Physical Security

Protecting People, Assets and Infrastructure

Whether you represent an enterprise, institution or city, you recognize the obvious need to better ensure security and to better protect people, assets and infrastructure in public and private spaces alike. You’re probably doing physical security right now, be it video surveillance, asset management or access control.

But you know you could be doing so much more. How do you keep assets from walking out the door? How do you support 4K video cameras? You also know through experience that running power and Ethernet to every device is problematic, especially outdoors.

Ruckus is here to help. The same Ruckus network that provides connectivity to your customers, employees or citizens is also the network that can make a complicated outdoor camera deployment simple, asset tracking a reality, or wireless access control affordable. And Ruckus’ trusted security ecosystem partners can offer all that functionality and more.

Simplify Public Venue Complexity

Public venues—convention centers, airports, stadiums, shopping malls, hotels—have, arguably, the most complex connectivity and security requirements of any location. Solid Wi-Fi for visitors and staff is table stakes. If venues want to keep visitors coming back and staying longer, they need to offer services like lost-person tracking, wayfinding and easier retail transaction processing. Behind the scenes, they need venue-wide security camera coverage, strong access control and a way to protect fixed assets from theft and damage. And everything needs to be secure. Ruckus specializes in simplifying this complexity:

  • Established interoperability with security vendors like TrackR and Kontakt.io for asset tracking and geolocation and Pelco and Axis for high-definition IP cameras enables an integrated connectivity and security implementation.
  • An array of indoor, outdoor and special-purpose access points (APs) provide exceptional Wi-Fi performance to connect people and things, even under the most challenging conditions.
  • Ruckus Cloudpath security and policy management software can secure every physical device—even IoT devices like cameras and point-of-sale terminals.

Cut Your Cable Count

Better physical security inevitably translates into more cameras, with higher resolution. Buying more cameras is easy. Installing more cameras is hard. Ensuring adequate bandwidth to support each of them is hard, too. Ruckus makes it easier:

  • Outdoor APs like the T710 are all-around athletes that deliver blistering speed, PoE-out—so you don’t need to run a second power cable—and high-bandwidth mesh backhaul—so you don’t have to run Cat5/Cat6 cable to every camera.
  • Switches like the low profile, fanless ICX 7150 can power the cameras that do need an Ethernet connection, with the ability to provide both PoE and PoE+ power out.

Use the Radio Technology That Fits Best

Not every security sensor or device runs on Wi-Fi. That doesn’t mean you need a stand-alone Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), ZWave or Zigbee network. You can use the same Ruckus APs that provide great Wi-Fi coverage to deliver that connectivity, too.

  • Indoor APs like the ZoneFlex R710, R610 and H510 are equipped with USB ports that can be used to support a range of IoT connectivity options such as BLE, ZWave and Zigbee.

Manage Your Assets, Cut Your Losses

If you don’t know where your assets are, some of them are bound to disappear. Ruckus offers two ways of addressing this challenge:

  • Ruckus Smart Positioning Technology (SPoT) provides location fixes for Wi-Fi client devices. Included with SPoT is an asset-tracking application that lets you keep track of any Wi-Fi-enabled asset, with alerts to let you know if it’s crossed a pre-defined boundary.
  • Ruckus APs work together with products from TrackR and Kontakt.io to provide BLE tag-based asset tracking over large areas at a low per-unit cost. Unique asset identification combined with advanced edge computing algorithms on Ruckus APs allows asset movement detection in real-time, mapping location to a room-floor-building-campus and enabling fine-grained geofencing.

802.11ac vs. 802.11n

General Wireless Technologies

What it means:

802.11 is a family of wireless standards created by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). 802.11n is the older version of Wi-Fi, launched in 2009. It improved over previous versions of Wi-Fi with multiple radios, advanced transmit and receive techniques, and the option to use 5 GHz spectrum—all of which translate to a data rate of up to 600 Mbps.

802.11ac, introduced in 2014, is the latest generation. It adds wider channels and the ability to utilize up to eight data streams (“spatial streams”) with downlink using multi-user multiple input, multiple output (MU-MIMO) techniques for simultaneous transmission on up to four devices. These are changes over the previous standard that yield a maximum data rate of more than 3 Gbps, and even higher in the future. It also operates exclusively in the cleaner, capacity-rich 5 GHz frequency band.

Why you should care:

Older 802.11n technology is now widely deployed, and still does a good job for many applications. But if you’re deploying wireless infrastructure today, especially in a new, “green field” deployment, 802.11ac is the way to go. You might have heard some grumbling about real-world 802.11ac throughput gains not living up to expectations. And that was sometimes true for early products. But the second generation of 802.11ac—known as “Wave 2”—delivers major advantages over 802.11n, with room to grow. To get the most from 802.11ac, however, you need solutions built with solid wireless fundamentals, thoughtful radio design and very good antennas.

