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What are pros and cons of Aruba 515 Series AP vs. Cisco Meraki or Extreme Networks?

Network Systems Administrator at SCBDD


We are redoing Wi-Fi and the related Ethernet switches to support it. We're moving from Cisco environment and considering Aruba 515, w/CX6400 Cisco Meraki or possibly an on-prem Wi-Fi controller, Arista Mojo, or Extreme Networks ExtremeCloud IQ.

Any suggestions? 

PeerSpot user
56 Answers

Dev-Patel - PeerSpot reviewer
Real User

STAY AWAY from Arista Mojo

Evgeny Belenky - PeerSpot reviewerEvgeny Belenky
Community Manager

@Dev-Patel can you please share more of "why" you give such advice?

Ender Kefoglu - PeerSpot reviewer
Top 5Real User

Most of the Wi-Fi properties come embedded in the chipset. So, there is not too much difference between different brand APs. 

If you are redoing your Wi-Fi infrastructure because of new technologies (such as Wi-Fi 6), fine. If you are redoing it because of a bad user experience, then you should investigate possibilities of AP misplacement or AP configuration. 

Cisco Meraki is cloud-controlled. If you are thinking about an on-prem Wi-Fi controller, you should concentrate on Aruba or Cisco Catalyst 900 series. 

As far as I know, Aruba 515 has

    - 4x4:4 antenna for 5 GHz 

    - 2x2:2 antenna for 2.4 GHz

Cisco, on the other hand, has either 

    - 2x2:2 antenna for both bands (9105 model) or

    - 4x4:4 antenna for both bands (9115 model)

Of course, whether this difference in antennas will have any impact will depend on the client devices and whether they have matching antennas and whether they also have Wi-Fi 6 technology. 

If you really want a differentiating factor, you should consider Ruckus Wireless. 

Ruckus Wireless APs have;

- Adaptive antenna technology (called BeamFlex). This technology analyses different paths to reach the client and electronically turns itself to a directional antenna, choosing the path that gives the best performance to reach each specific client. If the client is mobile or if the environment changes (such as a warehouse) the selection of paths/direction also changes instantly. 

Transmitting in a directional way allows a good Signal-to-Noise Ratio and also causes less interference for other nearby APs outside the path of the directional transmission.

- ChannelFly technology. This technology chooses the best channel based on performance rather than background scanning for noise. 

- Polarization Diversity. This technology allows the clients not to lose signal strength when held at different angles (important for mobile devices such as tablets and telephones).

- Better receive sensitivity compared to the competitors. 

None of the other brands have the features listed above. 

To summarize: 

-   Features embedded in the chipset, and dumb antennas don't make any difference. 

-   Adaptive antenna and polarization diversity make a big difference.  

Ralph Malone - PeerSpot reviewer

I have Extreme and chose them years ago when they were Aerohive for one reason PPSK they are still the only company that has this.  I put out a bid this year and was ready to forklift my entire extreme system because of their outrageous maintenance costs Aruba had a great maintenance cost but to achieve what I needed I would have to purchase clearpass an excellent product I might add.   TCO for Aruba was about 10% of my original Extreme quote.  The bid for extreme came in and they had dropped the maintenance cost to 10% of the original cost for 5 years.  I would like to have purchased Aruba but I have 125 Extreme WAPs deployed so the cost of Aruba forklift would have been higher and the need to retrain techs on how to configure Aruba is now not an issue.  If I was doing a system from scratch I would choose Aruba hands down for their service, price and ease of use.  I have a full Aruba network of routers and switches as well as all HP printers so it would have been a good fit. I must add this is based on educational prices I am the network Engineer for a residential High School ASMSA.  Your prices may vary.  I have heard from other extreme users that their support is not what it was when Aerohive was a stand alone company, I have a very knowledgeable vendor so I rarely have to contact Extreme.

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