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December 12, 2016

Wifirst: Knocking Down WiFi Barriers Wherever You Are

Wendy

 

By: Wendy Stanton, Marketing Manager

 

As I’ve been traveling around the globe, I’ve found that there’s nothing more frustrating than being out and about and not being able to connect to Wi-Fi. Whether I’m sitting at an airport bored with the desire to view social media sites, in a rent a car using Waze to find my way around, or in my hotel room wanting to watch Netflix, I have the need/want to be connected. It’s amazing to think that I ever survived without a mobile device. 

When I can’t connect, I find myself calling my service provider—well let’s be real—I call my husband to complain and make him call since I’m traveling—to acquire more data so that my phone will work wherever I am. Other times, I jot down which hotel I don’t want to stay at again because of lousy Wi-Fi.  My guess is that most of the world is right there with me in this type of dilemma.

There is a widespread expectation among consumers that they should be able to access Wi-Fi for free wherever they are – from hotels and retail stores to camp sites, military barracks, sports venues and public transportation. But there are often barriers to getting great coverage, and great coverage starts with having the right service provider. With consumers having the choice to go with any provider they chose, service providers need to provide their customers with high performing reliable Wi-Fi.

That’s exactly what Wifirst is all about. Wifirst is an international Internet service provider, headquartered in Paris, France, that specializes in the deployment and operation of high density managed Wi-Fi networks. Wifirst is one of the only Wi-Fi operators with dedicated solutions for student housing, hotels, military bases and camp grounds with its own core network.

Naturally Wifirst picked Ruckus Wireless as its supplier due to the superior products and the aligned vision in offering a high quality of service. This partnership has been amazing and customers are thrilled with the reliable coverage. Read the case study and watch the video on how Ruckus Wireless has enabled Wifirst to deliver first class customer service. I–for one—give a big round of applause, as I’m the customer who walks away if not given the ultimate best in customer service. If everyone provided this kind of service, my husband could continue his yard work without being interrupted in gathering more data for my travels.

 

 

December 09, 2016

Connected Classrooms: The Future of Education Technology

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By: Mary Chen, Product Marketing Manager

 

As a parent to two kids in elementary school, I’m continually amazed at how quickly teachers and students are using technology to effectively teach and gain new 21st Century skills. Instead of being bombarded with handouts every week, I receive only the ones that require my attention and acknowledgment; all other communication is through email or educational apps. For example, my kindergartener’s teacher uses Seesaw to share my son’s work in the classroom with me. Changing from asking “What did you do at school today?” to saying “I love what you did at school this week!” always brings a smile to his face. BlogPerformance

Increasingly, schools are recognizing the value of using the network as a platform for enriching the learning environment and enhancing communication. As new media-rich education and applications are developed and used, our job is to help schools establish an infrastructure with the performance, reliability, and flexibility these new tools require. Our goal for education customers is to equip them with the rock-solid network foundation they need to support current and future applications, so they can enrich the learning and communication experience.

Brocade Ruckus switching and wireless solutions are playing an integral part in K-12 schools:

  • Brocade Ruckus Switches with PoE: Simplify wireless deployments and have the capability to carry all the user data, plus multimedia traffic.
  • 10 Gigabit Ethernet: Enables schools to easily support streaming video, VoIP and other bandwidth-intensive applications that are becoming commonplace.
  • Reliable Wi-Fi: Ruckus wireless LAN solutions enable schools to cost-effectively implement faster, more secure and more dependable wireless connectivity.

When the time comes for infrastructure planning or upgrade, we often hear from our customers that they have to plan years out knowing they likely will not be able to replace whatever switch gets chosen initially. We get it, so we future-proof your network to support new advances in Wi-Fi technology and education applications.

The  new Brocade Ruckus ICX 7150 Switch is packed with features required to support 21st Century schools without the exorbitant price tag. Significant features include:

  • Stacking: Stacking up to 8 switches simplifies management and provides redundancy.
  • Upgradable 1G to 10G uplinks: These license upgradeable (SFP to SFP+ uplink ports) enable schools to easily connect a wide variety of cables to extend switching functionality throughout the network.
  • High PoE capacity: Makes the installation and distribution of network connections simple and effective.
  • Full-features L3 support: Depending on your network topology, this can improve VLAN performance.
  • Hot-insertion and removal of stack members: Simplifies operations and reduces downtime.
  • Auto-configuration: Ensures error free configuration and accelerates deployment.
  • Fabric Architecture: Enables an easy transition to Brocade Campus Fabric for network automation and management simplicity.

The ICX 7150 is a powerful switch for today’s modern school networks. All of us at Brocade Ruckus are excited to continue offering a high-performing and reliable edge portfolio for our education customers. What brings a smile to my face is seeing our students, teachers, and parents reaping the benefits of a robust network.