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802.11ac Wave 2

What it means:

802.11ac Wave 2 is the newest version of the newest Wi-Fi standard. It builds on first-generation 802.11ac technology by delivering faster data rates and the ability to communicate with four different clients simultaneously, instead of one at a time.

Why you should care:

Since rolling out in 2015, 802.11ac Wave 2 has become the Wi-Fi technology of choice, seeing double-digit growth in its first two years after launch. With wireless speeds as fast or faster than wired networks, many businesses now use it as the primary way to connect to the LAN.

Ruckus got in early on the 802.11ac game, offering one of the leading Wave 2 access points and the industry’s first commercially available Wave 2 outdoor access point. Today, we offer one of the largest Wave 2 portfolios on the market. By combining Wave 2 capacity with our technology breakthroughs in Smart Wi-Fi intelligence and antenna design, we’re making the dream of super-fast 802.11ac a reality in thousands of locations worldwide.

Asset Tracking

Location and Analytics

What it means:

Asset Tracking is a way to keep track of a device’s location using Wi-Fi, radio frequency ID (RFID) tags, or a combination of both.

Why you should care:

Many organizations—especially schools, hospitals, and others with large campuses—have lots of expensive equipment that moves around all the time. Whether it’s tablets or laptops used by students and teachers, audiovisual equipment, lab or clinical equipment, organizations want to be able to know where their assets are located. Modern wireless technologies offer two ways to do this. For devices connected to the Wi-Fi network, you can use Wi-Fi location and positioning tools to see their location. For assets with an RFID tag attached, you can use similar tools that use Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacons to track them. If you’re using a Ruckus Smart Positioning Technology (SPoT), you can do both. Just open up the Locator feature in the SPoT Analytics Dashboard, enter in the device’s unique MAC address, and you can:

  • Instantly pinpoint any device’s real-time location
  • View historical heat maps of where devices have been and how long they spent there
  • Configure alerts for when devices enter or leave a location to reduce theft and loss
  • Support location-based advertising, navigation, and other services
  • Better identify users’ locations during an emergency

BeamFlex Adaptive Antenna Technology

Performance Optimization

What it means:

Smart, compact adaptive antenna systems containing multiple elements that electrically manipulate antenna properties so as to create optimal antenna patterns for each device with which they communicate.

Why you should care:

Traditional wireless antennas are either “omnidirectional” (radiating signals in all directions) or “directional” (radiating signals in one direction). Ruckus BeamFlex Adaptive Antenna Technology takes a more adaptable approach. BeamFlex technology enables the antenna system within a Ruckus AP to continually sense and optimize for its environment.

This antenna system mitigates radio interference, noise and network performance issues, and improves application flows. The results:

  • Increased performance and range
  • Crystal clear video and voice communications
  • Maximized power efficiency

BeamFlex+ is an enhancement to Ruckus BeamFlex adaptive antenna technology by providing adaptive support to mobile devices. BeamFlex+ enables antennas to adapt to client device orientation in addition to client device location.

Beamforming

Performance Optimization

What it means:

Beamforming is a technique APs use to focus their radio signals in the direction of the clients they’re communicating with to gain better capacity and throughput. And while “beamforming” and Ruckus’ “Beamflex” technology sound similar, they’re not the same thing!

When most technology vendors talk about beamforming, they mean “transmit beamforming,” (TxBF), which is achieved through signal processing built into the AP’s chip. In contrast, Ruckus’ Beamflex+ technology focuses radio signals using smart adaptive antennas. Beamflex+ is not part of the industry-standard chip. We add this capability—which works at the antenna-level—and we’re the only vendor that has successfully implemented it.

Why you should care:

When APs target their signals directly to clients, the signal is stronger (better throughput), and the overall airspace is cleaner (less interference from signals bouncing all over the place). So we can all agree that beamforming is a good thing. But some vendors claim TxBF is all you need. That’s not quite true.

Transmit beamforming requires feedback from the client—which means devices have to support the TxBF protocol to benefit from it, and many don’t. Transmitters using TxBF also can’t use spatial multiplexing at the same time (another technique that’s widely used to get more capacity in the same airspace).

With Ruckus’ revolutionary BeamFlex and BeamFlex+ Adaptive Antenna technology, you can provide benefits for all clients. So your RF spectrum stays much cleaner, and your network delivers better throughput and reliability. Want to use both? You can: BeamFlex and BeamFlex+ technologies add benefit on top of whatever beamforming technology may be implemented in the chip.

Brocade Campus Fabric Technology

Performance Optimization

What it means:

Based on open standard IEEE 802.1BR Bridge Port Extension technology, Brocade Campus Fabric integrates premium, mid-range, and entry-level switches by collapsing the network access, aggregation, and core layers into a single domain that shares services.

