Tag: The Ruckus Room

Simplify Wi-Fi deployment for fiber-ready buildings

Ruckus is a preferred vendor for deploying Wi-Fi at major hospitality chains and multiple dwelling units (MDUs). We at Ruckus are ever sensitive to industry trends and strive hard to meet our hospitality customers’ demands and requirements. We continue to innovate to redefine connectivity in the hospitality industry. Illustrative of this is our latest innovation around our specialty access point (AP) H510, which is custom built for a hotel’s in-room connectivity use case – the Fiber Backpack

H510 is built with copper-based Ethernet backhaul connectivity. The current trend in hospitality to install fiber to the room calls out for a fiber-to-ethernet media converter (e.g., optical network terminal or ONT) to connect to H510. Installing an ONT along with H510 leads to wire clutter and other challenges, which can impact room aesthetics. Despite these challenges, fiber-based hospitality deployments are continuing to embrace H510 to provide in-room Wi-Fi connectivity.

Fiber Backpack
Current state of fiber to the room

Ruckus has developed a “Fiber Backpack for H510” to address these challenges and simplify Wi-Fi deployments for fiber-ready hotels and MDUs. The Ruckus Fiber Backpack is a field-installable, fiber-to-Ethernet media converter accessory enabling customers to add a fiber backhaul interface to the H510. The custom-designed Fiber Backpack attaches seamlessly to the H510. It supports both passive optical network (PON) and active fiber industry standard small form-factor pluggable (SFP) modules. The Fiber Backpack takes in DC power and provides power over PoE to the attached H510 AP. The Fiber Backpack comes with two options for input 48 V DC power, a terminal jack for use with hybrid fiber cabling (fiber strand plus DC power over copper), and the standard wall-powered DC power supply accessory specified for use with H510.

Fiber to the room of tomorrow

Here are some of the highlighted benefits of the Fiber Backpack:

  • Provides
    fiber backhaul option for the H510 access point (AP)
  • Converts
    the 10/100/1000 Mbps Ethernet from the AP to fiber via an SFP cage
  • Supports
    both PON and active fiber SFP modules
  • Provides
    power supply to AP by converting DC

3 Ways IT can be an OT Hero

IT and
facilities teams (also known as Operational Technologies or OT) are twin
siblings born of separate mothers. They work side by side, supporting the same
people and business operations but rarely interact. New technologies and
business demands are creating collaboration opportunities worthy of hero
status.

IT

Laptops
versus Thermostats

We had
buildings way before the first computer. If an IT engineer’s world is servers
and networking, the facility engineer’s day revolves around things like keeping
the lights on.

The Internet of Things (IoT) brings traditionally non-IP applications into the IP world. This is great for OT because their world is hardware heavy: physical security, theft prevention, office planning, lighting, and environmental controls. These systems are difficult to change and management controls are often are not IP-based.

IT has
learned to capitalize on software which is agile and changes quickly where
hardware cannot.

This is
where the conference rooms come in.

Did
someone say “Office Space”?

One of
OT’s responsibilities is office planning: how many people are in the building
and when and where. Walking around all day won’t work and occupancy sensors are
inaccurate. That’s a problem for a facilities team evaluating how office space
is being used.

IT,
however, knows precisely how many devices are connected to the network, maybe
location too. For OT, this is a treasure trove of information.

Say we’ve
got an office configured for 150 people. Most days there are 80 people but
conference rooms are always booked. Maybe the rooms are booked by one person
wanting privacy for a phone call. There might even be people using the
conference rooms without booking. This makes it hard for OT to judge the most effective
use of the space. It might be time to implement a hot desk policy and use the
extra space for badly needed conference rooms. Using analytics and location
analysis, IT can tell OT where the people are and what they’re doing.

Is it just
me or is it hot in here?

If the
facilities manager knows when and where people are, …

Using outdated Wi-Fi security procedures is like buying a blast door and leaving the key in the lock

Simple, everyday connectivity
mistakes can be more damaging than expected. More shockingly, they often go
unidentified.

Security

When meeting a prospect in the
cafeteria I overheard an employee asking a colleague how to connect his new
phone to the Wi-Fi and was shocked to hear the mention of inputting AD (active
directory) credentials. In a company, like this, which invests significantly in
security, surely these outdated mistakes should have been put to rest long ago.

When I asked this employee if he knew who
he was providing his credential to it became clear that the question had never
even crossed his mind. He explained to me that he was accustomed to the dialog
box on his screen, having encountered it using his previous phone which had
required him to update Wi-Fi client settings each time his company’s passwords
were changed every three months.

There are several security risks to be
aware of in this case. Let me explain why.

