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thewisperer
Premium
join:2008-01-16

shopping mall want's wifi

they want it everywhere in the shopping center (not in stores)

I will bid Ubnt: what are their options. I saw someone quote
six thousand somewhere else with Aruba and three ap's



WHT

join:2010-03-26
Rosston, TX
kudos:5

How big of area? Just the mail or into the stores?


thewisperer
Premium
join:2008-01-16

just the mall ( as above...) fair size mall


voxframe

join:2010-08-02
reply to thewisperer

I'd avoid the Unifi stuff.

It works, yes, but is a completely different animal from AirOS and does "weird stuff" for lack of better terms. With Unifi you also need a dedicated machine to provision the stuff. (Yes I know you're not supposed to need it, but I don't know how many times I've had radios just go stupid and sit in the corner doing nothing)

Essentially I consider Unifi to be like their DVR. Useless as all shit unless you're dedicated to the product and can spend countless hours learning the quirks of it and dealing with it on a mass scale.

If you're looking at something 25 APs or less, stick with their normal gear. Anything above that, I'd probably look elsewhere before I touched Unifi again.


Hahausuck
Premium
join:2003-12-14
kudos:2

Avoid unifi?

That's like saying avoid Cisco, Motorola, or Ariba. They all are unique and require a controller. Nothing wrong with that. It simplifies management.



Semaphore
Premium
join:2003-11-18
101010
kudos:1
reply to thewisperer

Beyond size, what other features are they looking for if any ? Pay per use ? Free with purchase (ticket system) Ad driven ? Location sensing ? Content aware ? Social/Peer networking ? Some hardware is better suited (aka compatible) based on those criteria.



viperm
Carpe Diem
Premium
join:2002-07-09
Winchester, CA
reply to thewisperer

We use Ruckus gear on all deployments of this size..


voxframe

join:2010-08-02
reply to thewisperer

I don't hate Unifi for the fact that it has a controller. That's to be expected.

What I don't like is
1) UBNT says you don't need it and everything should retain its programming. Not true. The units seem to randomly lose programming or jam up. Maybe it's firmware, but I was on the latest version at the time and it handled like crap.

2) The entire "suite" handles like crap. At the time that I tried it, programming units were a hassle. They would disappear off the maps, go into bizzare states for no reason, and generally make the process horribly painful. Programming each unit one by one by hand would have been faster than provisioning 100 of them with the software (Again at the time)

I've used other high end deployments like Cisco etc. And they flat out don't suffer from the same BS that the Unifi does. They program, provision, and operate solidly. It's a big process but it's smooth. There's not a pile of "WTF IS IT DOING NOW!!!!????" issues with the software.


thewisperer
Premium
join:2008-01-16
reply to thewisperer

thanks for all the replies

I was worried about using UniFi not only for the learning curve but because my experience with Ubnt products has led me to think that it might not be "ready"
Don't bget me wrong: I would not have a network if it was not for the Ubnt pricing.

But even if this shopping center is very close to my home: I don't want to screwing around there too much as it could affect my reputation in an area where I offer service.

So it looks like it might be part Ubnt (pico maybe) and part something else.

thanks


voxframe

join:2010-08-02
reply to thewisperer

On the part of the Pico radios, I'm not sure if it's a slow CPU or something else, but of all the Ubnt radios they seem to be the slowest and most lacking of them all I find.

I've done a few "mass deployments" using them as indoor APs and I was very disappointed. Especially if you have to do any WDS fancywork, they just seem to do strange stuff. At one point Ubnt had issues with stability with Mac devices, and that was fixed in the firmware, well these things feel like they still have the problem. I've never had good results using them in a hotspot style setup where I don't control what kinds of clients (Laptops, PDAs, Phones, iPods, Kindle's etc) would be connecting to it.

