Increasingly, it is becoming challenging for schools, hotels, and multi-dwelling units (MDUs) to secure buildings and campuses. To ensure a secure workplace for staff – as well as protect students, residents, and visitors – schools, hotels, and MDUs are all steadily replacing standard door locks with IoT smart lock solutions. Let’s explore this critical trend in more detail below.
From 2013 to 2018, Everytown Research identified 405 incidents of gunfire on school grounds in the United States. In response to concerns of school violence, schools are testing smart locks to implement school-wide lockdowns during an active shooter drill. Additionally, smart locks are enabling schools and universities to make efficient use of limited staff and resources by automatically unlocking and locking doors before, during, and after events.
Smart locks help protect guests and their valuables when key
cards are lost or stolen. Smart locks can also be configured to alert staff and
security personnel when a door is accidentally left open. Perhaps most
importantly, smart locks alert staff and security personnel when single or
repeated unauthorized entry attempts are detected. Smart locks are also
deployed in hotels to automatically lock and unlock swimming pools, exercise
rooms, conference rooms, ballrooms, and maintenance closets.
Owner and operators of multi-dwelling units and apartment complexes are deploying smart locks to ensure smoother building automation, enhance tenant safety and lower insurance costs. This is achieved by monitoring open doors and tracking unauthorized entry attempts. Smart locks also allow staff to efficiently “rekey” units, floors, and even entire buildings.
Smart Lock Solutions: Deployment Challenges Many organizations quickly find themselves bogged down in IoT complexity when deploying smart door locks. This is because IoT applications are still highly fragmented, as they rely on multiple wireless connectivity protocols. Wireless door locks, for example, might use Zigbee, while online thermostats run over standard Wi-Fi and panic buttons may use yet another IoT protocol such as Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). Even if organizations recognize the true value of each IoT solution, they are often reluctant to deploy, maintain and support multiple separate wireless networks.
The Ruckus IoT Smart Door Lock Solution
To bolster security and safety across multiple verticals, Ruckus Networks (now part of CommScope via acquisition) and various industry leaders are joining forces to make smart door locks and other IoT applications easier and more cost-effective to deploy. More specifically, Ruckus, along with our global connected entry ecosystem partners, is offering a fully integrated, easy-to-manage smart IoT wireless door lock solution. With the combined solution, IT administrators can use state-of-the-art IoT connected door locks to make their organization’s security easier to manage, more convenient, and more cost-effective. Enterprises reduce costs and complexity by deploying wireless locks without having to build separate networks for Wi-Fi and IoT services. Once the solution is in place, they can use the same Ruckus IoT Suite to connect a wide range of other IoT devices and services, all running on the same consolidated network. Suddenly, it becomes much simpler and less expensive to deploy new IoT infrastructure and improve overall student, guest, and employee safety.
Safety: Smart door locks are remotely monitored, locked, unlocked, and reprogrammed in real-time during a security incident.
Convenience: Guest and staff reprogram key cards remotely—no trip to IT is required.
Robust school security: Staff and security are alerted to forced entry attempts. Dropped or lost key cards are instantly and remotely disabled.
Staff mobile access: Connected locks support remote keyless and cardless entry options.
Although deploying smart locks across a property may seem challenging, it is essential to understand that improving safety and bolstering security doesn’t have to mean high costs and technical complexity. Ruckus Networks and our connected entry ecosystem partners make IoT smart door locks and other related services simple and cost-effective to implement.
“For hotel properties that make use of Ruckus access network infrastructure, the Ruckus IoT Suite simplifies, secures and reduces costs for staff safety and other IoT solution implementations,” Mark Grodzinsky, GM of IoT for Ruckus Networks, told the publication. “By consolidating multiple physical-layer IoT networks into a single network, Ruckus eliminates network overlays. By rigorously integrating IoT solutions such as TraknProtect into the Ruckus IoT Suite, we enable Allbridge to deliver a fully integrated, proven staff safety solution.”
According to Grodzinsky, the TraknProtect solution includes a portable safety button that provides real-time alerts via SMS, push notifications, desktop alerts or email for housekeepers, maintenance personnel and room attendants. In addition, a cloud-based application tracks false alarms and on-property safety calls, while providing hotel management with tools to further enhance security.
