Main Nav

Message from ssmith@siu.edu

I've seen many times on this list people discuss the differences between Cisco, Aruba, and Meru.  I know there are pros and cons of each, but I'm wanting to get feedback from people who have either done a "bake off" or at least tested between them, and more specifically somewhat recently.

I did this like 2 years ago, and discussed with hospitals as well as other Universities but I'm now wondering about more recent testings.

--

Scott Smith 

Network Engineering

Information Technology

Southern Illinois University Carbondale 

Redhat Certified Engineer

ssmith@siu.edu


********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/groups/.

AttachmentSize
red_hat_cert_eng_logo-clr_email.jpg6.46 KB

Comments

Not that you're asking... but I'd also throw Ruckus, Motorola, Bluesocket, Meraki, and Aerohive into the mix right now. The WLAN space has had some amazing development and certain vendors have sweetspots that the others don't, depending on a particuilar set of conditions and scale. They all have pros and cons, but beyond the market leaders feature sets get pretty interesting.

 

 

Lee H. Badman
Wireless/Network Engineer, ITS
Adjunct Instructor, iSchool
Syracuse University
315.443.3003

Message from me@mpking.com

I really liked Aerohive's marketing campaign from last year:

The Areohive Infinitely Scalable Controller

I second Lee’s comments.  There is so much choice out there that you may discover you can find something that fits your specs more precisely for a better price.  We did a bake off between eight vendors and ended up choosing Aruba from the bunch as they best fulfilled our overall WLAN needs and wants.  Ruckus looked very good to us as well.

 

 

Brian

 

On 1/18/2012 7:30 PM, Scott Smith wrote:
I've seen many times on this list people discuss the differences between Cisco, Aruba, and Meru.  I know there are pros and cons of each, but I'm wanting to get feedback from people who have either done a "bake off" or at least tested between them, and more specifically somewhat recently.

We started, years ago, with fat Cisco APs (Aeronets?).  Got very complicated very quickly.

Next we chose Meru, easy to deploy, fairly easy to manage, but it didn't scale well (cost or capability).

We're currently using Aruba. 

In the current "upgrades" we are looking at density issues -- we started out just getting heat map coverage, without too much attention to density; as a result, we now have crowded/capacity issue areas, particularly in b/g.  So I would have to concur with others concerns about spectrum and density.  If you scaled for laptops, now you have phones, media players/readers, and iThings around every corner.  Even unregistered/unauthenticated, they still associate and eat up airspace and a client slot.

Jeff
********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/groups/.

Toms Hardware did a very in-depth analysis of several manufacturers last year. I would go to their web site and see what they have to say.

I've tested Cisco, Aruba, Meru, Ruckus and have considered Motorola recently. Tom's is a much more thorough test group.

My results also considered reliability and cost  both initial and overall maintenance. My budget is not huge so I have to make each dollar count.


Message from zjennings@wcupa.edu

Well, my boss forced me to do a bake-off between Aruba and Meru a couple years back, even though we are an Aruba campus. The big selling points for me were ARM (Adaptive Radio Management) and band steering. It was funny. I asked the Meru engineer why my Macbook Pro was on 5Ghz one minute and then 2.4Ghz the next, even though I was about 20 feet from the AP in an auditorium. His response was "There's no way for anyone except the client to control whether or not you get onto 5Ghz." I just nodded my head and smiled, knowing that Aruba's band steering did just that.

I've heard some horror stores about Meru and Meraki implementations. Sometimes those type of implementations can work great on a small scale demo, but as soon as you expand it into a campus solution, it fails to live up to expectations.

After years of being lied to by tech companies, I've learned never to buy something without meeting other people that use it in the same scenario that you are going to use it. I even try to do an onsite visit whenever possible. You know something is amiss if the sales person tries to steer you away from talking to other clients or visiting their clients' sites.

Zach Jennings

Senior Network Server Manager

Aruba Certified Mobility Professional, Airheads MVP

West Chester University of PA

610-436-1069


From: Scott Smith <ssmith@SIU.EDU>
Reply-To: EDUCAUSE Listserv <WIRELESS-LAN@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU>
Date: Wed, 18 Jan 2012 18:30:37 -0600
To: EDUCAUSE Listserv <WIRELESS-LAN@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU>
Subject: [WIRELESS-LAN] Cisco vs. Aruba vs. Meru

I've seen many times on this list people discuss the differences between Cisco, Aruba, and Meru.  I know there are pros and cons of each, but I'm wanting to get feedback from people who have either done a "bake off" or at least tested between them, and more specifically somewhat recently.

I did this like 2 years ago, and discussed with hospitals as well as other Universities but I'm now wondering about more recent testings.

--

Scott Smith 

Network Engineering

Information Technology

Southern Illinois University Carbondale 

Redhat Certified Engineer

ssmith@siu.edu


********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/groups/.

********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/groups/.

I will also mention Enterasys as another vendor to consider for good functionality and costs.  When I started working here a year ago I had never heard of them and a year later they have really proven themselves.  I came from having deployed Aruba after a bakeoff four years ago, and Cisco fat APs before then, and I have been very happy with the performance of the Enterasys solution.  I don’t know exactly what functionality you are interested in but if you are looking for customer feedback on Enterasys feel free to contact me offline.

 

Thanks.

Aaron Smith

Network Engineer

Ursinus College

 

If you talk to enough people, you can find horror stories for pretty much every vendor out there. And the true cause of the horror is often debatable, as the blame is probably equally spread between the vendors themselves and the resellers/integrators working on some of those projects.

 

I’d second the site visits and at least looking at the other vendors out there. At the very least, some of their unique features may prompt some valuable questions to ask the market leaders.

 

We chose Meru (and are still very happy) after looking at everybody, but that was almost five years ago now. Pretty much ancient history at this point J

 

Matt Barber ‘07

Network and Systems Manager

Morrisville State College

315-684-6053