Ruckus Networks delivers their first 802.11ax product, and it is a beast!

Ruckus has just released their flagship indoor access point, the Ruckus R730. It is their first 802.11ax product and has be launched with their "Ultra-High Density technology suite". The hardware/software combination makes the solution a market leader.

Ultra-High Density Technology Suite

The suite is a collection of features and technologies designed to improve network performance in high-density environments – which is just about every office or public place in today’s world!

Transient Client Management

The technology comprises of transient client management that delays associations of AP’s with client devices that are in a coverage area for a short time. This is important as networks receive management frames to APs that devices don’t intend to connect with, creating unnecessary traffic and thus slowing down the Wi-Fi.

Airtime Decongestion

The suite also comprises of Airtime Decongestion. This performance optimising feature limits the management frame exchanges between APs and clients. It enables selective responding to devices that adds to improved airtime utilisation and therefore better Wi-Fi speeds and experiences. 

Adaptive Wi-Fi Cell Sizing

Another feature of the suite to improve the performance of over or under deployed networks.  The feature works by dynamically adapting the Wi-Fi cell size to compensate for changes in the topology of the network such as adding new access points.

Network Capacity Utilisation

Network under-utilisation due to sub-optimal client-to-AP link quality and lower throughput has been another problem with dense networks. This feature provides a client management technique that automatically spreads client load across APs and bands to maintain optimal AP-to-client links in these dense environments. 

BeamFlex Adaptive Antennas

The killer feature that has separated Ruckus from competitors for years. Most access points use omni directional antennas that radiate signals evenly across 360 degrees. Ruckus where early to realise “there must be a better approach”. Here come antenna patterns. Antenna patterns focus signal towards a direction of for the propose of better Wi-Fi – a client device.  Doesn’t sound impressive? The Ruckus R730 boosts 4,200 possible combinations in real-time to establish the best possible connection to each device… Wow!

Per Packet Tx Power Adaption

Packet by Packet the radio will power the radios depending on the distance of the client. The advantage of this is it is capable of down powering closer clients, reducing the amount of congestion and up powering for clients further away to give them the best connection.

Airtime Fairness

Airtime fairness is a feature that ensures all connected clients get the same amount of airtime, regardless of their theoretical data rate. The advantage of this is older clients connecting to an AP or clients that are for any reason taking longer to download packets won’t slow down the network for other connected clients.

Band Balancing

Listening to probes from dual band capable clients, the AP will encourage clients to use the more efficient 5 GHz band.   

Client Load Balancing

Client load balancing, like it suggests, balances clients across multiple access points in order to make the best use of the network. This is important, as too many clients connected to a single AP can congest the AP and lead to poorer performance. 

Focusing back to the Ruckus R730, the benefits accompanying the literature for the access point are;

  • Connect more devices simultaneously
  • Ultra-high-density performance
  • Enhanced security
  • Multi-gigabit access speeds
  • Device management options
  • Better mesh networking
  • Automate optimal throughput
  • More than Wi-Fi 

The last benefit is interesting to pay attention to, as the R730 doesn’t just provide Wi-Fi, but also support IoT Suite for managing IoT devices that are being adopted wide, Cloudpath security for securing and managing the on-boarding of clients, SPoT location for location-based services and SmartCell Insight (SCI) for network analytics.

We have to finish the post of talking about the sheer performance of the AP… The R730 is capable of delivering a blistering 4.8 Gbps speeds (11ax over 5 GHz), with 8x8:8 Radio Chains:Streams, USB port for IoT dongle, 1x 5 Gbps and 1 x 1 Gbps Ethernet Ports.

Why does this all matter? In “noisy” RF environments a.k.a high-density environment, the experience can degrade considerably as older technology and standards didn’t directly address how to handle such environments.  Techniques from wireless experts such as ourselves included adding additional access points with directional antennas and turning down the volume to limit the coverage (in extreme installations such as stadiums). With 802.11ax addressing many of the common problems, and the additional features within the suite and the R730, you will be able to achieve a better user experience with less.