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SZ-100 Hardware redundancy

New Contributor

Hi Everyone,

I asked this question earlier but now I have some more details and need some guidance.

I have an SZ-100 (a SZ-104 to be exact).  I have not had good luck RMAing equipment recently with Ruckus, slow response, and slow shipping.  If our SZ-100 went down for some reason I simply can't wait a week plus for Ruckus to get me a new controller.

Our setup is very simple, a single cluster serving a small campus of 70 APs with 2 wireless lans.

My initial plan was to get another SZ-100 and do an active-active setup with the second controller being in another building.  I had an open case with a Ruckus Support Engineer for an unrelated issue and ran this plan by him and he said it would be easy to implement.

In the meantime, I went to source another SZ-100, and of course, they're NLA.  The vendor I was suggested an SZ-144 as that's what they had listed as replacing the SZ-100.  I OKed it, took a quick look at the specs, and noticed the SZ-144 had quite a bit more capacity but figured that couldn't hurt.  I did ask the Support Tech and he assured me that the 144 would work, I just couldn't mix SZs and vSZs.

That brings us to today, I was talking to another Ruckus Support Engineer (same unrelated issue as above but I think we resolved it this time) and mentioned my plan and he said I could NOT add my SZ-144 to my SZ-100 cluster in an active-active setup.  So now I'm sitting here with what looks like a very expensive paperweight.

I honestly wish I had pumped the brakes on the the SZ-144 as it was also a considerable price increase as well.  We were rushing to close out the budget year so things happen quickly.

What are my options?  I feel like I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place at the moment.





Your statement is incorrect: "One of the biggest drawbacks of vSZ Essentials was the fact that when you upgrade the vSZ-E controller, all APs are upgraded  -- exactly as with ZoneDirector"

(v)SZ-E and (v)SZ-H have the same method of upgrading AP firmware on a per-zone basis, so BOTH platforms have disconnected AP firmware from the controller firmware and do not have the same limitations as ZoneDirector.


New Contributor


Have you had a chance to find someone a can talk to about licensing?  I also have a few other small business questions I would love to wrap up.



Valued Contributor

As you have a very simple network and you are already have necessary AP licenses for SZ, you just need to decide how you want to handle your network high availability. it requires some work or money to be spent.  In any case, some of both your hardware units will be unused, as they are not compatible in one setup, and looking to way to use both of them is fruitless. 

So just make the best use of what you have with best possible result.

1st of all, you need to document your setup, including such things as IPs of all APs, and SSH credentials to access them, as well as all VLAn and WLAN configurations. When you have it, you will be able recreate configuration from scratch in ~1 hour, and this is must to have in any case.

Than you have to decide, if you want to buy another SZ-144, or just want to have some temporary backup solution in case of sz-144 fault and RMA (even so it seems that you network will have no issues to survive a week without SZ unit, you lose management and monitoring in such situation).

Probably, the simplest (and free) solution in this case would be to install proper version of vSZ, and recreate configuration from documentation. It normally can be done in 2-3 hours, if you have prepared infrastructure, and installed vSZ comes with temporary node license for 45 days, which is sure enough to keep you running  during RMA. You'll need to transfer your AP licenses to this vSZ to connect all APs, but it is done easy through LIMAN.

When RMA unit arrives, you just restore backup of SZ-144 configuration and transfer licenses farther to the new unit.

Of cause, if you can buy another SZ-144 unit, you get more comfort with active-active backup. But it will cost you another unit + support for SZ-144 yearly, which includes hardware support and is therefore not cheap.

Another way is to move to virtual infrastructure and vSZ. Support price for vSZ VM is much lower than for SZ-144, because it includes only software support, and no hardware, but AP licenses and they support are exactly the same and can be just transferred from SZ-144 to vSZ. Of cause it, means that you need to take care of infrastructure for vSZ installation, but it is usually available - who doesn't have virtual servers now?

Of cause, in case of going completely virtual both SZ-100 and SZ-144 will be nice paperweights in your office, but it will do what you need and cost of that will be cheaper in the long run . Even 3 years already will give you savings --  to go virtual you need just 2x vSZ RTU license (L09-VSCG-WW00) and support for that - S01-VSCG-3L00 (you already have all AP licenses!).  Cost of licenses + support for 3 years will be same or less than support cost of just 1 SZ-144 for same period, and you'll have active-active redundant setup, which you can achieve with current hardware. 

It is not a problem with SZ-100/144, reason of the mess is a wrong purchase decision, done because of wrong advice given by incompetent reseller. And wrong advance can (and often is) expensive for customer. It's actually the same as buying unneeded or incompatible spare for your car -- it costs, and you have no use for it, even so part itself is fine.

So it may be actually cheaper to retire both units, than to keep using them. 


But most important, whatever you do, don't rely on recommendations from dumb resellers -- there are a lot of companies who just resell hardware. They will sell you anything, and they actually have never seen staff, they "just sell it", not use it. They can be used, if you know staff yourself and just order proper part-numbers, but can't advice you.

You need to learn SZ technology. It is not that difficult, you need some spare APs, 1 week time and go through it, installing in a lab 2-3 times from scratch with different setups, or you can get training from some Ruckus partner.

We routinely train customers in SmartZone setup and configuration basics as part of any implementation project, it takes 2-3 days and is done remotely. Any IT project  should include training and SZ implementation is not an exception.

Today, you are not limited to partner in your town, as you can use services on global scale, just find somebody who has experience (obviously your current supplier is no good to get training, but there are a lot of better available).


Very impressing and detailed response!

I appreciate your help and participation in forum threads!

Thanks for sharing your great experience to all of us!

Syamantak Omer | Community moderator | Staff TSE | CWNA | CCNA | RASZA | RICXI | Follow me at


Thanks for the info.  I have a plan but what I need is some info from Ruckus, more business-related than technical.

I was hoping @darrel_rhodes Would be able to get me in touch with someone.