Global Wi-Fi Managed Service Platform for Enterprises and Service Providers
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Complete Management Platform Enabling Enterprise and Carrier-Grade Wi-Fi Service Infrastructure
The Ruckus FlexMaster Management System (9.0) is a comprehensive Wi-Fi management platform for building and managing enterprise and carrier-grade Wi-Fi service infrastructures.
FlexMaster is a fully-featured, intuitive Wi-Fi management platform for all sizes of enterprises. FlexMaster enables network administrator to perform all critical functions necessary to set up, maintain, and optimize the deployment of their business Wi-Fi networks all from a single point.
Ideal for carriers, multi-service operators, and broadband providers looking to monetize Wi-Fi services, FlexMaster offers tiered administration, making it the perfect platform for offering managed WLAN service or cloud-based WLAN management services. This allows end customers to remotely view, securely control, easily manage and automatically configure only their network infrastructure and assets.
Designed for simplicity, FlexMaster provides a unique collection of automated and customized facilities not found in other management platforms such as an automated and customized super dashboard, trending reports and customized graphs, detailed client data for planning and troubleshooting and comprehensive events management.
Fitting seamlessly into existing operational support systems (OSS), FlexMaster uses industry-standard protocols to manage Wi-Fi service infrastructures. It provides a comprehensive set of capabilities for configuration, fault detection, performance management, and reporting of Ruckus Wireless ZoneDirectors, ZoneFlex Access Points (APs), and MediaFlex APs. FlexMaster can manage the Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi APs either in standalone mode or via the ZoneDirectors.
FlexMaster allows administrators to view remote environments, bulk configure and manage groups of devices, securely monitor and manage Wi-Fi services.
Easy to install and use, FlexMaster reduces the total cost of ownership by automatically discovering the deployed devices in your network, eliminating the need for tedious remote configuration, troubleshooting, and maintenance.
Complete, End-to-End, Wi-Fi Service Administration
FlexMaster is the first complete management service platform that lets providers securely control, monitor, and upgrade Smart Wi-Fi systems anywhere in the world, whether over the Internet or a private IP network. Simple to install, and easy to use with an intuitive look and feel, FlexMaster provides a comprehensive solution for configuration , fault detection, audit, and performance management. It fits seamlessly into existing network management architectures by leveraging a variety of industry-standard protocols such as SNMP, TR-069, TCP, and HTTP/S. FlexMaster also provides the scalability expected for large scale infrastructures.
Enabling Managed Services
With FlexMaster service providers create unique configuration parameters on a bulk basis, and can load different versions of firmware for each customer. Managed MediaFlex and ZoneFlex devices can be grouped by geographic region, device type, serial number, MAC address range, or client's name.
Multi-tiered access provides a partitioned view for each customer and lets them view statistics, status, and reports related to their Wi-Fi networks. Using the administrator access privilege, the provider can access all of the devices in the management domain. IT managers and providers can create unique Service Level Agreements for each client or department in order to offer revenue generating services.
FlexMaster communicates with Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi systems using industry-standard SNMP, SOAP/HTTP protocols, and takes advantage of TR-069 to establish safe and reliable links between the managed devices and the FlexMaster server. This enables remote access to devices on the LAN that normally might be inaccessible due to network address translation issues. Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi APs can also be directly queried by other third-party SNMP or auto configuration server (ACS) systems using TR-069.
Additionally, MediaFlex and ZoneFlex APs automatically reports to the FlexMaster server during initial installation, and at pre-specified periods. The FlexMaster can manually initiate instant communication, or schedule tasks to be performed at an opportune time.
The FlexMaster Dashboard View provides at-a-glance summary of all of the connected Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi devices that the FlexMaster is managing. The Dashboard View, which is fully customizable, allows for views based on selected criteria such as devices, clients, Google map overview and many more.
An intuitive Events View gives network administrators a quick reference about the condition of the network. And a detailed event timeline provides trend and historical records of all important events that have occurred over the previous period. The network administrator can easily configuration widgets that present what the user wants to see.
