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Looking Beyond Throughput Coverage and 802.11n Test Results

Wireless Speed Test - Aerohive, Aruba, Cisco, Meraki, Ruckus

Wireless Speed Test - Aerohive, Aruba, Cisco, Meraki, RuckusA recent comparative test conducted at Syracuse University looked to determine the performance of a group of 802.11n wireless access points from a variety of providers. The test was specifically designed to test the level of throughput coverage that 5 major WLAN providers can offer through their 802.11n access points. The test spanned 7 months and consisted of hundreds of tests across across 3 main categories or environments:

  • Single AP, singe client (rate v. range)
  • Multiple class rooms of simultaneous users (90) on a single AP
  • Multiple class rooms of simultaneous users (120) using multiple APs (6)

The solutions providers tested included Ruckus, Aerohive,Aruba, Cisco and Meraki. Names we are sure that you are all aware of. Drum roll please! The Syracuse results report reads, “Our results suggest that Ruckus Wireless’ Zoneflex 7982 offers the best overall performance of any of the products we tested. In addition, we found Ruckus’ performance to be significantly more consistent as we altered key elements of the physical environment.” Well, it looks like we have a winner and our advice to you would be to drop what you are doing, call Ruckus, rip out your existing wireless network and replace it with one from Ruckus.

Wait, we may have spoken to soon. Did we mention that the report also mentions that the test was conducted in partnership with Ruckus who also provided guidance on test plans. Talk about home field advantage. As Lee Badman, who has personal ties to Syracuse, points out in a recent Network Computing article that it is easy to assume there are, “legitimate complaints about the results from vendors and IT professionals.” While Lee, as we do, express appreciation for the work the team a Syracuse did and the value that the test does present, Lee does shed some light on some other issues other than throughput that need to be considered when looking a solutions providers.

He talks about how enterprise WLAN management, functionality and customer satisfaction play a large role in vendor selection and determining what the best solution is for you, even more so then throughput in some cases. Check out the full report here, but remember to understand how the tests where conducted, what they do not include in their evaluation and take this information with a grain of salt as you look into the marketplace for your next enterprise wireless network solution (WNS). Also, click here to read more about Badman’s thoughts on the test results

wireless guide coverFor information on the top 802.11ac solutions, check out our latest Buyer’s Guide:

  • Easy, side-by-side comparison of the top 802.11ac wireless vendors
  • Descriptions of each solution and their strengths
  • Important questions to ask yourself and potential vendors when considering a solution
  • Market overview of the current 802.11ac wireless space
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