“The staff alert devices communicate [with] the associated cloud service via [the] IoT-enabled Ruckus H510 access points (APs) deployed throughout a property,” Grodzinsky explained. “The Ruckus IoT suite manages TraknProtect device onboarding, security, and protocol translation while acting as a gateway to the TraknProtect cloud application and dashboard.”
The Ruckus H510 AP
As we’ve previously discussed on The Ruckus Room, the Ruckus H510 is a wall-mounted Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac Wave 2) indoor access point and switch for dense client deployments such as hotels, apartment buildings, and other multi-dwelling structures. The Ruckus H510 makes it easy to meet the most demanding in-room connectivity requirements without breaking the bank.
The H510 access point features patented Ruckus technologies to deliver the industry’s highest-performing Wi-Fi, combined with four-ports of Gigabit Ethernet—all in a sleek, low-profile design that can be discretely installed over standard electrical outlets. Put simply, the Ruckus H510 helps hotels deliver the full range of in-room services while dramatically reducing cabling, installation time and construction costs.
ESDs and the Hospitality Industry
According to Allbridge Chief Product Officer Matt Koch, employee safety devices are mandated for hotels in New York, Seattle, and Chicago, with additional metropolitan areas expected to follow. The accelerated adoption of ESDs in the hospitality sector follows the 2018 American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) workplace safety initiative to provide emergency communications and location-based services for employees. Backed by major hotels—including Marriott International, InterContinental, Hilton and Hyatt—the 5-Star Promise has committed to providing ESDs to hospitality workers across the United States. As noted above, several U.S. cities have already backed similar initiatives with many, such as Seattle, New York, Chicago, and Las Vegas, enacting new regulations to provide employees with a panic button for emergencies.
This past weekend, the Ruckus 10U Roller hockey team was crowned AA National Champions at the TORHS National Tournament and finished their season undefeated in AA play.
On July 7, in Wesley Chapel, Florida, the Ruckus Rollers faced off against the Florida Danger Rats to secure the 8-5 victory for the National Championship trophy. The team played their best hockey in the finals, breaking away from a one-score game in the final 3 minutes, and represented Ruckus just like our brand — passionate and gritty. Throughout the season, this young group of team players reflected their sportsmanship by never giving up, recovering from their mistakes, and winning or losing with class.
the past six months, Ruckus has received more recognition from the hockey world
as the team continues to represent Ruckus with success and pride. The kids and
their parents are grateful for Ruckus’ support and the opportunity to skate
under our logo.
Congratulations, Ruckus Rollers, on a phenomenal
win and season!
According to the US Surgeon General, users of e-cigarettes risk respiratory exposure to a variety of aerosolized chemicals, including solvents, flavorants, adulterants and other toxicants produced during the heating/aerosolization process. Moreover, a recent study that analyzed 6 e-liquids with varying nicotine concentrations found evidence of toxic effects – including poorer cell survival and signs of increased inflammation – on at least one type of cardiovascular cell.
Despite the myriad health risks, vaping has become a ubiquitous practice in many schools across the United States. In November 2018, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) confirmed that vaping had increased nearly 80% among high schoolers and 50% among middle schoolers since the preceding year. Perhaps not surprisingly, the FDA – which has expressed concern over rampant vaping – is now looking to tackle “epidemic” levels of e-cigarette use among minors.
The FlySense Vaping Detector
As the e-cigarette epidemic continues to rage unchecked across the country, schools are proactively deploying a range of solutions to detect and discourage vaping activity. It is important to understand that bathrooms and locker rooms pose additional challenges for school administrators attempting to combat vaping, as CCTV cameras cannot be installed in these privacy-sensitive locations. Fortunately, the FlySense Vaping Detector, which operates like a smoke detector, can.
Designed by Soter Technologies, the FlySense Vaping Detector monitors overall air quality for vaping signatures. When vaping is detected, the device sends a text message – with the location of the sensor – to school administrators and teachers included on a customizable alert list. It should be noted that the FlySense Vapor Detector is also designed to send an alert when it is tampered with.
