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SZ-100 Hardware redundancy

matthew_kopishk
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.

Thanks,

Matt

33 REPLIES 33

DarrelRhodes
Contributor III

Hi Matt,

Thanks for your detailed explanation of the difficult situation you find yourself in. 

I'm pleased to hear you've had solid advice from the Ruckus support engineer but, of course, disappointed to hear you were given incorrect information (by a partner support tech?) regarding inter-mixing of SZ100 with SZ144. There is a Ruckus support advisory confirming it is not possible to inter-mix the two controller platforms: https://support.ruckuswireless.com/articles/000010857

We had to EOS SZ100 at relatively short notice due to the EOL of a component used in the hardware by a 3rd party supplier.  It also gave us the opportunity to increase the performance and resilience of the replacement SZ144 platform.

I would always recommend a customer has at least 2x on-prem clustered controllers (whether hardware appliances or VMs), however I appreciate that's not helpful right now!

I believe the speed of RMA replacements are challenged with the current global silicon shortage that is affecting all products, apologies for this.

In my view it would be best to aspire to ultimately have 2x SZ144 controllers in a cluster (active-active redundancy).  However I understand until budget is available for this, you need a 'Plan B'.

It is possible to migrate the configuration from SZ104 to an SZ144. Therefore you could theoretically run an active > cold-standby scenario, with the SZ-144 being a 'cold-standby' and having the same IP address and (migrated) config as the SZ104. Please note this is not an officially-supported solution, will be at your own risk and will likely be service-interrupting whilst the APs deal with the SZ100 heartbeat loss and SZ144 reconnection and reconfigure (even if it's with an identical config).

The main commercial downside to the above (at best, interim) solution is the issue with AP licensing. In an active-active cluster, licenses are shared between the SZ controllers but in the interim soution described above, each controller would need to be indvidually licensed for all APs.

I don't believe SZ144 configs can be reverse-migrated to SZ100, so in the interim solution, the SZ100 will always need to be the 'primary' controller/configuration.

I would recommend reaching out to your Ruckus Partner to liaise with your local Ruckus SE to see if they have any further help or suggestions.  Please let me know your location, if you'd prefer for me to do this directly within Ruckus.

Good luck and best regards,
Darrel.

david_black_594
Contributor III

You need a better Ruckus Partner.  Unlike ZoneDirectors that included a free limited-lifetime warranty, SmartZones come with only a one-year standard warranty.  After one year, there is zero coverage.  So with SmartZone hardware, it is highly recommended to always buy and maintain an active support plan.  Purchasing and maintaining a Ruckus Support plan provides you with advance NBD replacement, firmware updates, TAC, etc.

You were told correct on clustering by the second ruckus guy - all nodes must be the same model and running the same version of code.  If you need 100% high availability, then a multi-node cluster is recommended.  However, depending on the details of your configuration, you can probably get close to high-availability on a single SZ.  A little more info is needed before wading into that. 

- authentication method is use for each wlan?

- using dpsk?

- what ap models?  

 

PS- the 144 is a much better box than the 104 or especially the 124, so don't feel bad about buying it. 

 

@david_black_5940365 

I agree on the partner end of things.  That being said my vendor has had a hard time getting info from Ruckus when trying to quote me prices so I think that's a two-way street.

Anyway, to answer you questions:

WPA2 on one wlan, the other is open

No on the dpsk

R610

It's nice to hear that the SZ-144 is a better unit but from the sounds of it, I can't transfer my AP licensing from the SZ-100 so that is just another roadblock for me.  We also purchased 3 years of support for the SZ-100 and for our new SZ-144.

Thanks,

Matt

Hi Matt,

David asked some very pertinent questions, ones I thought to ask but my response was already at risk of TL;DR!

The (positive outcome) is that your network doesn't appear to be reliant on the SmartZone for operation.  WPA2 (assuming PSK? If it's WPA2-Enterprise then this is more complex) and open networks (providing there's no controller-based captive portal) will continue to operate even if the SZ 'disappears'.

Also backing-up David's comment about the SZ144 - it's a FAR superior unit for sure.  Higher capacity APs and ICX, dual PSU, replaceable fans, 4x 1Gb + 4x10Gb data plane and will be supported with new firmware and updates for a long time to come.

Regarding licensing, there can be some flexibilty here but I suspect not enough to initially give you a resilient controller solution.

I have sent a link to this page to our global head of Education for his thoughts.

I'll respond with an update as quickly as possible.

Best,

Darrel.