Whether managed on premises or by distributed services, networks serve as the information pipeline that ensures the day-to-day operation for nearly every business. As a business grows, so does the size of the network. The goal is to minimise capital expenditure (CAPEX) while meeting today’s needs and to maximise the investment to realise the best long-term total cost of ownership (TCO). In scaling a network to meet growing business demands, how do you retain value on purchased equipment without relegating existing components to obsolescence?

One solution is “clustering.” By adding network controller capacity, you can still make use of your existing controller services. With a highly integrated base controller design architecture, this becomes a viable approach.

There are two basic design options:

Active-Passive – Where a secondary controller service simply monitors an active controller and is only activated upon failure of the primary controller. With this architecture, the value of the overall system is diluted, as the secondary controller is left idle for long periods of time. This design is also less responsive during recovery from controller failures.

Active–Active – Where a number of controller services act collaboratively to sustain network reliability even upon failure of any one of the controller services. The TCO of this option is much lower because all units are active and recoveries are virtually seamless.

Active-Active clustering is a straightforward option for expanding network capacity. It provides the highest level of reliability for wireless networks and delivers additional key benefits:

Because there are multiple controllers within the cluster, a “single-pane-of-glass” interface simplifies network management.

Geographic redundancy can isolate localised controller failure scenarios and increase the overall reliability.

Support of both appliance and virtual deployment options have a direct impact on CAPEX and overall network capacities when you select a cluster solution.

“Cluster balancing” is a smart way to optimise utilisation of each cluster element.

Client license management across a cluster is generally flexible and not bound to any single controller.

When making an architectural decision on a WLAN solution, selecting one that meets your needs today and in the future without increasing IT overhead is your best bet. Ruckus SmartZone products provide flexible, reliable and scalable “clustering” solutions that meet the needs of fast-growing businesses like yours.

Link: Ruckus SmartZone

View original article by: Richard Watson, Product Marketing Manager

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