Ruckus Partners with Soter Technologies
Earlier this week, Ruckus (now part of CommScope via acquisition) announced an exciting new partnership with Soter Technologies. More specifically, we’ve integrated Soter’s FlySense family of real-time sensors into the Ruckus IoT Suite. This integration enables alerts to be sent to a centralized IoT dashboard when vaping is detected. Using our embedded rules engine, these alerts can be set to trigger actions by other devices like a nearby hallway camera managed by the Ruckus IoT Controller to help provide visual information when a faculty member is not available to respond or in support of identifying repeat offenders.
The vaping epidemic and overall student safety are clearly top of mind for school administrators and principals. We are proud that schools are turning to Ruckus to provide converged network and IoT solutions that support both their digital learning and student safety initiatives. We remain committed to the primary and secondary education markets and will continue to innovate to help schools meet their student safety and wellness objectives.
Ruckus Networks has recently published two new e-books that highlight how Cloudpath Enrollment System is especially well-suited to meet the needs of primary education and higher education customers. If you have been following the Ruckus blog, you already know that Cloudpath Enrollment System is software as a service (or on-premises software, your choice) that delivers secure network access for BYOD, guest users and IT-owned devices. It supports any user—and any device—on any vendor’s network infrastructure.
These two new e-books are great tools for helping others in your organization to understand the value of a platform for network access security in your school or college. E-books help you get up to speed on technology topics of interest, without having to invest too much time and energy. These two new e-books build on the more general one that we published previously: Seven Network Access Security Risks—and How They Can Lead to a Data Breach.
E-book #1: Cloudpath
Enrollment System in primary education
We don’t want to give away too much, but one reason for its
appeal is that schools have especially concentrated needs around network
onboarding. Network onboarding is the process by which users (whether students,
faculty, staff or guests) gain access to the network for the first time with a
It wraps up by pointing to where you can go to learn more.
It’s as simple as that, and that’s why these e-books are so great to pass along
to others in the organization who may not be as technical or are higher up the
IT management chain. This format really encapsulates things for influencers in the
IT decision-making process.
E-book #2: Cloudpath
Enrollment System in higher education
The second new e-book is titled Cloudpath Enrollment System—a Great Fit for Higher Education. The basic structure is the same as the primary education e-book. Like primary schools, institutions of higher education have very concentrated network onboarding needs. A wave of new devices hit at the start of school, and another wave after winter break. Modern networks in higher education can also be exceptionally complex—and device diversity is high. That means a system for automating the way students and other stakeholders get connected is an obvious choice.
There are a variety of other reasons that Cloudpath software as a service is a great fit for higher ed, and you’ll find them all in the e-book. You’ll also find testimonial quotes from higher education customers. Here too, we have written case studies featuring these customers, including Neumann University and Blackpool and the Fylde College.
In summary, these two new e-books provide insightful nuggets of information in a very accessible form. They are great for sharing with others in your organization who want to acquire knowledge quickly with minimal investment of time. They are especially great when you are in the early-to-middle phases of the process of investigating network access security products. For access to a full range of materials relating to Cloudpath software as a service and its corner of the IT security taxonomy, we invite you to visit the Cloudpath product page.
Since the inception of ethernet switching back in the 1990s,
the industry had normally introduced speed increments in variables of 10x. Over
time we moved from 10 Megabits per Second (Mbps) to 100, 100 Mbps to 1 Gigabits
per Second (Gbps), etc. So, when the new multi-gigabit standard was
introduced in 2016 (802.3bz), many wondered why the industry would deviate from
a tried and true system of growth to introduce 2.5 and 5 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE)
Truth is that the deviation from 10x increments actually
started when the IEEE ratified the 100GbE standard back in 2010
(802.3ba). The addition of 40GbE as an option in that standard allowed the
server virtualization and cloud phenomena boom to continue to grow, as many
servers were capable of pushing much higher network data rates once they had
multiple applications utilizing a much higher percentage of their
capacity. The cost of a multiport 100GbE switch at the time would have
been cost prohibitive to a majority of companies, so the move to 40GbE allowed
manufacturers to produce a product that could meet the demands of the data
center market at an affordable cost.