Protocols such as PEAP (Protected Extensible Authentication Protocol) and TTLS (Tunnelled Transport Layer Security) were developed to provide enhanced security in Wi-Fi environments with minimal impact on the client (user) provisioning side, introducing username and password authentication. The principle is the following:

The client communicates with the authentication server by sending EAPoL (Extensible Authentication Protocol over Local Area Network) traffic to the AP that forwards it to the AAA (authentication, authorization, and accounting) server by encapsulating it into RADIUS (Remote Authentication Dial-In User Service) packets.

There are various EAP methods that specify
the ‘language’ used to connect the client to the AAA server; PEAP and TTLS are
just two examples of these languages. The principle is to facilitate the client
to authenticate the server by verifying a digital certificate, establishing a
secure tunnel with the AAA server. Once this tunnel has been established, user
credentials can be sent securely.

This method has the advantage of offering
secure authentication without having to deploy a certificate on each individual
client, an expensive and time-consuming exercise. PEAP or TTLS were defined when
mobile device management …

Are you ready for a Network-as-a-Service model?

Many modern enterprises in sectors such as hospitality, tourism, and retail are service-driven. Franchising models allow those with the talent and flair to create and develop a brand to expand nationally and internationally. These individual branches are often quite small and require small-scale IT deployments, however, the overall picture may extend to 100’s or 1000’s of sites. These deployments must support both the business and the customer network access requirements, with secure enterprise connectivity and easy guest access. How often have you chosen a coffee shop not solely based on the quality of the food and beverages, but also on the ability to get a seat to work, a power outlet and good Wi-Fi?

Network

Subscription-based
models

What about goods and services on a
subscription basis? It is predicted that in the future there will be autonomous,
electrically powered vehicles that can be summoned at a few minutes notice, at
very competitive cost, negating the need to own or even lease a vehicle for
exclusive personal use. We’re all already enjoying the benefits of music and
video streaming services that give immediate and cost-effective access to a near
limitless library of content (although I still love my CDs and vinyl records!).
Considering these trends in consumption models, why wouldn’t a fast-moving
business embrace a similar offering to deliver a network infrastructure service
on a subscription basis, scaling the network as and when demand calls for it?
These same businesses are already signed up to cloud hosted application and
storage delivery, allowing them to flex their capacity in line with incremental
growth or seasonal peaks in their business operations.

Ease
of use

Apple didn’t invent smartphones or tablets,
but demonstrably aided mass market adoption with intuitive and easy to
understand user interfaces and an app development ecosystem. With the latest announcement
of the new Apple TV+ service, there is recognition of the need to diversify in
an increasingly competitive device market.

The market for cloud-controlled network
infrastructure, in particular Wi-Fi, isn’t new. However, some early to market
solutions are arguably becoming weighed …

Bringing Wi-Fi to the Masses

Technological breakthroughs in emerging markets are expected to serve as the catalyst for the next billion internet users going online. As such, it is important for companies to be engaged and involved and come up with a product or service that solves a real problem and makes people’s lives better. At Ruckus (now part of CommScope via acquisition), we are dedicated to doing just that. This is precisely why we are working with companies and organizations like the Information Technology Disaster Resource Center (ITDRC) and Google to bring connectivity to developing nations and hard-hit disaster areas. Let’s take a closer look at some of our initiatives below.

Wi-Fi

ITDRC Deployments

We recognize that Wi-Fi connectivity is especially critical in the aftermath of disasters such as fires, flooding or strong winds that destroy cellular towers. This is because Wi-Fi is one of the best ways for first responders to establish command centers, share updates and enable victims to check in with their loved ones. We are proud to work closely with the Technology Disaster Resource Center (ITDRC) to jointly deploy wireless connectivity in disaster zones around the globe.

Recent ITDRC Wi-Fi deployments include California’s Camp and
Woolsey Fires, as well as Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. The organization,
which is known for configuring network infrastructure from the WAN to the LAN
as soon as 24-hours after a natural disaster, also provided communications for
evacuation centers and bases of operations for disaster recovery organizations
such as FEMA, the Red Cross, Team Rubicon and AmeriCorps. Moreover, the ITRDC
helped establish communications in remote areas cut off by landslides and
enabled hospitals to contact FEMA after Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico.

