Ruckus Unleashed provides a controller-less option for smaller WiFi deployments where a small number of access points are needed (such as in smaller schools, coffee shops, warehouses, grocery stores, etc.), while providing many of the enterprise-class features that traditionally required a Ruckus WLAN controller (typically, a ZoneDirector).
Unleashed access points have built-in controller capabilities, including user access controls, guest networking functions, advanced Wi-Fi security and traffic management. As businesses grow to multiple sites or a larger scale deployment, Ruckus offers an easy migration path to controller based Wi-Fi, using the same Wi-Fi access points. With the Ruckus Unleashed platform, customers can now deploy a few APs (up to 25) without the need to purchase and install a controller, and without having to sacrifice many features that previously required a controller, such as Zero-IT™, Dynamic PSK (DPSK), Smart Mesh™, Smart Redundancy™, SmartRoam™, ChannelFly™, Bonjour Gateway, Load Balancing, Band Steering, and one-step firmware upgrades for the entire network.
A Ruckus Unleashed network consists of an Unleashed Master AP, a Standby Master AP, and up to 23 Unleashed member APs (max 25 total). In addition to serving WiFi clients like a normal AP, the Unleashed Master AP also performs the same functions as a ZoneDirector controller would perform; i.e., all control functions are performed through the controller and pushed to the other APs on the network.
The Standby Master is automatically configured for redundancy purposes. The Standby Master AP takes over all AP control functions if the Master AP goes offline.
An Unleashed member AP joins a Master AP in the same subnet automatically. Unleashed member APs will not attempt to join a ZoneDirector or SmartZone controller on the network. The Unleashed Master and Standby Master APs also serve clients and perform all of the functions of a regular member AP. Figure 1 illustrates the basic components of an Unleashed network.