OpenG will solve today’s in-building cellular challenges.


October 13, 2016

WiFi data – The new gold mine!

Udaya Padmanabhuni


By: Udaya Padmanabhuni, Sr. Principal Product Manager


The number one role of network data is to improve the operational performance of the network and ultimately drive business objectives. Data analytics provide insights on network functionality and user habits that network managers have never had before. With these insights, enterprises can make decisions network infrastructure, uncover answers for hard-to-solve problems and use IT resources more effectively.

Let’s look at how service providers and enterprises are leveraging data and analytics to run and improve different aspects of their business.

For Service Providers, Business Runs on WiFi

Wi-Fi has become critical element for Service Providers world-wide. Five 9’s availability is expected, along with sufficient speeds to support various business critical applications. The demand for Wi-Fi speed is ever increasing. Service Providers are expected to provide affordable Wi-Fi access to businesses and consumers, and to be profitable. Businesses rely on customer satisfaction and maintaining acceptable levels of service. Service Providers are using the data from Wi-Fi networks to monitor the health of the network, and measure the Wi-Fi KPIs and quality of service. If customers experience degraded service, their businesses are impacted immediately. Data from Wi-Fi networks is used as a feedback loop to ensure that Wi-Fi service is up and running and adequate network SLAs are maintained. SCI

Service Providers are also using Wi-Fi data to improve operational efficiency. Service Providers would like to deploy an optimal number of APs to ensure SLAs, but not over provision (or under provision) the network resources. By collecting the Wi-Fi data and analyzing user patterns and behaviors, traffic and volume of data, Service Providers are optimizing the deployment of Wi-Fi access points and other related network infrastructure. This data is also used to configure Tx power levels on access points to minimize the interference and improve the Wi-Fi performance.

When data collection and analysis has to be done manually it is a huge challenge to service providers. While the market for service providers is robust, the Wi-Fi demand is growing, the number of access points is ever increasing, and new applications are being deployed.

Enterprises Need Increased Efficiency and Reduced Cost

IT departments are tasked to ensure the health of Wi-Fi infrastructure, reduce the IT costs, and maintain the Wi-Fi service, among other things. Wi-Fi has become critical service to run the business. Data is collected from Wi-Fi networks to monitor, maintain health of the network and ensure the availability of Wi-Fi network. Wi-Fi networks are ever growing, while IT staff and budgets are remaining constant or more often, being reduced.

Enterprises are challenged to maintain the health of Wi-Fi infrastructure, while demand for higher SLAs is growing continuously. With fewer IT staff tasked with many projects, IT departments are under tremendous pressure to increase efficiency and reduce costs of Wi-Fi infrastructure. This is creating more and more challenges for IT department.

Enter Ruckus SmartCell Insight (SCI)

SCI is a reporting and analytics engine that provides visible insights into Ruckus Wi-Fi infrastructure. These insights will help drive key business decisions and improve operational efficiency of Ruckus Wi-Fi infrastructure. SCI enables decision makers to make informed and intelligent decisions about Wi-Fi infrastructure. When SCI is deployed in conjunction with Ruckus controllers and access points, businesses will be able to achieve operational efficiency of Wi-Fi infrastructure, reduce Wi-Fi costs and improve the overall profitability of business.

Check it out for yourself. SCI comes with 90-day built-in trial. More information about can be found here

October 11, 2016

What’s Scarier, Halloween or Applying for E-Rate?



By: Carly Botelho, Marketing Communications Manager @carly_botelho


Although applying for E-Rate can be a very terrifying task, we know at the very least that it cannot be nearly as scary as the crazy clown phenomenon sweeping the nation. It’s time to conquer your fear and tackle your E-Rate filing process before it is too late.