Fast forward five years to the current 2.5/5GbE addition and once again the industry is trying to assist customers in making the most out of what they have while keeping up with technological advances. With the eruption of Internet of Things (IoT) devices and the wireless industries continued advancement in WiFi speeds, there’s a need to be able to provide more than the current 1Gbps bandwidth that older WiFi access points required. As an example, the WiFi 6 standard (802.11ax) is capable of providing 1Gbps per spatial stream to wireless end-user devices. Most high-end access points have four spatial streams, so the theoretical ethernet requirement from a WiFi 6 access point upstream to the switch would be more than 4Gbps. Ruckus even sells an eight spatial stream access point that doubles that requirement to 8Gbps. These are theoretical maximums, and you should engineer your network to expect fifty to seventy-five percent of actual throughput from these devices in real-world situations, so the 2.5 and 5GbE standards are required to utilize the newest access points, without making them a bottleneck in your environment.
Another issue is that if we stayed with the 10x progression
of the past, you’d be required to provide 10GbE to these access points, moving
from 1GbE to 10GbE over copper. But 10GbE over copper requires you to have
Category 6A copper installed in your infrastructure. The majority of older
wiring closets and data jack cable runs are still Category 5e, which would not
be able to handle the 10GbE speeds…but they could handle the 2.5GbE speeds at
the same 100-meter limits that applied to the 1GbE devices. If you’re
blessed and have Category 6 installed (the predecessor to 6A), you can actually
run 5GbE 100 meters as well, maximizing the cabling that you already have, to
provide a better networking experience to your WiFi and power users.
I’m not advocating that you go out and replace every switch
in every closet with multi-gigabit switches today, although there are plenty of
vendors, Ruckus included who would love to help you with that. I am
advocating that you find out what your options are for adding multi-gigabit
capabilities to your existing closet today, before you have to do it at the
same time as your next wireless upgrade, or when the computer industry starts
shipping 2.5GbE ports in the back of every CPU and your power users are
demanding the additional bandwidth.
Given that the typical lifecycle of a wireless network is
three to five years, and the typical lifecycle of a wired network is five to
seven years (ten years in the education verticals), there’s a high probability that
you’ll be implementing WiFi 6 in your network long before you have the
opportunity to upgrade the switching infrastructure that it needs to run
on. Is your wiring closet ready for a device that requires more bandwidth,
and more Power over Ethernet (PoE) than any port on your current switch or
stack of switches can provide? Does the switching vendor you currently use
provide flexibility to mix and match your current 1GbE switches with some newer
multi-gigabit (2.5/5GbE) switches in the same stack, or do you have to upgrade
the entire stack to a new, higher-end model line? There are switch vendors
who offer multi-gigabit capabilities in their lowest end stackable
switches. Does your current switch vendor allow you to grow your wiring
closet stack size above eight switches, allowing you to insert additional
multi-gigabit switches in those higher-density closets where you may be maxed
out at eight already? There are vendors out there that will let you grow
your wiring closet stack well past eight, some as high as twelve switches.
The bottom line is that the requirement for higher speed wired networking at the edge is already here, and it’s only going to grow as the computer industry adds multi-gigabit as the default network interface on desktop computers, and WiFi 6 as the default wireless specification on laptops. If you’ve got a project planned to upgrade your wiring closets, heed my warning, since the switches you buy now have to get you through the next one or two generations of WiFi that are coming, and your wired power users as they start to get workstations with these higher speed capabilities built-in. As always, the entire Ruckus Technical Family is here to help you with any questions or requirements you may have concerning your next wired or wireless project.
Ever gone into a store and looked up? You’d
be surprised what you can find hanging off the ceilings.
Like where I’m hanging out now—one of those
tiny mobile phone stores. It’s not a large space but there are three Wi-Fi APs
hanging off the ceiling in a retail space of about 400 sq. ft. (37 m2).
That’s roughly equal to one AP for every 133 sq. ft. (12 m2).
Does such a small place really need three APs?
Is Three a Crowd?
People who study crowd density have rules
of thumb to estimate the number of people that can occupy a given space. A
loose crowd, where everyone is about an arm’s length from their neighbor,
requires roughly 10 square feet (1 square meter) per person.