Together with the ITDRC, Ruckus, and our channel partners participate in disaster relief work by donating wired and wireless network equipment. More specifically, our ‘modularized kits’ stand ready for rapid deployment during times of disaster. These ruggedized kits contain a range of Ruckus networking equipment including indoor and outdoor APs, PTP bridges to deliver connectivity and easy access to our remote management Virtual SmartZone

Accelerating digital learning at ISTE19

The connectivity challenges of digital learning

ISTE19 is the place to be for educators who want to make digital learning an exciting and successful part of the curriculum. There is clearly still much work to be done in this area, as 97 percent of schools are reportedly dissatisfied with their current state of digital learning. In fact, most schools have only managed to implement a curriculum that is 15 percent digital.

digital learning
Transition to Digital Learning

Perhaps not surprisingly, unreliable connectivity is frequently blamed for the slow adoption of digital learning. This is because aging network infrastructure – like older switches and wireless access points (APs) – can no longer adequately support new bandwidth-hungry applications such as 4K video, AR/VR and eSports. With digital learning rightfully taking top priority, there’s often no available capacity for leveraging the campus network for safety and security infrastructure like IP cameras, smart locks and vaping and bullying sensing solutions.

Although schools need to do more with their networks, they are often significantly limited by multiple constraints like budget and staffing concerns. This is precisely why schools need to work with partners like Ruckus (now part of CommScope via acquisition) to accelerate their digital learning journey and achieve true digital equity. Over the years, we’ve helped thousands of schools across the United States effectively leverage their E-Rate grants and deploy networks in even the most challenging environments. In addition, our IoT Suite and private LTE (CBRS) portfolios are helping to support both digital learning and safety (security) infrastructure by enabling the seamless convergence of IT and OT.

For example, our multi-gigabit switches and Wi-Fi 6 APs are the ideal combinations for high-density deployment scenarios with fast and ubiquitous connectivity in large stadiums, auditoriums, and libraries. Moreover, our network technologies – which deliver better performance and higher capacity – are key to enabling bandwidth-intensive applications such as streaming 4K video, AR/VR and eSports. In fact, Lenovo chose Ruckus Networks to connect the first all-in-one (AIO), wireless VR headset classroom kit due to our proven expertise in …

3 Ways a Mini-Multigig Provides a Big Boost

New Compact
Multigigabit Switch Adds Big Boost for High-Performance Use Cases

Ruckus Networks (now part of CommScope via acquisition) just introduced a compact multigigabit switch, the ICX 7150-C10ZP. It’s a small form factor 10-port switch, all of which are multigigabit ports. The new multigigabit switch has two ports that support 1/2.5/5/10 GbE and the other 8 are 1/2.5 GbE ports. The switch also includes two 1/10 GbE SFP/SFP+ port for uplinks and stacking. Its Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) budget is double that of our 1 GbE compact switch – and can deliver up to 90 watts of PoE per port. The switch is fanless for silent operation, making it ideal for use in classrooms, offices or retail environments, as well as in a switch closet (with the optional rack-mount kit).

multigigabit

When I first heard about the new switch, I scratched my
head, wondering why this switch might become popular. Upon further
consideration of the requirements for multigigabit connections, I see now that
this switch has some extremely interesting prospects.

Multigigabit connectivity, 2.5 GbE and 5 GbE over standard
Cat 5E (or Cat 6/6A) Ethernet cables, is just now starting to gain interest and
popularity. Some of the high-end Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) and most of the new Wi-Fi 6
(802.11ax) wireless access points coming to market over the past year have
multigigabit Ethernet ports.

While these new APs are capable of more than 1 Gbps
throughput, this rate is generally only required when there are large numbers
of data-intensive, or video-intensive, users. The top scenarios for this are in
large public venues. We see high demand for Wi-Fi 6 access points and
multigigabit switches in arenas, convention centers, auditoriums, ballrooms and
stadiums. These customers have been early adopters for Wi-Fi 6 APs and our
high-end multigigabit switches.

We’ve also seen a steady increase in sales of our
multigigabit switches, although many customers and reselling partners are still
on the fence as to whether it’s worth the investment to upgrade their
infrastructure from the current standard 1 GbE switches to multigigabit. It’s
particularly …

Federal Specialization rewards Ruckus partners

There’s a lot of excitement on our federal team lately about the new Federal Specialization in Ruckus’ Ready Partner Program. The Specialization program is a recognition of Ruckus’ most important industry partnerships for improving wired and wireless services within select markets, now including federal.

Federal Specialization

In the federal space, we are especially fortunate to have
strong, mutually beneficial partnerships with organizations that leverage Ruckus’
industry-leading solutions for network deployments. Federal contracting is
complex, and it’s not for everyone. Through our decades of service, we have
learned who has the staying power and expertise for delivering Ruckus solutions
to federal agencies for the long-term, as well as those who are simply dabbling
in the space.

