The wireless landscape hasnt yet reached a crossover point between 802.11 a/b/g and 802.11n, or WiMax, in terms of market adoption, so examining advances in this area was a little tricky this year.
Still, in this category, the CRN Test Center turns to a company that has come on strong in the wireless space over the past three years: Ruckus Wireless. This year, Ruckus delivered to market the Ruckus ZoneFlex 7363, a triumph in the war against cost and complexity that small and midsize businesses continue to fight on a day-in, day-out basis.
In the CRN Test Center lab, it took a matter of minutes to unbox the Ruckus ZoneDirector 1000, connect it to the network, integrate the dual-band ZoneFlex 7363, and dive into the browser-based administrator console over the network. The wizard-based configuration tool provides for fast deployment, activation of encryption, and a census of authorized, rogue and other network or unaffiliated access points in range of the ZoneDirector 1000.
For the Ruckus solution, a driver is the companys smart antenna technology where the ZoneFlex AP beams its signal rather than diffuses it. The result is a more precise signal, less prone to interference and better able to deliver higher bandwidth capacities. It helps to make a noticeable difference in the quality of the signal. The overall solution, then, provides higher management capability, easier installation and better quality than wed expect to see in a small or midsize enterprise solution.
On its own, VARs should be able to deliver the ZoneFlex 7363 as a fine 802.11n solution. But we believe even more value would come from combining it with the ZoneDirector 1000.