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Manager at a computer software company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
It integrates with the DNAT architecture
Pros and Cons
  • "One of the main advantages of Cisco Wireless is its DNAT compatibility. When we have dynamic segmentation, or the DNAT enabled on the LAN, Cisco Access Point integrates with the DNAT architecture. Aruba Switches cannot integrate with the Cisco DNAT architecture."
  • "Cisco won't work with any other vendors. That is a significant problem with Cisco."

What is most valuable?

One of the main advantages of Cisco Wireless is its DNAT compatibility. When we have dynamic segmentation, or the DNAT enabled on the LAN, Cisco Access Point integrates with the DNAT architecture. Aruba Switches cannot integrate with the Cisco DNAT architecture. However, if we have an all-Aruba framework in offices where we have implemented this with the complete dynamic segmentation using Aruba Dynamic Segmentation, only Aruba AP works.

What needs improvement?

Cisco can't block specific sites on the internet like Aruba, so we're in the process of replacing them. We have already placed lots of orders with Aruba. Aruba has the ClearPass NAT solution, and Cisco has its ISE policy engine. Cisco won't work with any other vendors. That is a significant problem with Cisco. It can't integrate with ClearPass. We already tried this in a POC for ClearPass. Aruba is becoming integrated with ISE, but Cisco will not integrate with ClearPass.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been using Cisco Wireless for more than 10 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Cisco Wireless has not been that stable. In the past, Cisco Wireless could handle only a small number of users per access point. Once the number of users per access point increases beyond 10 or 15, you start facing disconnection issues with the users, and the performance slows. This has been my experience in the past five years, but Cisco has made a lot of improvements in their access points over the past two years.

Now it's a multi-band network, so they have improved on that front. The connections are stable. The performance still degrades if the number of users per access point increases, but now it's 20 or 30 users on the same access point. So you have to plan your access point design and placement so no more than 20 users will be connected to one access point.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Cisco Wireless is scalable, but that depends on the definition of "scalable." I can deploy it at two offices and I can scale it to 200 offices. However, when you integrate the access point and the controller with the DNAT across multiple sites, you need a DNAT cluster, which is a costly solution. Every site has a controller, and a DNAT cluster is not a good option in a global framework. It's okay for a small office or a few offices. But when you're talking about 500 offices, the cost becomes enormous. We're using Cisco Wireless extensively right now because none of our offices are on the wired network, and we have roughly 25,000 users.

How are customer service and support?

Technical support is okay. It takes some time to resolve a complex issue. But if it's a known issue, it gets settled within the time limit set by the SLA.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We have a mix of Cisco and Aruba. Aruba hardware is superior to Cisco's. Cisco cannot come close to matching Aruba in throughput, performance, and coverage area. Cisco's main advantage is integration with ISE because many organizations can't shift the NAT or the authentication part. It's very difficult or not advisable to do it.

How was the initial setup?

The Access Point configuration is plug-and-play, but the controller configuration is complex. You need some skilled people to configure Cisco Wireless. The deployment strategy is it deploy the controllers initially and upgrade them over time. Our last upgrade was three years ago when Cisco released its latest OS. The DNAT integration is ongoing. 

We have our in-house network team, but we also get support from Cisco and Aruba. We have vendor support in addition to our own set of team members who are working on the deployment.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Cisco Wireless is complex, and it's not cost-effective.

What other advice do I have?

I rate Cisco Wireless eight out of 10. They still need to improve in a lot of areas. For example, Cisco needs to raise the throughput. At the same time, they've made a lot of advancements in the past two years. The access points are performing better. It's stable. They've added a multi-gig port, which is increasing the throughput of the users. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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Founder, Director at a tech services company with 1-10 employees
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Easy to use, overall good functionality, and simple to manage
Pros and Cons
  • "Ruckus Wireless is more of a plain Wi-Fi solution where it does the basic job well. Additionally, it has good conductivity, easy to use, simple to manage, and its access points can be used as standalone devices which gives flexibility in the SMB market."
  • "The solution lacks a lot of features other solutions provide. If you are an organization that is more focused on security or you need a lot of other features, such as location tracking then Ruckus Wireless may not be the right choice. If you want a solution with more than basic security I would choose Arista or Aruba."

What is our primary use case?

Ruckus Wireless is used for networking and security. They have both cloud-based and on-premise controllers available. You often see this solution in the hospitality sector. 

What is most valuable?

Ruckus Wireless is more of a plain Wi-Fi solution where it does the basic job well. Additionally, it has good conductivity, easy to use, simple to manage, and its access points can be used as standalone devices which gives flexibility in the SMB market.

What needs improvement?

The solution lacks a lot of features other solutions provide. If you are an organization that is more focused on security or you need a lot of other features, such as location tracking then Ruckus Wireless may not be the right choice. If you want a solution with more than basic security I would choose Arista or Aruba.

Ruckus has gone through too many changes in their management, and in the last four or five years, they have been lacking feature sets that others provide. Additionally, the integration, network security, and BLE features need to be improved. There are key features they are still lacking.

For how long have I used the solution?

I used Ruckus Wireless within the past 12 months.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is highly stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Ruckus Wireless is scalable. However, in terms of the scalability of the controller, there is always a limit on the number of access points or clients the hardware can support. If the access points are placed in a decent place with multiple options of controllers everything works well.

Ruckus Wireless is the best fit for the SMB market which they have a dominant presence.

We have deployed the solution in an educational institute and in a restaurant that has a lodging segment and a coworking space.

How are customer service and support?

I have not faced any problems with the solution to need to contact the technical support.

How was the initial setup?

The solution is straightforward. It can be done in a short period of time.

What about the implementation team?

Once you deploy Ruckus Wireless correctly, there is no maintenance required. It is close to maintenance-free, except for some operational jobs which depend upon what the customer may want and that is where you need human intervention.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

If you walk into any restaurant or hotel you will find Ruckus Wireless solutions because it is economical when it comes to pricing. There is a basic subscription for the license and support.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I have evaluated Arista and Aruba.

What other advice do I have?

I would recommend Ruckus Wireless to anyone who is looking for a plain Wi-Fi solution. If you want Wi-Fi that will provide wireless connectivity that is good and stable, this is the solution to pick. If you need a solution with a lot of features for the network, such as wireless intrusion prevention or internal location tracking, there are other solutions that you should look for.

I rate Ruckus Wireless an eight out of ten.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Integrator
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