Do I Need a Ruckus Controller to Manage my Access Points?

A question we often hear at Net-Ctrl is, do I need a Ruckus ZoneDirector to control my access points and can I deploy them as standalone devices?

The simple answer is yes you can deploy your ZoneFlex access points as standalone devices, which will work fine without the ZoneDirector managing them.

You will still gain all the massive enhancements over the Physical Layer from a Wi-Fi point of view and at the end of the day that is what Wi-Fi is for, right?

You want reliable constant, high dense wireless availability. You’ll still get that with the AP alone.

Here is what you will get from a standalone AP:
1)Ruckus’ smart BeamFlex technology (What makes Ruckus so great)
2)ChannelFly (the new Ruckus smart channel selection methods)
3)8 SSIDs per radio(16 with a dual band)

Here is what you miss by not having a ZD:
1)Guest Access features
2)SPoM (Single point of mgmt.)
3)WLAN service scheduling
4)Bandsteering (steers 5ghz clients onto the 5ghz radio)
5)WIPs (wireless intrusion prevention)
7)Access Policies (Device based / Layer 2-4)
8)AD Captive portal

Etc.. the list goes on.

The point is with the AP alone you are still winning over having anything else.

If you’re working on a tight budget why not get the APs now for a seriously good Wi-Fi network and get the controller at a later date, should you need it.

Stuart White

Senior Wireless Technician

CWNA and Ruckus WiSE Guy Accredited