In the end the best solutions I found for hotspot setups was the AirRouters (HP and non-HP), and plain old NanoM2s. Sadly nothing else seems to top those when it comes to many different clients connecting.


thewisperer
Premium
join:2008-01-16
reply to viperm

said by viperm:

We use Ruckus gear on all deployments of this size..

do you use their controllers and Flexmaster? ooh another learning curve

cooldude9919

join:2000-05-29
kudos:5
reply to thewisperer

We have been pretty impressed with Meraki, but we have a lot of remote sites where multiple controllers would have been a pain and costly. We did try Ruckus and they have better technology, but their software isnt the best. Meraki has better software but their ap's dont perform quite as well as ruckus. Either one could be a fit here.



viperm
Carpe Diem
Premium
join:2002-07-09
Winchester, CA
reply to thewisperer

Click for full size
We use the Zone controller units from the smallest ZD1106 which supports up to 6 Access points license upgrade to support more if needed.

Its really easy I mean REALLY easy to get it up and running.

1. Login into the IP given by DHCP
2. Wizard starts up asks you to set a password.
3. Asks you to set a WLAN (configuration for SSID, Encryption etc.)
4. once it does this it saves and its ready to go. If you need to change IP login back in and change in the network settings.

5. Plug in your AP'S into the same subnet / network
6. You will see them show up in the controller and they will literaly auto configure based on what you set up when you set up the Zone controller.
7. If you want to update to the latest firmware you download from their website and upload to the controller, the controller reboots and then detects all your AP's and checks their firmware if its not whats on the controller the controller goes and pushes out the firmware it has loaded also to the Ap's and reboots them. Everything is now current.

If you want to do more detailed like web portal redirection etc its really not that hard.

Once you do it once each new AP you install on the net it auto configures itself based on what settings you have configured in the controller.

It has saved us countless hours in configurations, management and troubleshooting.

I can set one up minus mounting the AP's but programming a controller and 6 Ap's in less then 30 min with them hooked to a POE switch..

--
»www.accelwireless.com
ComTrain Certified Tower Climber.
Wireless and IT consultant.
Proficient in Mikrotik


viperm
Carpe Diem
Premium
join:2002-07-09
Winchester, CA
reply to cooldude9919

Cool what part of the Ruckus software have you not liked? I have used it with multiple SSID's on different Vlans etc and have not had a problem yet.

Granted I have not configured ALL the things it can do so maybe I have just not experienced it yet.

Maybe you have some older firmware?
--
»www.accelwireless.com
ComTrain Certified Tower Climber.
Wireless and IT consultant.
Proficient in Mikrotik


snowsam

join:2001-04-11
Signal Mountain, TN

Here is what I came up with for pricing for 5 aps (scouring the web for pricing):
Ruckus
$350/ap x 5 = $1750
ZoneDirector 1106 (license for up to 6 aps) = $1200
Total: $2950 for year 1
What does yearly maint run? Any other expenses?

Meraki is $399/ap x 5 = $1995
Cloud Management $150/ap/yr x 5 = $750
Total: $2745 for year 1
+ $750/yr for management

So is one key difference between ruckus and meraki is the cloud vs physical controller approach, correct?

So if I was just doing 5 APs, which direction to go would depend on how much Ruckus maintenance runs. I like the fact that in theory you could drop maintenance on the Ruckus and still have something that works vs dropping maintenance on Meraki and you just have a paperweight. Is that a correct assumption?


cooldude9919

join:2000-05-29
kudos:5
reply to thewisperer

We where on the newest firmware at the time. It worked fine operationally, its just when comparing apples to apples with ease of use, features, and primarily multiple remote site manageability meraki was a pretty easy choice. If the ruckus controller dies, new clients cant authenticate, even with open ssid. If meraki cant reach the cloud controller, they continue to function locally just fine. Also For example we will have 4 sites with meraki by year end, and could be ~100 in the next 5 years. If i want to make any kind of changes (ssid, splash page, ect) i can go to 1 place on the meraki dashboard, make the change, then have it roll them out to all 100 sites, instead of touching 100 different controllers at 100 sites.

