Monday, May 12, 2008

Fun stuff . . .

I am planning the deployment of a Meru Networks Wi-Fi network at a mid-rise apartment building our sister company just purchased. The building is 9 floors (including the lobby) with 127 apartments. They want to make the property completely wireless for the tenants.

My plan is to deploy 36 Meru APs - four per floor.

The great thing about Meru is that it is a single channel deployment. I don't have to worry about my own APs interfering with each other.

This will be our second Meru deployment. We also use Meru on our corporate WAN so the construction jobsites have Wi-Fi that is very secure.


Anonymous said...

Why don't you take a look at Aruba Networks. The single channel option of Meru is a joke as we move toward .11n with Aruba's adaptive radio management you would have the ability to use all 11 channels of 5ghz to maximaze performance. Have fun

Anonymous said...

Aruba lies frequently. Meru single channel works great and it is the true next generation technology

Dean Cooper said...

I did look at Aruba and Cisco too. I spent almost 2 years comparing three brands (Meru, Cisco, & Aruba).

What pushed me to the Meru product is that they have figured out how to build a better mouse trap. The cellular like deployment allows me to walk my entire campus (when using b/g networks) and never lose a video stream or connectivity to my network while the laptop is handed off to another AP. It works very much like a cell phone in that regard.

Our main corporate network is already deployed with the N protocal on the Meru product too and it works very well. Meru is still working out the issue that is inherent to N not liking a central controller calling all the shots. The N protocol is client controlled. That translates into the cells being apparent when a laptop hands off from one AP to another. The last I heard Meru should have the N working just like the a/b/g networks sometime this summer – they are already doing it at their home office and were going to do some betas with some customers before they release the new firmware. Keep in mind that N is working for me right now just like it would be if I had deployed Cisco or Aruba - there are no issues and the speeds are great.

So far we are having a blast. Me and two guys from my team have been planning this deployment. The Wi-Fi has been the easy part because of the way the Meru stuff works. The places we are being stretched are in the areas of VLANs and routing. We are also going to have to cross an access control hurdle at some point. I’ve got good guys working for me so I’m confident we’ll work it out.

Geesh . . . this got so long I should have posted it as a blog post and not just a comment.

Anonymous said...

What prompted you to think that Meru offers any level of network security? This is an area in which they are universally criticized, and one reason why enterprises look elsewhere for WLAN solutions.

Also, their 802.11n gear doesn't support virtual cell - see yesterday's NetworkWorld article by Joanie Wexler -

Despite what Meru might have told you this isn't related to the 802.11n standard but rather to Meru's inability to make virtual cell work on many of its products.

Dean Cooper said...

I have never found or seen anything that indicates that Meru is "universally criticized" for their wireless security. Actually I've found compelling evidence that just the opposite is true.

If you had read my previous comment you would have seen that I talked about the virtual cell issue with 11n. Meru has it working right now at their offices and may already be in beta testing with select customers. The last I heard there will be a controller upgrade available this summer that gets virtual cell working in 11n for all customers. Even if they miss their summer target – who cares - they’ll have it eventually.

I'm a bit confused by the last paragraph. Virtual cell works great on all their products that we own on the a/b/g networks. It hasn't worked yet on 11n only because the 11n protocol is a client controlled protocol by design. Once Meru releases the firmware upgrade for our controller it will bring 11n into the virtual cell world. I'll post a nice long technical blog about this when we do it and give results for our testing as well.

For this project 11n does not matter one bit. I only use it on our corporate LAN. The install I am blogging about now is b/g only.

I wonder if anonymous posters that heap criticisms upon companies aren’t really an employee of a competitor. I’m just saying . . .