The control bridge and a port extender are the building blocks of a Campus Fabric. The traditional aggregation/core layer is replaced by switches that act as the control bridge which is the brain of the complete Campus Fabric technology. The access layer is replaced by switches that operate in port extender mode; these switches provide connectivity to PCs, laptops, IP phones, and other access devices. The control bridge communicates with the attached port extender devices using protocols defined in the IEEE 802.1BR standards.

Why you should care:

Traditional access networks are highly inefficient and rigid, requiring network teams to connect to each individual network devices to provision resources, apply configuration changes, and deploy network policies.

Unlike the traditional three-tier network design, Brocade Campus Fabric collapses the network into a single logical device. This design centralizes control, simplifies deployment and management of services, and scales easily to handle growth. All the links between the switches are active at all times and traffic is load balanced. The results are:

  • Optimized performance
  • Increased resiliency
  • Faster network service deployment

ChannelFly Advanced Channel Selection

Performance Optimization

What it means:

The ChannelFly dynamic channel management technology in Ruckus APs improves wireless performance by dynamically switching a client to a better channel when the one it’s using starts to degrade.

Why you should care:

Most modern WLAN products can change a client’s channel when the one it’s using gets clogged with interference or too many devices. But there’s no point in switching channels unless you know the new one will actually provide more capacity. And most channel management strategies don’t do a great job of predicting. ChannelFly technology assesses all available channels to measure the real-world capacity improvement each one can provide before it directs the AP to switch channels.

ChannelFly technology was originally developed for use in carrier Wi-Fi environments, where channels are highly congested. Even in these dense public settings, it delivers multi-fold improvements in AP and network capacity—within seconds, automatically.

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Mesh Networking and SmartMesh

Performance Optimization

What it means:

You’re not crazy if you think that wireless networks should be… wireless. But in traditional WLANs, you still have to run cables to each AP. In mesh networks, individual APs connect with each other wirelessly.

Why you should care:

Who wouldn’t want to eliminate the need for expensive Ethernet cabling across their facilities? But making mesh networks work in enterprises is easier said than done. Traditionally, it’s required a lot of complex configuration, and it’s been hard to assure consistent, reliable connectivity.

With Ruckus SmartMesh Networking technology, we’ve made mesh networks enterprise-grade. Instead of navigating complex configurations for each AP, just check a box. The mesh forms automatically. And with our BeamFlex technology, APs can dynamically change antenna patterns on a packet-by-packet basis to adapt to conditions and ensure a solid connection. Enterprises get self-forming, self-healing mesh networks at half the time and cost of traditional wireless deployments.

OpenG

What it means:

OpenG is a Ruckus technology innovation that improves mobile coverage and capacity inside buildings, where connecting with conventional macro networks is a challenge. It combines new coordinated shared spectrum (CSS) capabilities with small cell technologies to bring licensed mobile connectivity indoors. In the United States, OpenG solutions use 3.5GHz spectrum under the Citizens Broadcast Radio Service (CBRS) rules defined by the Federal Communications Commission. Ruckus is an active participant in a group of wireless industry leaders working to develop, market and promote solutions utilizing CBRS.

Why you should care:

Mobile service has traditionally been an either/or proposition: users connect to mobile macro networks outside, and rely on Wi-Fi indoors where mobile signals are poorer. If you’ve ever been on a mobile call and walked into an office building or parking structure, you know why that’s a big problem. In many buildings, especially new construction, mobile services that operate over licensed radio spectrum just can’t penetrate everywhere users want them. Especially deep inside buildings, you end up with mobile “dead zones”, dropped calls and frustrated subscribers.

With the emergence of LTE-WiFi convergence and CSS, that’s all changing. Solutions like Ruckus’ OpenG let service providers and enterprises deploy “neutral host” small cell solutions inside buildings to extend mobile connectivity to places it wouldn’t otherwise reach. The result: better indoor coverage, happier users and new business opportunities for managed wireless services.

Secure Device Onboarding and Cloudpath

Security and Onboarding

What it means:

It’s not 2005 anymore; there’s no reason that onboarding wireless devices shouldn’t be highly secure and simple. Ruckus Cloudpath software makes secure onboarding easy for enterprises, government agencies, and educational institutions.

Why you should care:

With billions of wireless devices and new ones hitting the market all the time, it can feel like the Wild West out there. Cloudpath lets you onboard both IT-owned and BYOD devices in a fast, automated way. Cloudpath invented self-service Wi-Fi onboarding in 2006, and onboards millions of devices each year. It uses standards-based security, strong encryption, and flexible policy controls to extend enterprise-grade security to every device coming onto your network.