The Specialization Program formalizes our already-strong
relationships. Many of these have grown organically over the years as we’ve
honed our partnerships around common interests, complimentary expertise and
resources, the use of the same governmentwide contracting vehicles, and
dedication to the federal customer and mission. These are the founding
principles for the new partnerships we look to forge through this program as
well, focusing on organizations that meet the following criteria:

  • Prime holder on one or more Government Wide
    Acquisition Contract (GWAC) vehicles, such as the GSA Schedule, SEWP, ITES or NETSCENTS
  • Dedicated federal sales, marketing and technical
    personnel
  • Office located within 50 miles of Washington, DC
  • Campus edge networking experience

Trust and respect are the backbone of these partnerships,
just as with the federal customers we serve. The program rewards our partners
with exclusive access to FIPS/TAA and E2 SKUs – ensuring a secure supply chain
– exclusive partner events, training, and joint business planning and review
sessions. The certifications are especially important as federal agencies work
to defend their supply chains against cyberattacks, a threat that grows
exponentially when dealing with uncertified products.

At Ruckus, we pride ourselves on our commitments not only to
our customers, but also to our partners as we define ourselves as a partner-driven
organization. These relationships are important as, together, we bring collaborative
solutions from industry experts to the federal …

Distributed Fiber Networks: Comparing Point-to-Point Fiber Cabling and PON for Commercial Buildings

It’s no surprise that distributed fiber architectures are gaining popularity in the building. As networks grow to include all types of devices including audiovisual, security, building operational technology, IoT and wireless, there are advantages to pushing your network edge access out closer to the endpoint devices. Some reasons are:

Fiber Cabling

Density – Hotels, schools, and hospitals generally have dense zones or areas of networked devices. Installing high counts of copper cabling to a telecom room up to 100M away may be less efficient than installing fiber to a small network edge switch in a guest suite, classroom or patient room.

Multiple Networks – While all types of devices and
systems are connecting to the network, not all businesses choose to manage them
as a single network. There are various reasons for this, ranging from security
to employee and departmental structure, to roles and responsibilities.
Installing fiber from an equipment room for the specific system to a network
edge switch located near the system’s endpoint devices may provide an efficient
way to manage and control access to networks.

Space – As the number of devices and systems
increases, existing telecom rooms will become crowded but designing larger rooms
may not be feasible. Distributed fiber networks using point-to-point (P2P)
fiber optic cabling reduce the space needed in dedicated telecom rooms and
capitalize on using non-occupiable space in ceilings and walls.

One of the challenges
to locating switches outside of telecom rooms has been the growing demand for
PoE and the lack of dedicated circuits with power backup throughput the
building and ceiling spaces. As a standard practice, telecom rooms are
outfitted with dedicated power and UPS power backup to ensure switches stay
online and the critical devices they are powering stay operational in the event
of a power interruption.

But for
switches outside the telecom room, DC power microgrids can solve the problem. DC
microgrids allow you to install bundled power and fiber cables from your main equipment
or telecom room to each switch or endpoint. The power conductors are powered
via …

TechTarget highlights Ruckus IoT Suite

IoT Suite

TechTarget’s Sharon Shea has published an article that provides an in-depth look at the recent deployment of Ruckus wireless access points (APs) and IoT Suite throughout the Royal Park Hotel. Located in the Detroit suburb of Rochester, Michigan, the boutique Royal Park Hotel offers guests some of the latest hospitality technologies to ensure a comfortable, convenient and connected stay.

“The 143-room hotel, which opened in 2004, partnered with Ruckus Wireless nearly a decade ago to install 30 Wi-Fi access points for its guests. Ten years later and with the growing use of mobile and smart devices, upgrading the hotel’s wireless bandwidth [is seen as] critical,” writes Shea.

“The property is now equipped with 160 Ruckus access points, one in each room, as well as others across the property. The access points installed under the desk in each guest room also contain an IoT module with a unique MAC (Media Access Control) address.”

As Scott Rhodes, director of engineering at Royal Park Hotel notes, Ruckus’ IoT Suite has enabled the Royal Park Hotel to more easily upgrade the property’s conventional fob locks to Assa Abloy’s connected smart locks.

“We had the card insertion piece, then we went to the fob. And, at the time, I was really curious — you could see the opportunity on the horizon: the app for the phone. Yet, the technology just wasn’t there yet. Six months ago, the opportunity to upgrade to smart locks arose,” Scott Rhodes, director of engineering at Royal Park Hotel, tells TechTarget. “Now, after they make a reservation, the guest’s phone or smart device can access their room once they hit the site in the period of time the reservation’s good for. Thanks to the connected locks, management can monitor when doors are open or closed, locked or unlocked.”

In addition to convenience, the smart locks, which run on Assa Abloy’s Visionline software system, provide increased security for guests. For example, the smart lock automatically notifies management if an intruder attempts to open a door lock with an unauthorized …