At that density, you could pack forty people in this store. It would be uncomfortable and leave no room for shelves, tables, or check-out counters. Anyone who has shopped around a major holiday knows what it’s like to look inside a jam-packed retail store and say “Hard pass”.
Back to those APs blinking above me. Let’s
assume everyone here has a Wi-Fi-enabled smartphone. At our maximum crowd
capacity, that’s 40 devices, plus a few more if the store uses Wi-Fi for
point-of-sale (POS) devices. Let’s round up to 60.
You might think to yourself, “60 devices
divided by three APs is only 20 devices per AP. That’s great!” Except most APs
have dual radios. The actual number will be 10 devices per radio.
I can hear you now. You’re probably the
person behind me in the check-out line wondering why this woman is muttering to
herself about APs. “Isn’t fewer devices per radio better?” you’d say.
First, is everyone really going to be using
all of those devices at the same time? The answer is almost certainly no. Let’s
assume 50% of these devices are actively used at any given time for email, web
surfing, cat videos, writing blogs, and so on. Everyone else is shopping,
paying at the register or wondering if they have time for a Starbucks run
That leaves us with 30 active Wi-Fi devices: 5 per AP radio, or 10 per AP.
If that’s the case, why, you might ask,
would someone put not one, or two, but three APs on their ceiling? This
is not a physics or math problem. The answer, I suspect, lies in an intuitive
understanding everyone shares: If a little bit of something is good, more is
But like ketchup on French fries or water
in a bathtub, there is a limit after which more
makes things worse instead of better. Wi-Fi is like that. Flooding a
space with more and more RF reaches a point where you’re gonna spend more time
with a mop than enjoying a relaxing bath.
Here at Ruckus, we spend a lot of our hard-earned research dollars figuring out how to make Wi-Fi work even better and support more devices per AP. Not only does it give you more Wi-Fi for the dollars you spend, but it also reduces the potential for too much RF interference and the terrible troubles it would unleash on an unsuspecting IT network engineer. If you’re interested in learning more about RF interference and its impact on Wi-Fi capacity, check out this blog on the 3 myths of Wi-Fi – interference, capacity, and roaming. While you’re there, check out some other blogs written by really smart people who probably don’t stand in check-out lines staring at the ceiling and muttering to themselves.
In the meantime, keep an eye out and don’t
be afraid to ask, “Is more really better?”
TraknProtect recently confirmed that Ruckus Networks (now part of CommScope via acquisition) is part of an exciting new end-to-end solution for the hospitality industry. More specifically, the TraknProtect solution helps hotels protect employees and monitor assets in real time.
“Through its partnership with Ruckus Networks, TraknProtect’s safety buttons can communicate to the associated cloud service via IoT-enabled Ruckus H510 access points deployed throughout a property,” the company stated in a recent press release. “The Ruckus IoT Suite can then manage TraknProtect device onboarding and security and protocol translation while acting as a gateway to the TraknProtect cloud application and dashboard.”
Royal Park Hotel
It should be noted that the Royal Park Hotel is currently beta testing TraknProtect’s safety buttons to ensure staff safety and comply with AHLA’s 5-Star Promise. Indeed, BLE beacons are attached to staff lanyards or master keys, and when activated, these beacons communicate with Ruckus’ IoT Suite and notify management of an employee’s exact location. The hotel is also using TraknProtect for IoT asset tracking, with beacons attached to carts, trays and other hotel equipment, such as rollaway beds. IoT asset tracking to help manage inventory, as well as notify staff when items, such as food carts or bed trays, should be picked up, or when assets have left the property.
More about the Ruckus IoT Suite
The Ruckus IoT Suite simplifies the creation of IoT access networks through the reuse of LAN and WLAN infrastructure, thus shortening deployment duration and reducing the cost of supporting multiple IoT solutions. The Ruckus IoT Suite comprises a range of Ruckus IoT-ready access points, IoT modules, as well as network and IoT controllers.
More about the Ruckus H510 indoor access point
The Ruckus H510 is a wall-mounted Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac Wave 2) indoor access point and switch for dense client deployments such as hotels, apartment buildings, and other multi-dwelling structures. The Ruckus H510 makes it easy to meet the most demanding in-room connectivity requirements without breaking the bank. It features patented Ruckus technologies to deliver the industry’s highest-performing Wi-Fi, combined with four-ports of Gigabit Ethernet—all in a sleek, low-profile design that can be discretely installed over standard electrical outlets. Put simply, the Ruckus H510 helps hotels deliver the full range of in-room services while dramatically reducing cabling, installation time and construction costs.
