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Wireless Network Head-to-Head: Cisco Vs. Meru

We compared wireless gear from Cisco Systems and Meru Networks in our Real-World Labs. The performance results are valuable, but the real story is whether Meru deviates from the 802.11

As WLANS have matured we've seen nearly a hundredfold increase in raw performance. The flip side of all that innovation involves the law of diminishing returns: As a technology matures, vendors have fewer opportunities for revolutionary advances. So when we hear about a company seemingly lapping rivals, our curiosity is piqued.

In this case, the object of our interest is Meru Networks. Although there are variations among gear from Aruba Networks, Cisco Systems and Symbol Technologies, the market leaders, the similarities are more notable than the differences. As most products consolidate around a common WLAN architecture--controller-based thin-AP systems, dual-band services, dense AP deployments and overlapping cell designs--Meru is bucking the trend with unique offerings that reject conventional architectural and deployment models. Instead of a cumbersome multichannel cell design, Meru's single-channel architecture makes deployment easier while promising greater scalability, enhanced roaming and coordinated over-the-air quality of service, a feature it calls Air Traffic Control.

Download Results Spreadsheets
For further analysis and exploration we are providing the raw performance results obtained in our head to head benchmark of Meru and Cisco. Each spreadsheet contains all of the test results including '802.11b/g Coexistence', 'Unencrypted 802.11g', 'Encrypted 802.11g' and 'Voice and Data Coexistence'. Some notable points include Meru's airtime fairness in which the ratio of their upstream to downstream traffic is nearly 1 to 1. For a description of our test setup see "How We Tested"

Download Cisco Results Capacity
Download Meru Results Capacity

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