1. Simplest to deploy and manage: almost zero RF planning. Single channel span/virtual cell eliminates the need to carefully lay out channel/power plans. Rather than rely on perfect plans, the system is inherently resilient to planning imperfections. A coverage hole is plugged by sliding in an AP that seamlessly patches the virtual cell without any planning re-computation. With wireless backhaul, patching a coverage hole does not even require cable pulls any more. The simplicity of deployment, management, and operation is crucial to scale to large distributed deployments by saving the time and effort of IT staff. This benefit is even more significant for 802.11n rollouts, since coverage prediction with 11n is much more complex.
2. Minimum total cost of ownership: no requirement of micro-cell planning with lower power, thereby reducing the number of APs by ~30%, and accruing associated savings in wiring, port, maintenance, etc. Further, Meru APs always serve/scan the entire spectrum simultaneously (unlike some other vendors who must turn off rogue scanning when serving priority applications). So Meru avoids the further 20% scanning APs. Even more significantly, with 802.11n and bg deployment, with other vendors, you cannot take advantage of the range of 11n (in either 5GHz or 2.4GHz) because the bg radios must still be micro-cell planned! Overall, Meru requires far fewer APs, with far less planning and handling, than every other vendor.
3. Secure from air to core: in the entire WLAN industry, only Meru provides Layer 1 security – the ability to scan and serve at the same time, and the ability to block frames in the RF layer, without any performance penalty. Further, only Meru provides the ability to classify and operate on flows (QoS, firewall, rate limit, etc.) based on both deep packet inspection and traffic pattern analysis (for end-to-end encrypted streams). The combined benefits result in security without performance compromise, from air to core.
4. Highest density and scale: Inherent to Meru’s 3TDS network architecture is the ability to scale the backend to many 1000s of 802.11n APs across unwired campuses and distributed global enterprises. Meru’s coordinated AP behavior demonstrably delivers the highest data and voice density and scale in the industry. Unlike other products, we ensure that slow clients do not bring down network performance, and that at high densities, uplink traffic does not overwhelm downlink traffic. At Philadelphia School District, for example, Meru WLAN provides 600Mbps of over-the-air capacity in every square foot of a “school of the future”. No other vendor comes close to even claiming such capability, let alone showcasing a fully operational production system.
5. Best solution for mobility. Meru’s virtual cell eliminates handoffs for the client. Independent of client drivers, security mode, background traffic, load balancing turned on/off… a client in a virtual cell never sees handoff. We are able to guarantee sub-3ms handoff in production environments, while ensuring that every client is always connected to the best AP, regardless of client capabilities. Meru is demonstrably at least an order of magnitude better than other enterprise-class WLAN vendors.
6. Best solution for voice. Voice requires assured delivery, uplink+downlink QoS, seamless mobility with imperceptible handoffs, co-existence with data in multi-AP environments, and dial-tone-like experience where users get busy signal if the call capacity is exceeded. Only Meru delivers all these benefits at scale.
7. Most cost effective migration to 802.11n: With the channel layering architecture, it is possible to dedicate separate channels for legacy devices and newer 802.11n devices, thereby supporting a network with mixed mode clients while delivering peak 802.11n performance. By eliminating micro-cell for abg, range extensions of 11n are fully leveraged, needing fewer APs. With the 3TDS network architecture, Meru supports a very flexible deployment model that upgrades the enterprise to 11n without requiring an upgrade of the backbone infrastructure. Meru’s architecture is best suited for optimal 11n performance as well as least cost migration to a mixed mode 11nabg deployment.
8. Unified Indoor/Outdoor Mesh/Wired Network: Every Meru AP is inherently both wireless and wired backhaul. Wired or wireless backhaul for an AP is just a role, not a static function. With Mesh backhaul, all benefits of virtual cell, including seamless mobility, over-the-air QoS, and zero overhead replacement of coverage holes, are available to a mixed mode indoor/outdoor WLAN.