Detailed Inventory View
The FlexMaster Inventory view provides a detailed report of all of the Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi devices in the network. Network administrators can easily navigate to any device and drill down for more detailed information.
Integrating with the Google Map application, each of the devices can be geographically displayed on the map to provide a more physical presence to the network administrator. The devices can be tagged into different groups (for example, access points for hot spot chain, access points for hotel chain, access points for Northern City, etc.) to improve the manageability.
Flexible Managed Services Configuration Templates
The FlexMaster Template view gives service providers a simple way to set up the configuration profiles for different parameter settings of devices. For example, if an administrator wants to configuration ZoneFlex APs for a hot spot chain differently than for a hotel chain, then two templates with different parameters can be set up, saved or modified before applying the configuration to the devices.
Bulk Firmware Upgrades
Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi system firmware can be upgraded individually or in bulk. FlexMaster allows the operator to select a set of devices, schedule the firmware upgrade, and receive notification cation when the upgrade is complete. With a simple click of the mouse, the operator has the flexibility to perform bulk firmware upgrades on all of the remaining units in the firmware, or schedule upgrades for a specific time.
The Provisioning View is a powerful tool that gives administrators the option to permanently save the configuration of each device. In the event a user resets a pre-configured Wi-Fi device from the provider, the configuration can be restored to a known state quickly and easily without user intervention.
Single platform for Wi-Fi service management
Simple to use, install, and deploy Web-based management platform for managing discrete Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi APs or wireless LAN systems
Direct device access and detailed client troubleshooting
Instant and secure access to Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi products as well as detailed client data over the Internet or any private IP network
Leverages industry-standard protocols such as SNMP, TR-069, TCP, and HTTP/S for secure communication across the entire network
Automatically discover, configure , monitor, and troubleshoot tens of thousands of remote devices
At-a-glance customizable network dashboard
Provides system health overview of events, device connectivity, status of associated clients and much more
Bulk configuration and firmware upgrades
Upgrade individual or groups of Ruckus devices with a mouse click
Sophisticated filtering, searching and grouping
Easily group and manage devices by geography, device type, serial number, and customer
The ZoneDirector interacts with existing network and security infrastructure and provides dynamic RF management across APs to eliminate AP placement issues
Reduce support costs per subscriber
Access to detailed client stats such as connectivity status, signal quality and throughput minimizes need to dispatch support personnel
Hierarchical administration rights
Provides multi-tiered access to the partitioned views of the networks' statistics, status, and reports
FlexMaster lets operators offer managed services from a single platform giving each customer remote visibility and control of their own network elements and network services
Enables Managed Wi-Fi Services For Enterprise Headquarters and Remote Branch Offices
- Platform with carrier class, enterprise-enabled scalability to use common industry-standard protocols to manage Wi-Fi infrastructures
- Provides comprehensive set of capabilities for configuration, fault detection, performance management, and reporting of ZoneFlex and MediaFlex devices
- Simple to install and easy to use
Gives Service Providers a Unique Way to Extend Their Network Footprint
- Enables new revenue streams and managed Wi-Fi services in growing new services markets
- Supports hotspots, hotzones, home spots, IPTV services, and enterprise Wi-Fi managed sites
- Fits seamlessly into existing operational support systems (OSS)
Provides At-A-Glance Dashboard View
- Summarizes and categorizes all ZoneFlex and MediaFlex devices in the network, as well as their firmware versions
- Intuitive Events section offers quick reference on the condition of the network
- Detailed Events timeline provides trend and historical records of important events
- Multi-tiered management access
- Auto discovery of Ruckus devices
- Group configuration of devices
- Relational database
- Manual or scheduled firmware upgrades for selected devices
- Geographic representation of devices on the networks using Google maps
- Customized Dashboard View settings on a per administrator basis
- Trending reports and customized graphs such as packets sent and received by the busiest APs, AP airtime utilization and the APs with the most associated clients.
- Service level agreement graphs and reports that include percentage uptime for AP groups and specific clients, backhaul uptime and client potential throughput.
- Secure access with remote SSL
- Client throughput data such as connectivity throughput, connectivity status, signal quality, etc.
