Ruckus Gear Cuts Through RF Static
The MF2900 access point and the MF2501 wireless adapter from Ruckus Wireless (formerly Video54) provide clean and consistent multimedia and data access over wireless, but the client form factor is unwieldy and the QOS features need to be opened up.
The MF2900, which is priced at $169, and the MF2501, priced at $129, share the same chassis—they both look like a glossy white napkin holder—which makes the MF2501 adapter a bit bulky for a mobile computer. The MF2501 adapter works better with a set-top device or a media center computer. It actually connects to a client via the Ethernet port, which means that there are no drivers to install and no settings to configure on the computer.
In throughput testing, the MF2900 and MF2501 transmitted about 21M bps in standard 802.11g mode, or about 23M bps in SuperG mode. These rates pale when compared with most Airgo chip-set-based devices Ive seen.
I was more impressed with the networks qualitative consistency in the face of harsh environmental conditions. With the embedded BeamFlex technology, both devices intelligently balance the wireless signal among six integrated antennas, recognizing on the fly which antenna has the best signal on a per-packet basis.
Under normal conditions, I could easily play a DVD over the wireless network, when using either a Belkin G Plus adapter or the MF2501 in conjunction with the MF2900 access point. And when I turned on a nearby microwave oven, the video quality between the Ruckus access point and client proved much more resilient.
The MF2501 and MF2900 devices also include SmartCast—a QOS application that automatically gives preference to multicast traffic over the wireless link—which proved useful at maintaining video quality while I performed file downloads from another wireless-enabled computer.
Unfortunately, the QOS features are not configurable and will not be as effective at maintaining unicast-delivered video.
I had the bright idea that perhaps the MF2501 would make a good bridge, able to extend connectivity to multiple devices in an uncabled location. Unfortunately, because the MF2501 clones the MAC address of the client, the product can bridge traffic only for a single network host at this time.
Ruckus officials said they are working on a revision that will put support for multiple devices behind the MF2501, but that fix wont be available until spring.
For additional information, check out www.ruckuswireless.com.
No. 1 and Holding
Martin Fowlers "Patterns of Enterprise Application Architecture" Stayed Atop Amazon.Coms Best-Selling Enterprise It Titles for November. Moving Up Were Michael Juntao Yuans "Enterprise J2me: Developing Mobile Java Applications," From Ninth Place in October to Fifth Place Last Month, and Microsofts "Enterprise Solution Patterns Using Microsoft .Net," From Sixth Place to Fourth Place.
AMAZON.COMs top 10 enterprise books for November
1. Patterns of Enterprise Application Architecture
by Martin Fowler, Addison-Wesley Professional, $34.64, hardcover
2. Enterprise Integration Patterns: Designing, Building, and Deploying Messaging Solutions
by Gregor Hohpe, Addison-Wesley Professional, $38.73, hardcover
3. Sun Certified Enterprise Architect for J2EE Technology Study Guide
by Mark Cade, Prentice Hall, $29.05, paperback
4. Enterprise Solution Patterns Using Microsoft .Net—Version 2.0: Patterns & Practices
Microsoft Press, $19.79, paperback
5. Enterprise J2ME: Developing Mobile Java Applications
by Michael Juntao Yuan, Prentice Hall, $34.99, paperback
6. Enterprise Data Center Design and Methodology
by Rob Snevely, Prentice Hall, $49.79, paperback
7. Enterprise JavaBeans, Fourth Edition
by Richard Monson-Haefel, OReilly Media, $29.67, paperback
8. Enterprise Architecture Planning: Developing a Blueprint for Data, Applications, and Technology
by Steven H. Spewak, Wiley, $78.18, paperback
9. The Power of Events: An Introduction to Complex Event Processing in Distributed Enterprise Systems
by David Luckham, Addison-Wesley Professional, $38.91, hardcover
10. How to Survive in the Jungle of Enterprise Architecture Framework: Creating or Choosing an Enterprise Architecture Framework
by Jaap Schekkerman, Trafford, $33.95, paperback
As compiled for eWEEK by Amazon.com from its sales database from Nov. 1 through Nov. 30