Ruckus Wireless has unveiled the Ruckus ZoneFlex R710 access point (AP), a WiFi AP that allows twice the number of mobile devices to connect to it without a decrease in performance.
It is the first Wi-Fi access point to support major technical advances in the 802.11ac standard that allow the simultaneous transmission of multiple client streams to different devices over the same frequency, a highly anticipated new capability called multi-user multiple input/multiple output (MU-MIMO). This enables over two times the density of mobile devices versus Wave 1, and aggregate data rates exceeding two gigabits per second.
Among the first organisations to deploy the ZoneFlex R710 within a production environment, the City of San José, CA sees big value in the migration to new 802.11ac Wave 2 technology.
“We are at an inflection point in the industry as we deal with insatiable demand for wireless capacity and speed,” said Vijay Sammeta, Chief Information Officer for the City of San José. “We need to be able to plan and prepare for devices and services we haven’t even seen yet. Wave 2 represents an investment in a platform that not only meets our current needs, it will also meet those in the future that we can’t even predict. Delivering our Wickedly Fast Wi-Fi service has become a distinct competitive advantage for the City of San José. The Ruckus ZoneFlex R710 helps us take this to the next level. It’s simply the best performing Wi-Fi access point we’ve ever deployed, even without multi-user MIMO clients.”
According to Sammeta, after installing the Ruckus ZoneFlex R710, the City was able to achieve dramatic performance improvements, reaching over 445 megabits per second speed with two-stream-capable laptops, and over 200 megabits per second with single-stream mobile smart phones.
“The R710 is an extraordinary feat of engineering that marks a new era for our industry,” said Selina Lo, president and CEO of Ruckus Wireless. “The work and innovation we’ve put into the R710 reflects our leadership in delivering the world’s best in class wireless products that stand the test of time.”
Ruckus Delivers Unique Advantage with BeamFlex
Within a sleek and elegant new design, the Ruckus ZoneFlex R710 access point supports up to four spatial streams and 500 concurrent clients. Additionally, each ZoneFlex R710 access point integrates Ruckus-patented BeamFlex+ adaptive antenna technology, designed to enhance the operation of Wave 2 802.11ac technology by optimising antenna coverage on a per client, per transmission basis.
With four discrete, dual-band smart antenna arrays, the ZoneFlex R710 is capable of dynamically creating over 4,000 unique directional antenna patterns per radio, mitigating up to 15dB of RF interference while also reducing co-channel interference. Dual-polarised smart antennas also allow the R710 to automatically adapt to the changing physical orientation of mobile client devices such as smartphones and tablets, thereby helping to maximise uplink performance and offer unmatched reception of weak mobile client signals.
With BeamFlex+, the ZoneFlex R710 also offers a significant increase in performance and range, delivering up to 5dB of signal gain and aggregate data rates of over two gigabits per second (Gbps), 1,733 Mbps (@ 5 GHz) and 800 Mbps (@ 2.4 GHz). Backwards compatible with existing Wi-Fi clients, the ZoneFlex R710 can operate as a standalone Wi-Fi access point or part of a centrally managed Ruckus Smart Wireless LAN (WLAN). Additionally, the ZoneFlex R710 is equipped with dual gigabit Ethernet ports that can be aggregated to satisfy peak throughput requirements for maximum investment protection. The ZoneFlex R710 is also unique in its ability to support spatial multiplexing, adaptive antenna switching and transmit beamforming—designed to ensure that Wi-Fi performance and reliability are never compromised. The ZoneFlex R710 maintains full 4×4:4 802.11ac functionality with standard 802.3af Power over Ethernet (PoE), eliminating the need for costly and cumbersome wired switch upgrades.
The ZoneFlex R710 has a built-in USB port to accommodate Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacons and other Internet of Things (IoT) devices. This, combined with Ruckus SPoT location-based services (LBS) and analytics, enable opportunities for enterprises and Service Providers to monetise their Wi-Fi investment in public venues through rich analytics and location-based user engagement.
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Time is running out for Microsoft SQL Server 2008
Companies are urged to update from the dated database management software as it reaches the end of its support, writes BRYAN TURNER.
The 11-year-old Microsoft SQL Server 2008 database management software is reaching the end of its support on 9 July. The applications that use databases running on this software will be at risk of security and stability issues.
On self-managed databases, upgrading to the latest database version comes with a lot of risks. Many IT departments within companies go by the motto: “If it’s not broken, don’t fix it”.
Microsoft made it very clear that it would not be updating SQL Server 2005 after its extended support date and even left it vulnerable to Spectre and Meltdown by not releasing patches for the dated version.