December 07, 2016

Doing More with Less: The Hotel Technology Challenge

Co-Authors:

Mathew Fitzgerald

 By: Matthew FitzGerald, Director Systems Engineering

  Jeff Sejourne

By: Jeff Sejourne, Senior Manager

 

During many years of supporting the hotel industry, several of them while at Ruckus, we have always been amazed at the demands on technology in hotels. The push for more services that positively impact guest satisfaction and are cost effective with proven ROI for the Hotelier is a huge challenge. Plus, Hoteliers have to do this across a range of brands, properties and budgets.  The tech-savvy traveler has higher expectations that start with hotel IP Edge Networking, it is the on-ramp to the hotel technology services and the Internet.   Ruckus Wireless has been a leader in Hospitality due to our superior Wi-Fi (BeamFlex+ antenna system providing coverage and performance in guest rooms), next-gen purpose build wallplate access points (APs), first/fast to market 802.11ac Wave2 portfolio, flexible WLAN Controller options and now the powerful ICX Switch Line from Brocade.   We are excited about our support of the industry and our continued role in hotel technology. Shutterstock_495742231

Hospitality Technology Magazine said in their 2016 Lodging Technology Study; “In 2016, we see the emergence of an even bigger pain point for Hotel CIOs: measuring the return on investment”.  The challenge of doing more with less and measuring the value returned has never been higher.  Ruckus continues to listen to the hoteliers and the hospitality industry with the introduction of two new products to address common challenges faced by the industry:

  • Deploying high-speed Internet access in older buildings: Older hotels are not pre-wired for network access but many if not most have a coax cable infrastructure in place for TV/Video services. The new Ruckus ZoneFlex C110 DOCSIS Wallplate AP allows hoteliers that can’t afford pulling new cabling for Ethernet to use their existing coax plant and offer Wi-Fi and Ethernet cabling throughout the hotel. The C110 is a continuation of Ruckus’ leadership in the Wallplate AP Market. It is a high performance 802.11ac Wave 2 access point with integrated wall switch and DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem for backhaul connectivity. This can allow a hotel with no Ethernet to move to advanced services such as Wi-Fi and IP services such as IPTV, VoIP and more.
  • Future-proofing the network to support next generation guest services: Keeping up with rapidly evolving technology and fulfilling guest expectations to access the latest digital entertainment and HD video streaming from their hotel room is a common challenge for hoteliers. They need to deploy a high-performance network infrastructure today that won’t be obsolete in the next few years and can be easily upgraded as demand grows.   The new Brocade Ruckus ICX 7150 is the most cost effective and powerful switch on the market today, allowing hotels to cost-effectively upgrade their Ethernet Networking infrastructure.  The ICX 7150 is packed with features required by the industry at a great price point;
    • Stacking: ICX 7150 can stack up to 8 switches using standard SFP+ ports.
    • Upgradable 1G to 10G uplinks: ICX offers license upgradable SFP to SFP+ uplink ports.
    • High PoE capacity: The ICX 7150-48PF model delivers 740W PoE budget
    • Full-featured L3 support: ICX 7150 offers RIP L3 upgradable to full L3
    • Silent operation: The ICX 7150-24P and 7150-48P (PoE+) models offer the industry’s first fanless mode configuration setting for silent operation of PoE switches with a fan.
    • Additional Copper Uplinks: ICX 7150 offers two additional RJ45 1G uplink ports (non-combo)
    • Campus Fabric: The ICX 7150 offers simplified deployment with fabric PE mode support.
    • SDN: The ICX 7150 supports OpenFlow

Our team is very excited about these new additions to the Ruckus Wireless Product Suite. These new products address crucial needs in the industry.  The ZoneFlex C110 will allow hotels with limited budget to retrofit their property using DOCSIS and existing COAX cabling to allow Wi-Fi and Switch ports in the room and a path to advanced services. The ICX 7150 is a powerful, but well priced, switch that addresses the edge concerns of hotels large and small. At Ruckus we consider ourselves a partner to the Hotel Industry and we try to listen and provide product and services that meet the evolving technology needs in hotels.

 

December 02, 2016

6 Steps for a Successful E-rate Season

Carly

By: Carly Botelho, Marketing Communications Manager @carly_botelho

 

It’s officially December, and as no-shave November comes to a close and we recover from our turkey comas, we’re preparing to focus our attention on present buying and holiday cheer. While many of us recognize this as the season of giving, we can’t let you forget that E-rate season is still underway.

E-rate, a government funded program, allows schools and libraries to implement and update in-building network infrastructure. For most school districts, this funding is to make sure all students have reliable access to Wi-Fi to enable digital learning and improve student outcomes. However, the process to apply and receive funding can be a little tedious; therefore, many schools do not finish the process or submit forms incorrectly, leading to a loss in funding.

To help this season, we did extensive research to simplify and outline the 6 steps you need to follow to get your E-rate funding:

  1. Determine Technology Investments
  2. Start the E-rate Process by filing form 470
  3. Choose a bidder by filing for 471
  4. Complete a Compliance review with the Program Integrity Audit
  5. Start your project by filing form 486
  6. E-rate funds received by filing form 472 or 474

Follow these 6 steps to ensure you fill out every form required, correctly, and on time, while also fully understanding the process and what it entails.

Below, and here, view our infographic to access detailed instructions on how to complete each step. We included embedded links to bring you right to each form, as well as additional resources to make sure you have everything you need:


Erate_6Steps_Infographic_Final

Get started applying today!

Not sure where to invest your E-rate dollars this year? Attend our live webinar on December 8th, Why Choose Ruckus for E-rate Networks, to learn how our E-rate eligible technology provides the highest performing solutions for schools.

You’ll learn:

  • How our technology provides the highest performing APs for schools
  • Why our stackable campus switches are easier to manage than others
  • The pros and cons of cloud vs. controller options

Register Now!