Ruckus Launches Router That Might Be Google’s New WiFi Hardware
Ruckus Wireless is known for building large outdoor hostspot systems and installing Wi-Fi networks in office buildings and hotels. However, after treading the deeper waters with large enterprises, Ruckus is now moving onto the shallower waters – small business market.
Meanwhile, and we believe not coincidentally, Google is prepping its own Wi-Fi services that use the Ruckus gear itself.
Ruckus has unveiled a new line of Wi-Fi access points (APs) targeted at workspaces which hold less than 100 employees. While other business networks require controllers on site and in cloud, Ruckus is playing the odd one out by allowing their controllers to be set up and managed from their smartphone app.
Ruckus’ new line of access points is being called Xclaim, and it is targeting that neglected region which lies between consumer Wi-Fi and business wireless networks.
Usually, small business depend on consumer routers that are easily bought of the shelves in large bulks, and are configured in the same fashion as our home Wi-Fi network. On the other hand, large companies invest a substantial amount in access points, controllers, software and staff.
All of the big networking vendors like Cisco Systems are now targeting the small-medium business with new cloud-based Wi-Fi systems. There is a big difference between small and medium business, according to Rob Mustarde, one of the executives of Ruckus. And there are barely any options out there for an office network of ten APs or less.
Mustarde said Ruckus believes it can find a “happy middle ground” where a small office can set up a network as easily as a home router, while taking advantage of more sophisticated enterprise features at the same time. This is all possible through Harmony, the iOS and Android app for the purpose.
“We wanted to provide a really simple solution,” Mustarde said. “Everyone has a smartphone in their pocket, and if you’re a network manager you don’t want to have to go to a computer every time you want to deal with an issue.”
Harmony allows you to configure multiple access points, set up multiple public and private networks and monitor all of the devices connected to them. These features can be found in other routers too, though. Harmony is unique because it has traffic prioritization settings that sniff out VoIP and video traffic and open up a fast lane for those packets across the network.
Mustarde did not comment on their partnership with Google. However, he did let slip that Xclaim would be an ideal hardware platform on which a company like Google could build a cloud-managed Wi-Fi network.
While we wait for more news on this partnership, Ruckus is to build tablet apps for Xclaim, and plans to launch a cloud management platform for the product line in 2015.