The federal government offers billions of dollars in E-Rate discounts to US K-12 schools for broadband delivery every year. This includes investments in wired and wireless infrastructure- technologies which can help transform your school into a digital-first learning model, while also keeping your student data safe. Unfortunately, the process to apply for these funds can be a little complicated, and if you accidentally miss a step, or file a form incorrectly, you could be waiting until the following year to start your important technology projects. And that is a nightmare we don’t want to become a reality. Banner_Halloween_Erate

As an approved E-Rate vendor, Ruckus Wireless has developed several resources to help you seamlessly get through the E-Rate process, so that you can focus on carving pumpkins, drinking apple cider, and trick-or-treating, instead of getting hung-up in tedious processes.

To get you started, here are the 6 steps you need to follow in order to have a not-so-terrifying E-Rate season. You can see detailed descriptions of each of these steps, with links on where to find the applicable documentation, on our website.

Step 1: Determine Technology Investments

Step 2: Start the E-Rate Process! File your form 470.

Step 3: Choose a Bidder! File your form 471

Step 4: Compliance Review – Program Integrity Audit (PIA)

Step 5: File your form 486. Start Your Project!

Step 6: Time for E-Rate to Pay Up! File your form 472 or 474

Don’t be forced to wait. Use this year’s E-Rate funding to update your wired and wireless infrastructure to increase network capacity for scalability, protect student data for increased privacy, and launch new digital learning models to improve student performance.

Want to learn more about how to apply for E-Rate, and what’s new in the process this year? Join us for an exclusive webinar with E-Rate expert, Jim Kerr, Principal at KB & Associates LLC, (who we promise is not at all spooky!) to get your toughest questions answered about E-Rate FY17. Reserve your spot here.

September 26, 2016

802.11ac and BeamFlex Are a Match Made In Heaven

Richard Watson


By: Richard Watson, Product Marketing Manager


Which RF technology do you choose?

One of Ruckus’ strong benefits has always been BeamFlex™, our adaptive antenna solution. Instead of a general purpose omnidirectional antenna, Ruckus found that using an intelligent antenna design clients could receive a more reliable signal from the access point AND interference could be mitigated in areas to improve overall performance. Beamflex post

With the advent of 802.11ac, a standardized, chip-level transmit beamforming (TxBF) is supported. A popular misconception, spread by our competitors, is that TxBF accomplishes the same end goals as BeamFlex, rendering BeamFlex useless. They are wrong.

While the chip-level beamforming is beneficial, it does not provide the same benefit set as Ruckus BeamFlex. The 802.11ac standard TxBF is designed to address the issue of strengthening the client SNR through constructive interference. Based on feedback from client devices, TxBF involves minuscule adjustments to the timing (phase) of signals transmitted by the different radio chains of the AP.

However, to provide a maximized customer wireless experience, this is only half the story. With the Ruckus solutions, BeamFlex manipulates the electrical properties of the AP antennas in order to adaptively control the direction in which transmissions are sent from the AP. The software algorithm behind BeamFlex makes its antenna control decisions to optimize throughput on a packet-by-packet basis. Since BeamFlex ensures that signals are transmitted in directions that optimize throughput, it also means that signals are directed away from areas in the network where they would be seen as interference. In other words, BeamFlex delivers the added benefit of interference mitigation. This compounds any benefit you might get from an omnidirectional antenna that is typically used in competitive access points.

The assumption that the standard 802.11ac beamforming support obviates any benefit of BeamFlex is not correct. TxBF maximizes signal-to-noise at the client device by manipulating signal timing, whereas BeamFlex maximizes throughput by manipulating signal direction. These are very different and complimentary technologies.

So, what is the answer as to which technology to choose? Both!

September 23, 2016

Common Criteria: Certified Products Galore!



By: Abhi Maras, Product Line Manager


If you track the WLAN security oriented certifications closely, you may have noticed that Ruckus was recently certified for Common Criteria.  (You can find the certification here.) For those who are not familiar, let me give a quick insight into what it means and why it is important.

What is Common Criteria?

The Common Criteria for Information Technology Security Evaluation (abbreviated as Common Criteria or CC) is an international standard for computer security certification.

