DENVER, Colo. Ruckus Wireless Inc. is expanding from home multimedia distribution to small and medium-business Wi-Fi, adapting its beam-forming WLAN access point for self-configuring small-enterprise networks. The ZoneFlex 2942 also can be used in public hotspots and offers full self-configuration and automatic AP location optimization.
Ruckus has improved the range and reliability of its system by moving to a 12-element antenna array in the ZoneFlex, based on six high-gain veritcally polarized antennas and six horizontally polarized antennas, offering 4,096 antenna combinations with 7-dBi gain. When used with the ZoneDirector controller, the ZoneFlex 2942 can be configured and optimized by linking it to an Ethernet port.
"The small business user does not need to know a thing about firewalls, authentication systems or intrusion detection systems. The embedded software will link with all existing systems," said Ruckus CEO Selina Lo. She added that Ruckus has developed a special security applet, Dynamic PSK, in the ZoneDirector controller, which issues a 63-byte pass code unique to the user and device. The encryption key provisioning is much more secure than first-generation encryption, but cheaper to deploy than 802.1x security systems.
Ruckus' ZoneDirector 1000 is a simple 1U system, capable of controlling up to 25 APs, with an authentication database for integrating with Radius servers. Embedded software provides network management, RF management and location information.
The 12-element ZoneFlex AP can handle more than 50 data clients and up to 20 concurrent voice-over-Internet Protocol calls. Queue-based quality-of-service allows class queues per-user or per-traffic type, and rate limiting can be enabled on a per-user basis. The QoS policies can be configurable per WLAN.
Ruckus is offering a 2942 based on 802.11g in July, at a list price of $349, and a 2942 based on 802.11n in the third quarter. Three versions of the ZoneDirector controller will be introduced in July, with list prices ranging from $1,200 to $3,500. An entry-level small-business network can be implemented for less than $2,000.