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30x APs ZD / vSZ vs Standalone Performance comp


we have just about every ruckus product and AP, and of course love them.

We use/manage various Zone Directors as well as vSZ controllers; additionally we have some locations w entirely standalone APs (we don't mix per location).  We provide wifi internet to various MDUs as long as > 60 units)

I want to be clear, I’m solely asking about wifi performance/end-user client WiFi experience in this question. (please do *not* factor in AP management  , nor interface, nor statistics gathering ability , nor cost)

For an apartment building with let’s say 35x ruckus access points (and for discussion, let’s say all r510 APs). Assume a flat network (just a single ssid, w wpa psk, for clients to access the internet), ie *no* need for special features like bonjour fencing nor .11x auth/zero-it.


Is there any wireless performance benefit to running these 35x APs on a controller (zd/vSZ) vs standalone mode/fw?

Some Controller-only (performance) advantages I’m aware of (please correct if wrong);

1- better client roaming via controller (ie if using .11k / .11r only available w controller).

2- coordinated AP channel changes/selection.


(for those curious, we do have some pretty large installations with Standalone ruk APs (ie 30-80x ruk APs) where we have been very happy being able to configure/update/modify the ap's via tools like RuckConf and ssh scripting. Additionally we are able to gather details data via each AP sysloging to spunk offsite.  We also gather detailed SNMP data from each AP.)


Esteemed Contributor II
Hi Stephen,
   You appear to be fairly knowledgeable, and have the controller benefits correct.  If your clients are mostly stationary, they will not need to roam, and would only experience a briefer blip as they re-authenticate if they did.  You still need local DHCP and a def-gw defined on each of your APs, and a matching SSID.
   Do you have a channel map plan in mind, to help reduce the co-channel interference?  That self-healing and controller managed channel changing, ie ChannelFly might improve overall
throughput for the individual clients.  Otherwise, I'd say to be sure you try to limit the amount of broadcast/multicast, for best results.
   But if you have mostly stationary clients, and plan your channels appropriately, you can run with all APs on Solo/Standalone code.