Meraki has what i call "forced maintenance", but with that you get the cloud controller, NBD replacement, and all software updates. The ap's will actually continue to run without the cloud, but you just cant manage them anymore, obviously not really an option. We did a 10 year deal with them do not have to worry about it, even though the cloud license isnt tied to a specific AP/Model so we could actually go to 802.11ac in 5 years and just have to by the ap's, not have to buy another "controller" or pay the cloud fee again.

Meraki has similar quick setup, hell you can actually preconfigue the ap's in the dashboard once you have the order number, before the ap's even arrive at your door. Plug them in when they do, they pull down the config, and your up and going.

Again im not against ruckus, and from my testing their ap's do perform better at lower signal levels than meraki does, but when factoring everything in Meraki was just a better fit. Not to mention they played ball in pricing much better than ruckus was going to, so we obviously didnt pay list price.

Meraki has an easy process for free eval gear so if you want a contact let me know.



viperm
Carpe Diem
Premium
join:2002-07-09
Winchester, CA
reply to snowsam

I usually see them charging me if you are a ruckus dealer 1 year of support and firmware upgrades is 10% of the cost of the controller.

Not retail cost your cost. So say your cost for the zone controller is like $900, so for 1 year of Partner preimium support (meaning I support the customers calls first tier) and one year of updates it costs your roughly $90 for the zone controller. For a Ruckus AP lets take the 7363 its like $45 for 1 year partner premium support.

What you charge the customer for your support time is up to you. Partner premium support is NOT available to the end user. There is another end user support program that is more money where the customer calls Ruckus direct for support if needed.

Projects like this I like to be the first point of contact and have them pay me for support. Since you know the layout of the system etc.
--
»www.accelwireless.com
ComTrain Certified Tower Climber.
Wireless and IT consultant.
Proficient in Mikrotik



viperm
Carpe Diem
Premium
join:2002-07-09
Winchester, CA

1 edit
reply to cooldude9919

No big deal I understand thats one thing I brought up to them as well not being able to authenticate but then again I have not had a controller go down yet (knock on wood)

If you want to control other sites remotely they have other controllers that allow that then all authenticate and get updated from one central point
Not sure about what pricing you were getting but as a Dealer I get pretty good pricing and if its for a Gov agency, school or medical facility its even more off retail.
--
»www.accelwireless.com
ComTrain Certified Tower Climber.
Wireless and IT consultant.
Proficient in Mikrotik


cooldude9919

join:2000-05-29
kudos:5

said by viperm:

No big deal I understand thats one thing I brought up to them as well not being able to authenticate but then again I have not had a controller go down yet (knock on wood)

If you want to control other sites remotely they have other controllers that allow that then all authenticate and get updated from one central point.

Not sure about what pricing you were getting but as a Dealer I get pretty good pricing and if its for a Gov agency, school or medical facility its 50% off retail.

We looked at a central controller, but same issue, it goes down, no one can get online. Plus the fact they said the remote ones had to have very good latency (something like over 100ms may be too high and associations may time out). We looked at becomming our own dealer with ruckus, but there was a good amount of hoops to jump through. We buy from meraki direct, and our discounts are good.


viperm
Carpe Diem
Premium
join:2002-07-09
Winchester, CA
reply to thewisperer

Being a dealer has its benefits I did have to buy a demo kit , you can mix and match things but they recommend at least an 1106 controller and a couple AP's.

They are way below retail like less then 50% off if I remember correctly.

Everything else was standard stuff you sign an NDA, fill out info on your company and that was it. You got a call back from a rep verifying the info and "qualifying you" No commitments on the entry level dealer which still gets you excellent pricing.

Within a week I was a dealer.

Having a backup controller for big deployments is good to have hell even in a small deployment.

Haveing a a local one and a remote one for a spare works pretty well too.
--
»www.accelwireless.com
ComTrain Certified Tower Climber.
Wireless and IT consultant.
Proficient in Mikrotik