Updating SQL Server versions may seem daunting, but the benefits far outweigh the effort it takes for a migration. In the last major version update, SQL Server 2016 introduced simpler backup functionality, database stretching, and always-encrypted communications with the database, to name just three features.
While backing up the database may be the last thing on the typical database administrator’s mind, it’s become increasingly important to do so. In SQL Server 2008, it’s clunky and causes headaches for many admins. However, in SQL Server 2016, one can easily set up an automated backup to Azure storage and let it run on smart backup intervals. Backing up offsite also reduces the need for disaster recovery for onsite damage.
Database stretching allows admins to push less frequently accessed data to an Azure database, automatically decided by SQL Server 2016. This reduces the admin of manually looking through what must be kept and what must be shipped off or deleted. It also reduces the size of the database, which also increases the performance of the applications that access it. The best part of this functionality is it automatically retrieves the less accessed records from Azure when users request it, without the need for manual intervention.
Always-encrypted communications are becoming more and more relevant to many companies, especially those operating in European regions after the introduction of GDPR. Encryption keys were previously managed by the admin, but now encryption is always handled by the client. Furthermore, the keys to encrypt and decrypt data are stored outside of SQL Server altogether. This means data stored in the database is always encrypted, and no longer for the eyes of a curious database manager.
The built-in reporting tools have also vastly improved with the addition of new reporting metrics and a modern look. It includes support for Excel reports for keeping documentation and Power BI for automated, drag-and-drop personalised reporting. Best of all, it removes the dreaded Active X controls, which made the reporting in a webpage feel very clumsy and bloated in previous versions.
A lot has changed in the past ten years in the world of SQL Server database management, and it’s not worth running into problems before Microsoft ends support for SQL Server 2005.
Local apps to feature in Huawei’s App Gallery
Huawei’s mobile app store, the HUAWEI AppGallery, will soon feature a multitude of apps and designs by local developers. The company says this is part of its drive to promote South African digital talent and include more useful apps for Huawei smartphone users. HUAWEI AppGallery and HUAWEI Themes are pre-installed on all the latest Huawei and Honor devices.
“South African consumers are increasingly wanting more apps that are relevant to their unique circumstances, addressing issues they experience regularly – such as load shedding or safety concerns – but also apps that celebrate South Africa’s multitude of cultures and this vibrant country,” says Lu Geng, director of Huawei Consumer Cloud Service Southern Africa Region.
Akhram Mohamed, chief technology officer of Huawei Consumer Business Group South Africa, says: “Huawei is committed to catering to the needs of South African consumers, but we also know that we do not have all the answers. For this reason, we aim to work closely with South African developers so that we can give our users everything that they need and want from their devices. At the same time, we also hope to create an open ecosystem for local developers by offering a simple and secure environment for them to upload content.”
Huawei Mobile Services was launched in South Africa in June last year. Since then, both the HUAWEI AppGallery and HUAWEI Themes – which features tens of thousands of themes, fonts and wallpapers that personalise user’s handset – have become increasingly popular with the local market. Even though it is a relatively new division of Huawei, there has been a great increase in growth; at the end of 2018 Huawei Mobile Services had 500 million users globally, representing a 117% increase on the previous year.
Explaining what differentiates the HUAWEI AppGallery from other app stores, Mosa Matshediso Hlobelo, business developer for Consumer Cloud Service Southern Africa says: “We use the name ‘HUAWEI AppGallery’ because we have a dedicated team that curates all the apps in terms of relevance and ease of use and to ensure that there are no technical issues. Importantly, all apps are also security-checked for malware and privacy leaks before being uploaded on to the HUAWEI AppGallery.”
Huawei recently held a Developers’ Day where Huawei executives met with South African developers to discuss Huawei’s offering. 48 developers registered their apps on the day, and Huawei is currently in discussions with them with the eventual aim of featuring the best apps and designs on HUAWEI AppGallery or HUAWEI Themes. The Consumer Cloud Service Southern Africa Team at Huawei plans on making Developers’ Day a quarterly event and establishing a local providers’ hub, where developers can regularly meet with Huawei for training on updates to programmes and offerings.
“We have a very hands-on approach with our developers, and hope to expand that community so we can become an additional distribution channel for more developers and expose them to both a local and a global audience,” says Geng. “For example, we regularly feature apps and designs from local developers on our Huawei social media pages, and do competitions and promotions. We want to do everything we can to make our Huawei users aware of these local apps and upload them. This will encourage the growth of the developer community in South Africa by giving developers more opportunities to generate revenue from in-app purchases.”
* Developers who would like their apps featured on the HUAWEI App Gallery, or designs featured on HUAWEI Themes, should visit https://developer.huawei.com or email Huawei Mobile Services on email@example.com.