Digital transformation, while sometimes referred to in
futuristic terms, is sweeping through federal agencies and rolling over network
infrastructure with billions of mobile devices and internet-connected sensors.
Civilian and military agencies alike are gobbling bandwidth and taxing the
network core with the proliferation of mobile and IoT, as well as cloud capabilities
enabling everything from data analytics to artificial intelligence. Federal expenditures on IoT alone is expected
to hit $3 billion in fiscal 2018, according to an Immix Group Market
As organizations plan for the next big thing in digital transformation, they often overlook the core component – the networks – until connectivity becomes a problem. That was the thinking behind the Ruckus ICX 7850, the latest offering in Ruckus’ extensive switch lineup, which delivers 100 GbE from edge to core. The ICX 7850 uses a high-density, secure and scalable platform to support 10-, 25-, 50- and 100-GbE using existing customer investments in fiber to allow for growth. As agencies increasingly push connectivity to the edge, the ICX 7850 is the latest edge-to-core solution with high-end routing and security capabilities.
switches have been used by federal agencies for two decades, so why roll out a
new version? It’s because the exponential growth that agencies are planning for
puts added demand on the network. With 6.4 Tbps, the ICX 7850 has more than
three times the switching capacity of our core switch, the ICX 7750, eliminating bottlenecks between network
layers and ensuring a smooth user experience in high-density wireless
This new model includes the ability to mix and match ICX
switches to build highly converged networks that simplify deployment and
management, improve operational efficiency, and provide maximum scalability.
Solutions for network growth don’t have
to be complex or expensive. What federal agencies need is the ability to grow
and transform digitally without disruption. In this regard, ICX 7850 is the
answer for next-generation wireless, no matter when, where or how it’s being
Ruckus is a preferred vendor for deploying Wi-Fi at major hospitality chains and multiple dwelling units (MDUs). We at Ruckus are ever sensitive to industry trends and strive hard to meet our hospitality customers’ demands and requirements. We continue to innovate to redefine connectivity in the hospitality industry. Illustrative of this is our latest innovation around our specialty access point (AP) H510, which is custom built for a hotel’s in-room connectivity use case – the Fiber Backpack
H510 is built with copper-based Ethernet backhaul connectivity. The current trend in hospitality to install fiber to the room calls out for a fiber-to-ethernet media converter (e.g., optical network terminal or ONT) to connect to H510. Installing an ONT along with H510 leads to wire clutter and other challenges, which can impact room aesthetics. Despite these challenges, fiber-based hospitality deployments are continuing to embrace H510 to provide in-room Wi-Fi connectivity.
Current state of fiber to the room
Ruckus has developed a “Fiber Backpack for H510” to address these challenges and simplify Wi-Fi deployments for fiber-ready hotels and MDUs. The Ruckus Fiber Backpack is a field-installable, fiber-to-Ethernet media converter accessory enabling customers to add a fiber backhaul interface to the H510. The custom-designed Fiber Backpack attaches seamlessly to the H510. It supports both passive optical network (PON) and active fiber industry standard small form-factor pluggable (SFP) modules. The Fiber Backpack takes in DC power and provides power over PoE to the attached H510 AP. The Fiber Backpack comes with two options for input 48 V DC power, a terminal jack for use with hybrid fiber cabling (fiber strand plus DC power over copper), and the standard wall-powered DC power supply accessory specified for use with H510.
Fiber to the room of tomorrow
Here are some of the highlighted benefits of the Fiber Backpack:
fiber backhaul option for the H510 access point (AP)
the 10/100/1000 Mbps Ethernet from the AP to fiber via an SFP cage
both PON and active fiber SFP modules
power supply to AP by converting DC input power to PoE out
inconspicuously with H510 AP
We announced the Fiber Backpack to our partner community this week. Please place your orders with your partners or distributors. To learn more, read about the Fiber Backpack. Visit our website to get the latest updates.