- Connection and association reports
- Audits of user actions and system logs
|Minimum System Requirements:|
|Hard Drive||160 GB|
|Operating System||Red Hat Linux Enterprise Edition 5.0 or higher|
What is the packaging format of FlexMaster?
FlexMaster is a software product. The CD is shipped with simple instruction for installation on a customer supplied hardware. The specification of the hardware is defined in the FlexMaster data sheet.
When I need to manage more devices, do I need to buy a new FlexMaster package?
No. FlexMaster base software comes with license for management of 100 AP’s. When you need to manage more than licensed number of AP’s, you can purchase an upgrade license to allow more devices to be managed.
What devices can FlexMaster manage?
FlexMaster manages selected Ruckus Access Points and Zone Directors. Currently, all ZoneFlex Access Points and the MediaFlex 2825 are supported. Both the ZoneDirector 1000 and the 3000 are manageable by FlexMaster.
What version of ZoneFlex Access Points and ZoneDirectors is compatible with FlexMaster?
- The ZoneFlex Access Points need to run Release 5.0 or higher version.
- The ZoneFlex Directors need to run Release 7.0 or higher version.
- The MediaFlex Access Points need to run Release 5.3 or higher version
Where do I typically install FlexMaster?
FlexMaster is typically installed in the Enterprise or Service Provider Network Operation Center. FlexMaster should be reachable via a browser from anywhere on the Internet.
How do I find the disconnected devices from the network?
There are several ways:
The “Loss of Connectivity” graph on the Dashboard shows devices currently disconnected from the network. The rightmost side of this graph represents the current time.
On Inventory - Manage Devices page show the “Last Seen” time. Depending on the FlexMaster contact interval and current time, administrator know if any of the devices lost contact with the FlexMaster.
How can I create and email alert for connection problems?
During the installation, the install script will prompt to enter SMTP server’s IP address, port number, and email address. This information can be accessed from Administration > System Settings page.
To enable email alerts, go to System Alerts > Alert Properties page.
I see a map on the Inventory page. How do I use the location features on the FlexMaster?
From the Inventory > Manage Devices page click on “Set Tag Name”. The tag name can be anything such as Group ID, customer name, or location. If you type a location for tag name then the device‘s location will be seen on the map.
How do I mount FlexMaster CD on a Red Hat Enterprise Linux machine?
You have to create a mount point for the CD before accessing it. Let us say “/mnt” is the mount point, then at the Linux shell type “mount /dev/cdrom /mnt” command. After mounting the CD, you can see the contents inside the CD by typing “ls /mnt” command.
I have 500 devices in St Petersburg, Florida. How to split them into five groups?
Let us say you want to split all 500 devices into 5 groups called Tropicana, Waterfront, Bay Walk, Grand Prix, and Sunshine. First of all you have to assign a tag name to each device using one of the above names. Then go to Inventory > Manage Devices > New Search tab and search the devices based on Tag Name. Then click on “Save Search as a Group” link to assign a name. These group names become available from the Dashboard and when you need to perform firmware upgrades, configuration changes, etc.
Can I run FlexMaster on a Windows machine?
Not at this time.
What Operating System is supported to run FlexMaster?
Red Hat Linux Enterprise Edition 4.0 or later.
What browsers are supported by the FlexMaster Web UI?
- Mozilla Firefox 2.0.5 and later
- Microsoft Internet Explorer 7.0 and later
Do I need a MySQL database server running before installing FlexMaster?
No, you don’t. MySQL comes as part of the FlexMaster installation package.
Our FlexMaster is placed behind a firewall. In such case how can CPEs in the field reach FlexMaster?
You have to open either port 80 or port 443 on the firewall so that CPEs can reach the FlexMaster. You have to point the CPEs to the external IP address of the FlexMaster’s server URL. If you are using DHCP IP address on the CPEs, this can be achieved by using option 43 on your DHCP server.
I want to use L2TP on my network to provide client specific services. How can I configure L2TP server IP, password details using the FlexMaster?
L2TP concept is explained in the FlexMaster User Guide. L2TP server details can be pushed to the CPEs using a configuration template. Create a new template under “Internet” category.
