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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.





Yes, I am using WPA2-PSK.

So it sounds the APs would just keep trucking with the last known config if the SZ went down?  

If that's the case that does change things a bit.  I've had a ZD1200 go down in the past and it took out the whole wireless network with it, I just assumed that the same would happen with the SZ100.

If this is the case then that makes me feel quite a bit better, though I still have the whole SZ100/144 issue to deal with.  If the AP licenses were transferable I would consider moving from the SZ100 to the SZ144 and calling it an upgrade.

Maybe some light at the end of the tunnel?



Hi Matt,

At the risk of swamping you with information, I just wanted to confirm some of the points you've raised:

i) "The APs will just keep trucking" (I love how you phrased this!) - absolutely! SZ-controlled APs don't need for the SZ to be present for most of their day-to-day operations.

ii) ZD vs SZ architecture: as David mentioned, the two platforms couldn't be more different. Losing ZD means your entire Wi-Fi is down, with SZ we removed the AP's dependence on the controller for most functions.

iii) Licenses: I'm cautious about commenting on licenses on a public forum as there are lots of variables.  However if, as David suggested, you are able to transfer them from the SZ104 to SZ144 using LiMan or via a Ruckus support ticket, then your suggestion of "calling it an upgrade" is definitely the way to go! However I would still recommend you budget for a second SZ144 when possible. Hopefully then you can retire your ZD and host all your APs on the single SZ-pair?

Finally; I'm looking to get your local Ruckus SE to contact you to ensure you're looked after from here on!

Best regards,


Thank you for your help.

I'm looking forward to talking to an SE as I have a few other questions I would love to get cleared up.  I'll also take a look at the licensing in LiMAN and see if can make some sense of things on my own.


New Contributor


Hi Darrel,

You confirmed what I had feared.  I would suggest updating your "SmartZone Cluster Redundancy Deployment" docs to reflect these nuances as that's what I was using as my initial guide.

I have to say I'm pretty frustrated with the situation at the moment.  I can't simply keep throwing money at the situation as we're a public school with limited funds.  Our SZ-104 is also less than 2 years old and should be more than adequate to manage our network.

I should have done more research on my part BUT point-blank asking one of your Technical Support Engineers if it will work and getting misleading info kind of mitigates that.

The only option that seems remotely viable at the moment is the cold backup scenario BUT I think you are saying I would need to purchase AP licenses for both controllers to make this work?  If so that makes this option even less viable.

I'm in Maine, I'm hoping you can put me in contact with someone who can help resolve this issue.  



Contributor III


You don't need to purchase any licenses.  Unlike with ZoneDirectors, SmartZone licenses do not belong to a piece of hardware - they belong to the school and you can move them from controller to controller as see fit.  Using the LiMan tab on the support portal, you can assign the licenses (some or all) to any controller the school owns (eg: the 104).  You can also revoke some/all and reassign them to a new asset (the 144).  There is never license obsolescence with SmartZone. 

You're not using radius or dpsk, so you can achieve 99% high availability with only one SZ.  The only thing you'll lose is the ability to manage (add new wlans, change a psk, status reports, etc).  There's a couple of default setting you need to modify and I'll add more later.