CONNECT Computer Solves Wireless Networking Cost/Performance Issues for Schools with Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi
FAIRFIELD, CT — April 4, 2014 — Ruckus Wireless, Inc. (NYSE: RKUS) CONNECT Computer, a Ruckus Top Dog channel partner, announced today that they are filling a critical need among budget-strapped K-12 schools and districts in the northeastern United States for higher performing, more reliable wireless connectivity with a unique Smart Wi-Fi solution from Ruckus Wireless, Inc.
Such schools include: Bethany Community School in Bethany, CT; Sterling Public Schools in Sterling, CT; Blind Brook Schools in Rye Brook, NY; and Convent of the Sacred Heart in Greenwich, CT.
With a growing number of tablets, smartphones and other mobile devices increasingly accessing and putting a strain on wireless networks on campus, these schools’ legacy Wi-Fi networks are simply unable to meet connectivity demands. Even with as few as 15 or 20 devices trying to connect at once, these networks crash, according to Bob Thomas, senior solutions architect with CONNECT. “The outdated Wi-Fi technology at these schools just can’t keep up,” he said.
“While many schools in the region are inclined to seek replacement offerings from Cisco, Aruba, and other providers, they ultimately end up spending a lot more time and money implementing systems that are difficult to manage and not 100% reliable,” Thomas said.
That said, what makes the Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi system unique — and the reason CONNECT is now an exclusive Ruckus reseller — is the ability of Ruckus ZoneFlex™ access points (APs) to perform optimally even in difficult building environments.
“Many of the schools in the northeast region of the country, including Connecticut, are several decades old, and were built with lots of brick and concrete block walls, which can make RF propagation really tough,” said Thomas. “In testing done by some of the schools they’ve seen a two to three times stronger signal penetration from Ruckus APs than with other products — which is truly amazing. It’s one of the few solutions we work with that we’ve never had a problem with.”
“The coverage from the Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi system was far superior to other solutions we looked at, and CONNECT was able to provide wall-to-wall coverage of our schools on far fewer APs than we would have needed from other vendors,” said Colin Byrne, IT Director for Blind Brook Schools. “We now have coverage and performance beyond what I thought would be possible on our limited budget. CONNECT and Ruckus has been a huge gift to our entire school — the students, teachers, and even outside visitors who need access.”
New, Smarter Wi-Fi Solves an Old School Problem
Bethany Community School, a K-6 elementary school comprised of four buildings, is one CONNECT success story. The school needed to replace an outdated Wi-Fi network made up of a few controller-less 802.11b and 802.11g access points. Bethany had several notebook computers on-site that were plagued with login issues due to the constraints of this legacy wireless network. Adding to the strain on the existing network, the school added approximately 50 iPads for student use on campus last year.
At that point, Bethany’s sole IT person, who also serves as the librarian, decided to seek a new, centrally managed system that could provide higher performance and more reliability, as well as secure guest access, in order to support the influx of those iPads, and the other existing notebooks. After receiving bids from several providers, Bethany chose CONNECT to deploy a Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi network, covering the entire campus with less than half the number of APs than were quoted by other vendors. With features like Zero-IT on-boarding and Dynamic Pre-shared Key (PSK) secure access features, Bethany has since concluded that the Ruckus ZoneFlex system was the best choice all-around.
“We are very happy with the Ruckus solution provided by CONNECT Computer,” said John Barile, Superintendent of Schools for Bethany. “It has proven very easy to manage, and is a great Wi-Fi network to work with. We’re able to customize the management system so we can track the connectivity on our network, and make adjustments when needed. The number of access points has blanketed the campus and provides 100% coverage.”
With a Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi network in place, CONNECT provides ubiquitous indoor and outdoor coverage to all buildings at Bethany, including the Board of Education administrative offices located on-site. Thomas and his team installed 27 Ruckus ZoneFlex APs to cover the approximately 100,000-square-foot campus. The APs are centrally managed using a Ruckus ZoneDirector™ 3050 controller.
“We didn’t plan for providing outdoor coverage, but there is so much power from the Ruckus access points that the outdoor areas can get access as well,” said Thomas.
Another successful CONNECT Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi network deployment is Sterling Public Schools, a K-8 school. The school previously had a SonicWall SonicPoint system, which required a SonicWall firewall to operate as the controller. The legacy network had spotty coverage and connectivity issues, according to A.J. O’Connell, IT director for Sterling. When the school decided to replace its SonicWall firewall, the APs became unusable, so they looked for a new Wi-Fi solution.
Sterling also benefits from the Zero IT On-boarding and Dynamic PSK technologies for ease of use and secure guest access. To cover the approximately 75,000-square-foot campus, CONNECT installed 24 Ruckus ZoneFlex APs, along with a Ruckus ZoneDirector 3025 for centralized management.
About CONNECT Computer
CONNECT Computer is a full-service IT and Data Center consulting and managed solutions provider specializing in Windows networks, server-based computing, virtualization, application delivery and hosting, disaster recovery and business continuation. The company was established in 1985 and is now an exclusive Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi reseller to its wireless networking clients.
About Ruckus Wireless
Headquartered in Sunnyvale, CA, Ruckus Wireless, Inc. (NYSE: RKUS) is a global supplier of advanced wireless systems for the rapidly expanding mobile Internet infrastructure market. The company offers a wide range of indoor and outdoor "Smart Wi-Fi" products to mobile carriers, broadband service providers, and corporate enterprises, and has over 33,000 end-customers worldwide. Ruckus technology addresses Wi-Fi capacity and coverage challenges caused by the ever-increasing amount of traffic on wireless networks due to accelerated adoption of mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. Ruckus invented and has patented state-of-the-art wireless voice, video, and data technology innovations, such as adaptive antenna arrays that extend signal range, increase client data rates, and avoid interference, providing consistent and reliable distribution of delay-sensitive multimedia content and services over standard 802.11 Wi-Fi. For more information, visit https://www.ruckuswireless.com.
Ruckus, Ruckus Wireless, ZoneDirector, and ZoneFlex are trademarks of Ruckus Wireless, Inc. in the United States and other countries. All other product or company names may be trademarks of their respective owners.