Through the use of Protection Profiles (PPs) and Security Target (ST), vendors can implement and/or make claims about the security attributes of their products, and testing laboratories can evaluate the products to determine if they actually meet the claims. In other words, Common Criteria provides assurance that the process of specification, implementation and evaluation of a computer security product has been conducted in a rigorous, standard and repeatable manner at a level that is commensurate with the target environment for use.

There are member nations that are classified as Certificate Authorizing Members and Certificate Consuming Members. They have the authority to issue and consume a CC certification, and only consume (not authorize) certification given by any authorizing member, respectively.

At the time of this writing, there were 17 authorizing members and 8 consuming members.

Common criteria image 2


If the product is certified does it mean it is secure?

Common Criteria certification is primarily specified for IT procurement. Typically, an Evaluation Assurance Level (EAL) or type of Protection Profile (PP) is specified. Common Criteria certification cannot guarantee security, but it can ensure that claims about the security attributes of the evaluated product were independently verified. In other words, products evaluated against a Common Criteria standard exhibit a clear chain of evidence that the process of specification, implementation, and evaluation has been conducted in a rigorous and standard manner. In general, getting a product CC certified shows a vendor’s commitment towards getting their product thoroughly examined against the claims they make. So, it’s a good thing!

Wait a minute, isn’t EAL is going to be obsolete?

Well, yes but then again….

In the EAL process, vendors create the ST and evaluate their products against it versus an existing PP that an under-certification product has to evaluate against in the PP world. This is great but the latter also took away the ability for two similar products to differentiate from each other, as this is a must have set of requirements. While PP is new and possibly the future, EAL is still very much alive and still being issued. At the time of starting the CC certification journey back in 2014, for various reasons EAL made more sense to us and some of the product enhancements to comply were applicable to PP as well. PP also has undergone quite a bit of evolutionary change in the past couple of years. You can read all about the evolution here.

While we at Ruckus enjoy working alongside the good folks at CC, I am glad this was completed at the intended stroke of the clock (how many times does that happen in software lifecycle!?) For more details on the certified products and versions please take a look at the Common Criteria website.

September 22, 2016

In WiFi Too, It Pays To Work Hard



By: Tom Clavel, Enterprise Product Marketing


When I was a kid, my parents would tell me “Do your job well, make a difference, and everything else will follow.” Well, that’s exactly what we at Ruckus have been doing: focusing on delivering a superior Wi-Fi experience to customers around the world. And the world is taking notice.

Ruckus, now a business unit within Brocade, was just recognized by industry analyst firm, IHS Markit, as a Leader in its annual “2016 Wireless LAN Infrastructure Vendor Scorecard”. Earlier in January, IDC also named Ruckus as a Leader in its annual “MarketScape: Worldwide Enterprise WLAN 2016-2016 Vendor Assessment”, where we were recognized for our RF innovation and portfolio enhancements. 2016-SC-WL-Graph

The recognition from IHS and IDC is a testimonial to what our customers and partners already know – Ruckus is constantly looking for innovative ways to deliver a simply better wireless solution with flexible offerings and a focus on RF performance. Patented Ruckus technologies such as BeamFlex+ and ChannelFly provide more reliable wireless connectivity and higher device density per access point in the most challenging environments.

This past year, we streamlined our focus to deliver superior RF functionality and added new architecture options such as virtual, controller-less, and even cloud-based management platforms. We’ve expanded our access points with the most advanced 802.11ac Wave 2 offering now indoor and outdoor, from the entry-level to the high-density offering.

Though analyst opinions matter (a lot!), we wouldn’t be anywhere without our customers. Kudos come directly from users worldwide, from many industries. Our customers can now benefit from superior Wi-Fi with any type of deployment and architecture, offering the utmost flexibility and a solid user experience.

All of us at Ruckus are excited to continue this journey and offer a powerful access portfolio and high-performing wireless technology for our customers. We’ve taken some considerable steps in the enterprise WLAN infrastructure market. We are glad IHS and IDC have taken notice. But even more important to us, we are glad our customers are happy too.

