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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.





I suspect you had trouble because Ruckus is no different from other large manufacturers like Cisco or Aruba.  Except for a few exceptions, end users are expected to deal with a channel partner.  

(1) if trying to find an authorized partner, go to How To Buy (  Turn off that ridiculous map and you can then select partner level, state, etc. and see a list of partners.

(2) support renewals, email 

(3) technical support - if you have an active support contract, you can access TAC through email, web portal, or phone.   You can also get informal support provided by volunteer employees on this forum.

Actually in my experience Ruckus support engineers are great. You just need to have support contract.

Only if you buy end-user support contract, you have direct access.

If you have partner support contract (it's a bit cheaper), than partner is the first point of support -- you are not entitled to open cases with Ruckus yourself in this case, partner should do it.

Usually it is actually a benefit, as partner is closer to you, has experience how to resolve most issues, and knows how to use Ruckus support efficiently. Problems are resolved in the fastest way when support is contacted by knowledgeable customer or partner staff. Unfortunately it becomes a problem if partner is just a "dumb" reseller.

In my experience end-users become frustrated, and say that equipment and support are no good usually when 3 conditions apply:

  • lack of knowledge of Ruckus product or networking at all 
  • have no help from partner
  • have no understanding what support they actually are entitled to 

Unfortunately it happens often enough.

  • Some customers who use wifi systems, have no IT/networking  staff at all, and it is ok if proper competence is outsourced. Competence is required for installation and administration, and for troubleshooting as well... 
  • There are low price resellers, which resell anything  and  don't know anything about equipment they resell. It may be actually a benefit for knowledgeable customers -- cheaper price, but not for all.
  • It doesn't matter what support option you have as far as it works efficiently. You need to know what you are entitled to and to know how to use it efficiently

But when all 3 things are in the worst combination, problem are multiplied for sure.

In such situation any problem can easy become very frustrating.

But in modern world it is easy resolvable:

  • You always can check what support you have bought, and read what support you are entitled 
  • You can find competent help -- in most cases it even doesn't need to be local.  Just for example, we routinely support and troubleshoot remote installations in different countries. Some things have to be done locally, but remote capability is quit powerful lately.
  • There are good practices how to prepare case for support -- prepared cases have much more chances for fast resolution

So start from that -- find out what support you have bought. If you have no valid support contract, buy one, it makes a lot of sense -- Ruckus provides very good support when you have a support contract. If you don't want to pay for support, you can't expect to have anything more than free forum...

If you have contract, check if it is end-user or partner. If it is a partner contract, make partner to open case for you, than you can work on it with support, even if partner is "just a reseller" and has no expertise at all.

And most important -- provide support with clear information about problem, starting from description of setup, equipment models and firmware version, description of issue, logs, etc. Be ready to provide support engineer with remote access to your system. 

I use support 2-3 times a month, as we support a lot of customers and I always get all issues clarified fast and efficient. Administrative issues (such as wrong assignment of licences to accounts, etc) are usually resolved in real-time during support chat. Technical issues usually take more time (as we don't ask easy questions), but Ruckus support engineers are good and always help.

I remember couple of especially nasty cases which took weeks to pinpoint the reason and resolve, but Ruckus support was always very helpful and helped us to find problem reason even when problem was not actually related with Ruckus equipment itself, but with other infrastructure. 

Very typical example - on one Christmas weekend we got a complain from customer with multiple offices in different countries, that Radius authentication started to fail from no reason (no related configuration changes have been done during previous year). It took time over Christmas and New year weeks to resolve. At the end it was fragmentation bug in Cisco switch somewhere in a remote datacenter, where customer NPS was located - second fragment of authentication packet was dropped. When pinpointed, problem was resolved reconfiguring NPS to use much smaller MTU-framed size, and it was not related to Ruckus at all. It was extremally difficult to find out, and Ruckus support helped us a lot. It was also a very remote operation -- as Ruckus SmartZone, customer NPS and  APs with users were all on different remote locations, and we accessed them all remotely. It s not very uncommon problem, as it seems - we have seen it a few times later in similar installations, but than it was easy to recognize.  

Sorry, what you mean by W9? I thought you have question about Ruckus licenses or support? 

As much as I understand, you are educational customer so your pricing and ordering process may be specific, and for many products there are special edu licenses. But basics are the same.

New Contributor

Just to clarify, my issues and my complaints are not of a technical nature, it's on the business side.  

A W9 is a tax document I need in order to use Commscope as a vendor.  Just part of doing business in the education/non-profit world. 

My last experience with a Support Engineer was quite good, much better than the last few I had to deal with.  Most of my complaints have to do with getting hardware replaced.  The process took weeks to complete.  I did talk to some folks at Ruckus about it and they said the cases were not handled correctly so let hope the next time won't be so bad.

I think what I'm looking for here has been really over complicated thought maybe that's my fault for switching topics.

I did get an email from the local account manager so I think I'll be able to get most of my questions taken care of.

Thank you all for your help,