Ruckus Wireless as an Unifi alternative?

fohdeesha

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I've talking to up-n-atom (the poster from that ruckus thread) via email about trying to add on 2.5G sfp support to existing ICX firmware, we've got access to the broadcom shell and some other stuff but it will probably be a lot of work for him, I don't know if it will happen or not. Not sure if he's a member here either
 

zhoulander

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Feb 1, 2016
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So I went a little nutty trying to diagnose some Unifi slow wifi issues I've been having and ended up with a R720 and ZD1200.

Initial testing on the R720 was weird, I didn't realize that powering it off 802.3af from a US-8-60W in my office would enable only 1x4 radio so I was getting very poor speeds on my iPhone and ThinkPad, 120/75. Moved it directly to my access switch and with 802.3at it was great! Hitting 500/500.

Next the ZD1200 came in the mail so I powered it up and it auto-adopted the R720 that was previously running standalone firmware. The ZD1200 has 3 month support contract remaining so I was able to update it to the latest 10.3 build... but then it updated the AP firmware and now I'm stuck with garbage wifi speeds on my iOS devices, around 225/250 is the fastest it gets.

To top it off, found out that the issues I was having with my Unifi setup was due to SFP+ uplink to my router and moving it to RJ45 gets me back up to over 500/500 speeds on my iPhone with a UAP-FlexHD ... totally outperforming the R720 on 10.3.

Now I have to go back and find out which ZD1200 firmware to go (I'm guessing 10.2 something) to fix my iOS speeds. Anyone else out there in a similar situation? I know the ZD is totally unnecessary since these APs support Unleashed firmware but I wanted to see metrics like the Unifi dashboard, and I'm also pining for the R730 which does not support Unleashed.
 

klui

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Feb 3, 2019
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I've talking to up-n-atom (the poster from that ruckus thread) via email about trying to add on 2.5G sfp support to existing ICX firmware, we've got access to the broadcom shell and some other stuff but it will probably be a lot of work for him, I don't know if it will happen or not. Not sure if he's a member here either
It sounds interesting but how would this work? APs that support multigig won't have SFP+ interfaces.
 

fohdeesha

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It sounds interesting but how would this work? APs that support multigig won't have SFP+ interfaces.
Not for APs, for ISP ONT gear so you can terminate faster-than-gig FTTH directly on the switch in it's own vlan etc and skip their ONT hardware altogether. If you want something more relevant to ruckus APs, working on getting root access to the underlying linux system on the ruckus AP series, so you can run tcpdump and packet captures etc directly on the wlan interfaces and access a bunch of stats etc that aren't otherwise visible (and run your own ARM software/scripts, if inclined). Probably a couple weeks

 

PGlover

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Nov 8, 2014
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So I went a little nutty trying to diagnose some Unifi slow wifi issues I've been having and ended up with a R720 and ZD1200.

Initial testing on the R720 was weird, I didn't realize that powering it off 802.3af from a US-8-60W in my office would enable only 1x4 radio so I was getting very poor speeds on my iPhone and ThinkPad, 120/75. Moved it directly to my access switch and with 802.3at it was great! Hitting 500/500.

Next the ZD1200 came in the mail so I powered it up and it auto-adopted the R720 that was previously running standalone firmware. The ZD1200 has 3 month support contract remaining so I was able to update it to the latest 10.3 build... but then it updated the AP firmware and now I'm stuck with garbage wifi speeds on my iOS devices, around 225/250 is the fastest it gets.

To top it off, found out that the issues I was having with my Unifi setup was due to SFP+ uplink to my router and moving it to RJ45 gets me back up to over 500/500 speeds on my iPhone with a UAP-FlexHD ... totally outperforming the R720 on 10.3.

Now I have to go back and find out which ZD1200 firmware to go (I'm guessing 10.2 something) to fix my iOS speeds. Anyone else out there in a similar situation? I know the ZD is totally unnecessary since these APs support Unleashed firmware but I wanted to see metrics like the Unifi dashboard, and I'm also pining for the R730 which does not support Unleashed.
Check out the Ruckus forum. There is a post on this topic. The recommendation was to downgrade to firmware 9.8.3.0.58 on the controller. The controller will push down this version to the APs. Also, in the post it states that a new firmware version is being released soon. Hopefully to address the issues.
 

PGlover

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zhoulander

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Below is a link to the post on the Ruckus Support forum.

Slow Download Speeds R710 Unleashed | Ruckus Wireless Customer Community
Thanks yes I saw that thread but it only refers to standalone or Unleashed firmwares, however nothing about ZD firmwares unfortunately.

I initially tried downgrading to zd1200_10.2.1.0.129.ap_10.2.1.0.129 which is roughly around the time of 200.6.10 but no luck. Guess I'll need to spend some time doing a bubble search style test to figure out when it broke. The oldest firmware for the ZD1200 I can find looks to be 9.9
 

pcmoore

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Apr 14, 2018
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A quick update to provide another data point.

I recently replaced two UniFi AP AC Pros (wired uplink) and an AC Mesh (wireless uplink) with two Ruckus R710s (wired uplink) and a R510 (wireless/mesh uplink), running the Unleashed firmware, and have been happy with the results. It has only been a week or two, but performance and reliability appear to be just as good, if not better, than the UniFi setup; distribution and roaming across access points appears to be vastly improved as well. The Unleashed management web UI is much simpler than the UniFi setup, as it's not burdened with managing your entire network, but I found it to be easy to use with quick access to everything I needed to tweak/view.