September 08, 2016

The Art of Good Beer and Wi-Fi



By: Wendy Stanton, Marketing Manager


Whether you’re browsing Facebook, Instagram or Yelp, it’s pretty easy to find a great brewery online. Grab a group of friends and head down to the local brewery to experience some new tastes. It’s always fun to learn how the beer is made and then order a flight to taste test all the different flavors. And just to be clear— the art of pouring beer is similar to receiving good Wi-Fi.

Let me explain. Pouring a beer is an art and definitely part of the overall tasting experience. You always want to drink a beer out of a clean glass, so there are no residuals from a previous beer. The glass should be held at a 45 degree angle targeting the middle of the slope of the glass. Half way through the pour, bring the glass to a 90-degree angle and continue to pour in the middle of the glass. This will induce the perfect foam head. Too many people think there should be no foam; however, with no foam the carbonation goes straight to your stomach, causing a stomach ache. When poured correctly, the foam releases the carbonation and you can enjoy your beer pain free.   IMG_2040

Just like pouring beer correctly, deploying the right Wi-Fi also enhances the user experience. There is nothing more aggravating than not being able to connect to Wi-Fi, no matter where you are. Customers like to share their experience via social media and employees often times rely on the Internet to complete their job. Without Wi-Fi coverage they both become upset — what a headache! Some suppliers suggest that you add more access points to get the needed coverage. Not true. That’s like saying pour the beer straight into a glass—without an angle—and just drink the foam. Yuck.

Reliable Wi-Fi is a must when running a business. Retailer, Boulevard Brewery located in Kansas City, Missouri, is one of the largest specialty brewers in the Midwest and hosts 6,000 people a month for corporate events, business meetings, weddings and receptions, along with accommodating tours at the venue. Its legacy network couldn’t handle the amount of mobile devices hitting the network so the search was on for an infrastructure that could provide ease of use, central management, solid coverage and fast Wi-Fi. That’s where Ruckus Wireless comes in.

Ruckus Wireless access points have a patented smart Wi-Fi antenna array technology called BeamFlex that provides extended range and adaptive signal steering. Hence, you get the coverage needed using less APs. Just like beer—perfect foam head providing you just the flavors to enjoy. Managing the AP's are two virtual SmartZone (vSZ) for redundancy. The vSZ platform gives the network the capability to grow and adapt to the changing needs of the business.

So when beer is poured correctly, you’ll avoid getting a stomach ache. And when Wi-Fi is deployed correctly, you’ll escape headaches. They both hurt and make you feel awful but with the right solution, you will have the perfect beer and Wi-Fi.


September 01, 2016

Back to 21st Century School: Some Things Never Change

Richard Nedwich


By: Richard Nedwich, Global Director of Education 


It's that time of year again, back to school season!  As always, summer came and went too fast.  For those who work in a school’s IT department, it's time to see if all those summer technology upgrades, network expansions, fork-lift changes, patches, device provisions, policy updates and application licenses will actually work as intended when students and faculty return.  Whoever said, "Hope is not a strategy," likely never had to manage a school network! 6a00d8341ea9ee53ef01bb09211ba8970d-800wi

If you are in Primary Education, hopefully your district found the money, or used E-Rate funding, to modernize your network over the summer.  Last year, EdWeek surveyed teachers and discovered they graded their schools' 'wireless GPA' with only a 'C' average - not acceptable.

According to the Consortium of School Networks, who surveyed school IT leadership in 2016, their top 3 findings were:

  1. Broadband & network capacity are the top priority for IT Leaders
  2. Privacy and security of student data is an increasing concern for IT Leaders, with 64% saying it is more important than last year.
  3. Digital Learning is a top priority, with nearly 90% of respondents expect their instructional materials to be at least 50% digital within the next three years.

