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How to temporarily configure access points to lower the downtime caused by Zone Director failure?

Community Admin
Community Admin

Hello everyone,

In this self-help topic I will explain what to do when Zone director suffers hardware failure and APs are down, while you get ZD replacement.

There are two ways to temporarily restore the APs with limited functionality, while you get the ZD replacement.

  1. Convert your APs to Unleashed code (AP models must support Unleashed firmware).
  2. Convert your APs to stand alone firmware and configure individually (works irrespective of AP model).

Option one: Convert APs to Unleashed and manage from single master AP.

  1. Factory reset specific APs or all APs (in case of big network you may want to follow this to critical area APs only). Refer our community thread from here to know more about how you can factory reset a Ruckus AP using AP CLI or physical button reset.
  2. Download the compatible Unleashed firmware as per your AP model from Ruckus support web site (Note: If you have mixed AP models where some are supported in Unleashed and some or not, you may not be able to restore all the APs).
  3. Login into each AP using web browser, go to Maintenance >> Upgrade >> Local >> Browse the Unleashed model specific firmware file and complete the upgrade.
  4. Configure the very first AP (post upgrading to Unleashed) and this will become your Unleashed master AP (Controller AP). For configuration help refer quick setup guide from here and user guide from here.
  5. Now upgrade rest of the APs same way. If 1st AP upgraded and configured as Unleashed master (Step-3 and 4) and rest of the APs are on same subnet then rest of the APs will join Unleashed master by its own.
  6. Till you get your ZD replacement, you can manage the network from Unleashed master AP. Once you get the replacement, downgrade APs to standalone firmware and APs should rejoin the ZD.


  • Only supported APs can be upgraded to Unleashed.
  • APs must be in same IP subnet.

Option two: Convert APs to standalone mode and manage individually

  1. Same as step-1 of option one.
  2. Download the stand alone firmware from support site, as per your AP model.
  3. Now login into each AP using web browser, go to Maintenance >> Upgrade >> Local >> Browse the model specific standalone firmware file and complete the upgrade.
  4. Configure each AP individually.
  5. Use the APs in stand alone mode while you get replacement for your ZD. Once you get replacement, configure it in isolated network and then place it back to the network. All the APs should reconnect (if AP/ZD both are in same IP subnet).
    • If AP/ZD are in different subnets, use DHCP option 43, or configure DNS or manually configure controller IP in each AP (set director ip


  • AP cannot be managed centrally. Means you must configure and manage each AP individually.
  • Since APs will be managed in stand alone mode, roaming will not work.

For any further assistance, reach out to Ruckus Support.

Syamantak Omer
RUCKUS Networks, CommScope!
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