The transition to 802.11ac has been swift. Two months ago, Cisco announced crossing 1 million units sold for 802.11ac. It’s a testament to just how pervasive Wi-Fi has become. These days, Wi-Fi needs to always be available, and it needs to be quick, no matter the mix of applications on the network.
Miercom recently published a third-party report testing these two areas – high availability and real-time voice / video performance of Cisco, Aruba, and Ruckus.
The HA test case is a simple one. Basically, how long of an outage is there when a controller fails?
For this test Cisco was configured with two controllers in Client Stateful Switchover (SSO), Aruba two controllers in Fast Failover mode, and Ruckus with two controllers in Smart Redundancy. The power plug was pulled on the active controller and the application downtime was measured.
Several applications were tested to get an accurate idea of overall downtime. Cisco maintained consistently low downtime across all applications. Aruba’s downtime seemed to vary by the application, and Ruckus consistently had 15-30 seconds of downtime.
Real-time Voice and Video
Real-time applications are one of the most testing applications for a Wi-Fi network to handle because of the inherently unreliable nature of RF and the unforgiving time-sensitive nature of these applications. The second test in the Miercom report tests the ability of the access point to handle real-time video calls and the ability to handle video calls in the presence of data traffic. The test put the Cisco AP2702i, Aruba AP-225, and Ruckus R700 up against each other.
Thanks in part to Cisco Application Visibility and Control, and Cisco HDX, the AP2700 was able to handle all 20 Jabber video calls, and then when data traffic was introduced, was able to prioritize the Jabber calls over the data traffic, maintaining good call quality, while still transferring a healthy 40 Mbps of data traffic. The Aruba AP-225 was only able handle 15 Jabber calls, but it did manage to prioritize the calls over the data traffic, albeit at the expense of data traffic (15 Mbps). The Ruckus R700 could handle all 20 Jabber calls, but once the data traffic was introduced the quality of many of the calls dropped to unusable. In the presence of data traffic, Ruckus only managed 4 Jabber calls and 10 Mbps of data throughput.
To read to entire report, or for more details on how the tests were carried out, please refer to the full report from Miercom.