Migration from Brocade/Ruckus to Meraki

EJN
A model citizen

Migration from Brocade/Ruckus to Meraki

Looking for any insight into a possible migration from Ruckus APs (R710) and Brocade switches (7250) to Meraki.

 

We use Meraki MV Cameras and evaluating Cloud Controller for Ruckus vs possibly moving over to Meraki switches and APs.

 

The main con is the cost to migrate. The pros I see so far are love the Meraki dashboard; the ability to navigate from client to AP to switch to port through the dashboard; the plug and play nature of Meraki (minimal CLI commands, automatic firmware).

 

Looking for input from others. Thank you.

Esteban J Nunez
School and Church
K-12 Education
7 REPLIES 7
Bruce
Kind of a big deal

I think you did a good job of hitting the nail on the head with regards to why you’d migrate to Meraki. The Dashboard is the real key to the Meraki solution.

 

It will provide you that single point to monitor and manage your network across all your devices - without having to connect to individual devices and remember (sometime obscure) command lines. It also provides you and great, and still growing, API if you don’t want to get completely away from the command line or scripting for automation or those time consuming iterative tasks.

 

You don’t mention the size of your network, but the place I also find Meraki excels is across multiple sites when you’re trying to manage or maintain the same (or similar) configurations on multiple wired or wireless networks. It can also be great on a large single site too, for example where you want to configure multiple ports on multiple switches in one go.

 

From a cost point there is always a cost of change, but the key here is to consider the reduced operational overhead from the Dashboard, as well as getting brand new hardware. You should also make sure you’re working closely with your Meraki AM or partner to ensure you’re getting right-sized hardware, and the right pricing for your migration (they’d love to see you on a full-stack Meraki solution).

cmr
Kind of a big deal
Kind of a big deal

@EJN I'd agree with @Bruce about the lower overhead of management for wireless and firewalling, basic switch management is also easier but when you get to complex tasks it isn't such a differentiato

 

We use Meraki across our multiple UK sites that have 5-25 APs and 3-15 switches each, with no site based IT support.  However we currently use Ruckus wireless and HP switches for a single large site in SA that has a local IT presence.

 

To be honest out of the two I'd actually go for Meraki switches in that site first as their wired setup is quite simple (though extensive) and Meraki supports all inter-switch cabling being fibre that is a requirement at our SA site due to the prevalence of lightening strikes.  Normally I'd recommend changing the wireless first, but out of Meraki's competitors, I like Ruckus the most...

EJN
A model citizen

Thank you both for feedback. I’ll add that we have 16 switches and 40 APs. We are a K-8 school in South Florida. Students connect with iPads via WiFi. Staff combination of wired and WiFi on iPad, Windows laptops and Windows desktops. Plus all the other devices such as printers, cameras, IP phones, etc. 

Esteban J Nunez
School and Church
K-12 Education
BlakeRichardson
Kind of a big deal

@EJN I am looking at the same thing in 2022, we currently have Ruckus and are looking to see if Meraki will do what we want. 

 

We currently having problems with Ruckus that they don't seem to be able to resolve and their support is not great IMO.

Meraki CMNO, Ruckus WISE, Sonicwall CSSA, Allied Telesis CASE & CAI

@BlakeRichardson 

Our Ruckus R710s work OK, but the ZD controller interface could be more modern/user friendly. The new solutions are SmartZone (virtual or on-premise) or Cloud. I think Ruckus Cloud can give us easier configuration and troubleshooting with the APs. But if we are to buy new Ruckus APs to be on WiFi6, we should also look at Meraki APs. I really like the Meraki dashboard.

 

SmartZone would also give us insight into the switches, which we currently lack. Our switches are not compatible with Ruckus Cloud, so it would require going with SmartZone, or changing our switches to other Ruckus models, or Meraki.

 

We are now analyzing our options and cost for each. Migrating to Meraki is full of positives, except for cost. The question is whether the benefits and positives are greater than the cost to migrate.

Esteban J Nunez
School and Church
K-12 Education
Bruce
Kind of a big deal

If you're thinking of replacing the APs so they are WiFi 6 and replacing the switches to potentially make them compatible with the Ruckus Cloud solution then cost really shouldn't be an issue - I would expect that if you need to make those changes then your partner and Meraki AM should be able to help you with minimising the dollar cost conversation. And you'll be able to get some trial gear to make sure everything will work as you expect. If you're just shopping around with a kit list then its unlikely you'll be getting the best from Meraki.

 

If you were planning to leave the Ruckus APs or current switching in place then I fully understand the dollar cost conversation.

 

 

DHAnderson
Head in the Cloud

I am a Meraki Partner, and just got through installing a Meraki firewall, switch and access points at a school.

 

They were replacing a Fortinet firewall, HP switch and Aruba access points.  The installation went well and only got stuck when we hit undocumented items on the network.  The visibility that the Meraki Dashboard into your network is unparalleled by any other solution.

 

What the others have said about the lower cost of management beats the cost of hardware and licensing is very true.

 

Also, have you gotten a quote for the conversion?  Partners can help you determine what equipment fits your need, get you trial gear, sometimes aggressive pricing offer post sale support.

Dave Anderson
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