How do I restore FlexMaster in case of hardware crash?
It is highly recommended that you backup the underlying MySQL database from time to time. Use “./mysqldump -u root -p itms > [backupfilename.sql]” command to perform the backup from time to time. To restore the server, install the FlexMaster software from the CD and then restore the MySQL database from the latest backups.
How do I know if there is a firmware upgrade available for my CPEs?
Ruckus Wireless may post latest firmware to its Support website from time to time. The latest firmware can be downloaded from the Ruckus website and uploaded into FlexMaster by going to Provisioning > Manage Firmware Files page.
Can I push configuration changes to 3rd party CPEs using Ruckus FlexMaster?
FlexMaster can only manage Ruckus ZoneFlex and MediaFlex 2825 CPEs.
I want to upload a device inventory file before deploying CPEs in the field. How do I do that?
A device inventory file can be uploaded to FlexMaster well before deploying CPEs in the field. This file should contain serial number, model number, customer ID, and unique password for authentication in a CSV format. Go to Inventory > Device Registration page to upload this file. After the file upload permission can be changed in order to allow or deny.
The machine is up but I can’t access the web interface. What are the processes I look for to see if they are running or not?
The machine should be running Java and MySQL. Do “ps -ef | grep java” and “ps -ef | grep mysql” to check their status.
What protocol is used between FlexMaster and the managed devices?
FlexMaster uses industry standard protocol TR-069 to communicate with the managed devices. TR-069 is a Broadband Forum Wide Area Network standard that defines an application layer protocol for remote management of end-user devices.
Can the Ruckus Access Points and ZoneDirectors be located behind a NAT (Network Address Translation) and still be managed by FlexMaster?
Yes. The Ruckus Access Points and ZoneDirectors periodically reports back to FlexMaster via the INFORM message. Even if the managed devices are behind the NAT, FlexMaster will be able to communicate with these devices.
Does FlexMaster provide real-time configuration and monitoring of the managed devices?
If the managed devices are directly connected to the FlexMaster without a NAT devices in between, FlexMaster can configure and monitor the managed devices in real-time.
If the managed devices are behind the NAT, the updates to the devices will be completed at the next scheduled interval. This scheduled interval is determined by the INFORM interval (default is 15 minutes for ZoneFlex product and 30 minutes for MediaFlex product, and can be set down to 60 seconds).
How do I configure multiple devices using FlexMaster?
FlexMaster supports bulk configuration of devices. The user first set up a configuration template to define the parameters that will be used to the managed devices. The user then creates a configuration task to match the template to the selected devices. The selected devices can be a single AP or multiple APs (or ZoneDirectors). A simple click of the mouse triggers the task to be applied to a bulk of APs (or ZoneDirectors) immediately or at a schedule date/time.
Is FlexMaster sitting on the data path?
No, FlexMaster does not sit on the data path. In the case that the communication between FlexMaster and the managed devices is interrupted, all data traffic continues without discontinuity.
What types of login are available on FlexMaster?
FlexMaster supports two types of login. The Network view provides a look into all of the devices in the network. The administrator with this access can manage a bulk of devices. The Operator view provides a look into a specific device, and is generally given to support personnel troubleshooting a specific device.
When do I use FlexMaster versus ZoneDirectors?
FlexMaster compliments the management of Ruckus Access Points with ZoneDirectors. Typical large deployment of multiple sites (such as large Enterprise with headquarter and multiple branches) requires a FlexMaster for central management of multiple sites with distributed ZoneDirectors at the headquarter and branch offices. Certain features (such as Dynamic PSK, Guest Pass, Rogue AP detection, Mesh support) require the presence of the ZoneDirectors. Managing multiple ZoneDirectors (or standalone Access Points) is generally done by a centralized FlexMaster.
How do Access Points perform initial registration with FlexMaster?
Each Access Point or ZoneDirectors can be configured with a default management URL, pointing to the FlexMaster. Upon boot up, these managed devices will send an INFORM message to the FlexMaster to register and be subsequently managed.
Download the Ruckus FlexMaster Datasheet (PDF).