With the release of the 9.13 code for the ZoneDirector and 3.4 for the SmartZone, Ruckus controllers finally part ways with much loved Ruckus ZoneFlex 7363 access point.
No longer able to support the advanced features that require higher memory and processor power, the end of life 7363 is now off limits to a 9.13 ZD. A read of the 9.13 release notes confirms:
And if you still aren’t convinced, the ZD will warn you:
The 7363 has long been a favourite of WLAN installers and for many (including me) was the first major access point we deployed.
It just worked, it was revolutionary, it allowed us to learn about 802.11n and forgave our mistakes, and gently encouraged us to master our craft. The greatest commercial decision I ever made was to invest in my first NFR kit as a Ruckus partner. I can’t say that little kit opened a lot of doors for me, but what I can say is that once the door was open, it didn’t often close. Customers loved the 7363, the ZD complimented it perfectly with the easy admin functions, and you just KNEW its Beamflex antenna was going to work its magic.
One of my customers was installing a Ruckus network in a holiday resort. Part way through the install, he went for a drink in the harbour and out of curiosity got his smartphone out and browsed for his WLAN. Not only did he see the WLAN, he connected. “Funny“, he thought, “I don’t remember powering up the outdoor AP’s”… He logged onto the ZD and saw he was associated to an INDOOR 7363. He was just over 1km away.
When I first joined Ruckus, I had the great pleasure to meet our founder, Victor Shtrom. I explained this and asked him how it was possible. He just shrugged “Beamflex“. And he should know, he invented it.
The 7363 ploughed the furrow for future Ruckus access points that have gone on to bigger and better things. But there can only be one first kiss.
During a training class last week with Ruckus Distributors, the retirement of the 7363 was discussed, and in hushed tones, the phrase “best AP ever created” was mooted and agreed. To those like I, who feel a sense of loss for the noble 7363, I paraphrase Shakespeare:
Your cause of sorrow must not be measured by his worth, for then it hath no end.
– Macbeth, Act 5, Scene 8
Vale, 7363, your work is done.