The one catch worth mentioning is to pay close attention to which Ruckus access points support mesh networking as not all do. I originally picked up a R310 to use as a wireless uplink for a disconnected wired network only to find out that it didn't support a wireless/mesh uplink; it was clearly stated in the specs, I just mistakenly assumed all of the Unleashed access points supported this feature.
 

zhoulander

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Feb 1, 2016
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Looks like a lot more activity in the Ruckus forums about slow wifi on their Wave 2 devices, and some speculation that people who have homes that come with Ruckus wifi are the ones dumping their APs for cheap on eBay. Might be worth a gamble to pick up some cheap ones and wait for firmware improvements (or roll back the firmware). In terms of iOS Wifi speeds Unleashed firmware 200.4 > 200.6 >> 200.7.

unleashed r710 firmware problems - don't buy this product | Ruckus Wireless Customer Community
 

Juggie

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Nov 3, 2018
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I've talking to up-n-atom (the poster from that ruckus thread) via email about trying to add on 2.5G sfp support to existing ICX firmware, we've got access to the broadcom shell and some other stuff but it will probably be a lot of work for him, I don't know if it will happen or not. Not sure if he's a member here either
Hey fohdeesha,

Did you and up-n-atom ever make any progress on adding 2.5G sfp support to ICX firmware?
 

fohdeesha

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Hey fohdeesha,

Did you and up-n-atom ever make any progress on adding 2.5G sfp support to ICX firmware?
turned out to be not possible, the ASIC supports it however to drive the SFP+ ports it runs through a quad channel retimer (DS100DF410) that happens to only support a 10gbps clock

How would you power the AP if connected by SFP?
thoughts and prayers like everything else around here
 

epicurean

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Sep 29, 2014
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Is there a fuss free way of converting my unifi AP network to a ruckus r710 unleashed one?
 

Rand__

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Mar 6, 2014
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That will depend on your configuration I assume?;)
#of APs, #of VLANs, meshing etc

I dont think there is a migration tool if you're hoping for that;)
 

epicurean

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Sep 29, 2014
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Just 1 AP AC Pro, with a ubuntu docker unifi controller - to be replaced by the R710. Would unleashed or standalone be a better firmware?
 

Rand__

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Well I guess unleashed would be the official "no controller" solution but I have no clue what the difference is (since I run a ZD).
Guess its straight forward configuration then after plugging it in,
but maybe sb else with more hands on experience can chime in - had mine only a few weeks and not 'productive yet' - have some issues with certificates I need to solve
(Ruckus portal with AD login vs Sophos UTM firewall is not working yet as hoped. Need to redo VLans and probably HTTPS scanning w my own CA - oh joy)
 

pcmoore

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Apr 14, 2018
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Is there a fuss free way of converting my unifi AP network to a ruckus r710 unleashed one?
FWIW, when I switched from UniFi to Ruckus unleashed I followed the process below:
  1. Physically install and connect the Ruckus AP(s)
  2. Configure the Ruckus AP(s) as desired using a new SSID for testing
  3. Verify the new SSID is working correctly (I ran a few clients on the new SSID for a few days to ensure everything was as expected)
  4. Add your existing UniFi hosted SSID(s) to the Ruckus AP(s), but mark them as disabled
  5. Power down your UniFi AP(s)
  6. Enable the disabled SSID(s) on the Ruckus AP(s)
  7. Remove the test SSID you initially created on the Ruckus AP(s)
Others may have better suggestions, but the above worked for me at my home without too much fuss.
 
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Konger

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Nov 24, 2019
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Just 1 AP AC Pro, with a ubuntu docker unifi controller - to be replaced by the R710. Would unleashed or standalone be a better firmware?

Just stick with Unleashed 200.6.x firmware for now.. no issues... I have now 5x R710 in my family.. Two of them I paid the sticker price new back in 2015 for $700 after tax... the others 3x I picked up recently last Sept for $185 each used on eBay .... Then got 3x open box R510 from a Lennar builder who was selling them since his clients were complaining .. so $166 each after shipping cost... then a used R510 for $135 after tax and shipping for a friend. And then 2x R610 for $150 plus tax.. and one R610 for R610 for $135 plus tax.... And just acquired 3x R500 $40 each for some friends. There's a dealer on eBay now DNI who is selling R500 used for $50 each .. or you can make an offer for $40 each for 3x and they will accept it. I think they have about 90 in stock left. Note the R500 last firmware is 200.7.10.200.94 and is not affected by the firmware bug. I tested it. There will be not more firmware updates for the R500 since it is EOL and this applies to all 802.11ac Wave 1 Ruckus APs.

Currently, I'm working along with Ruckus in testing.. the bug really only affects wave 2 APs in firmware 200.7.x and 2008.x. Doesn't not affect wave 1 App..

I've used ruckus for a long time since 2014 since their Ruckus 7372 Aps and was impressed with their APs since it can handle 100+ devices. However, this is the only first bad firmware bug that somehow ruckus Missed. The reason why they missed it is they can't reproduce the issue in the lab and it seems it only affects people in certain RF environments.
 

Thomas H

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Dec 2, 2017
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The R500 at $50 each ($40 each for 3x) sounds like a great deal. Is it worth the upgrade over my UniFi AC Pro/Lite APs? How do I choose which Ruckus AP like R710 vs R610 vs R510 vs R500, etc.