Broadband & network capacity

Was your summer focused on speeds, feeds and connectivity?  If you're one of the lucky ones, maybe your school upgraded your network to 802.11ac Wave 2
for wicked fast download speeds and the capacity to support 1:1 digital learning.  Or maybe this was the year to clean out the switch closet and upgrade from 1Gbps to 40Gbps edge switches; furthermore, was this the year you were 'cloud-curious' and decided to upgrade to high-performing Cloud-managed Wi-Fi.

Privacy and security of student data

Did you focus on securing student data privacy this summer?  Maybe you were one of the districts that finally put a secure BYOD policy in place; or implemented an onboarding or SSO solution to avoid password hassles or inappropriate password sharing?  Perhaps you searched for a way to enable effective content filtering despite Google moving to encrypted search?

Digital Learning

Did you attend ISTE 2016 and check out all the cool new applications and toys on display to enable Digital Learning?  Will this be the year you support Virtual Reality in the classroom, for virtual field trips?  Or buy a 3D printer?  Or deploy 1:1 Chromebooks with GAFE?

Now, in all honesty, my own children attend a well-funded middle school here in California, which deploys Chromebooks and iPads to students (but they cannot take them home).  So back to school included resetting old accounts, creating new accounts, restoring passwords, and making sure our home laptops could access Powerschool, IXL, teacher websites, and make sure our print drivers were up to date.

So, why is it, in this 21st century teaching and learning environment, we parents still spend frantic hours rushing up and down office supply store aisles purchasing backpacks, pencils, pens, college-ruled paper, erasers, highlighters, calculators, rulers and more?  Isn't all the work online?  Aren't our students using Chromebooks, iPads and laptops?  Apparently 'Blended Learning' means, "buy school supplies AND learn new passwords."

Class is in session.

Enter our Back to School Contest September 1-14th- 
Be 1 of 3 lucky winners to win a stuffed Ruckus dog! Tweet us your back to school digital goals with hashtag #BTSGoals and @RuckusWireless 

August 30, 2016

Everybody Wins – Collectively Connected

Richard Watson


By: Richard Watson, Product Marketing Manager


Remember when you travelled for business and were lucky if you got to stay in a hotel that had good cable, much less, Wi-Fi?  Times have changed, and that’s no exaggeration. In today’s hotels, the Wi-Fi is free and much faster. This is perfect for your laptop, but what about when you have multiple devices—maybe your tablet and smartwatch, but definitely a smartphone? Wi-Fi connectivity is now more than a nice-to-have; it is mandatory. EveryBodyWins

Your requirements as a Wi-Fi user have increased considerably over the past few years. You use it for more than just email or messaging – it is an essential communication tool which places increasingly greater bandwidth demands on a Wi-Fi network. To meet this growing need, hotels initially installed access points (APs) in hallways with assumed penetration into the individual rooms. This was okay for a while, but client density and RF penetration of walls minimized the effectiveness of this approach. Often, hotel IT also had to lay Ethernet cables and power to each room to make these connections work. This was added pressure on their hospitality budgets.

At the worst point, customers were shortchanged on their Wi-Fi access and hotels were burdened with growing costs that were hard to manage. Not only was a network connection being run to each room, but other service terminators were being extended such as IP-TV, VoIP-phones, “smart” refrigerators, and room environment monitors. There was no convergence of services.

What’s needed are Wi-Fi APs with switch capability. These small devices are low profile, converged wired/wireless units that support the latest 802.11ac Wave 2 wireless technology—for 800+ Mbps rates—and multiple Ethernet ports for driving other devices and services in the room through a single network connection. With this set-up, a guest can bring as many Wi-Fi devices as they wish, where the wireless connection is co-located in their room. Additionally, hotel services like phone, printers, air conditioning and service bars can be connected to that single Ethernet backhaul-link.

With this level of technology, everybody wins! The guest gets simple, fast and free accessibility to the Internet, phones, printers and other hotel amenities. A hotel (or dormitory or independent living unit) wins because a single Ethernet connection is required (sans accompanying power). An additional plus is that all the room services typically fall under a single pane-of-glass management service.

Go here for information on Ruckus’ new H510 AP/switch geared to meet these hotel requirements.