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mopificius
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Hardware Controller?

I know Ubiquiti's Products such as AirControl and UniFi use a software controller, and this is great. It is wonderful to be able to instantly setup a controller (local or cloud). It's something that most other wireless manufacturers do not provide.

I think there are certain instances that a hardware controller would be a better solution though. Like when you want to be able to integrate a system for somebody and then leave it. An integrator would basically be able to rack and go.

A small 1U controller would be great. Maybe something sort of like a Raspberry PI (www.raspberrypi.org/) with a 1U rack mount enclosure. And it could run Debian or Ubuntu and have 16 or 32 GB of SD storage. The advantage to this is that there is something that sets a standard and that is fully supported by Ubiquiti.

Attached is a mockup that I created.
unificontroller.jpg
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Josh_SPITwSPOTS
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Re: Hardware Controller?

i would vomit.
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mopificius
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Re: Hardware Controller?

I thought it was a good idea...maybe release it for $89 or something. It would save some people a lot of time and headache. You get it preconfigured, you rack it and turn it on. It sure beats paying a few hundred dollars for a computer that is overkill or $20 a month for an amazon controller. Their controller software takes almost no resources to run. Having a dedicated computer is a both a waste of money and a waste of computing resources.
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Nanflexal
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Re: Hardware Controller?

Having a dedicated computer is a both a waste of
money and a waste of computing resources.


good point. I hope they will opt to this idea.
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D2footballjrc
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Re: Hardware Controller?

Funny enough I've been looking at the raspberry pi and maybe the intel NUC for this reason.
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mopificius
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Re: Hardware Controller?

I can't figure out a way currently to run MongoDB on the raspberry pi is the problem I'm running into. MongoDB is required by UniFi.
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FreenetAntennas
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Re: Hardware Controller?

+100

While AirVision is not a candidate for an embedded controller type solution, UniFi and mFi are.

There is customer demand for a Rocket-sized device that has just power and ethernet and just runs the UniFi controller (and I presume the mFi in the future). Had a discussion just yesterday with a UniFi customer that spent way too long fighting these battles:

  • Learning how to instal Linux, and then UniFi
  • Getting staff trained to NOT turn off the headless PC that was his contoller


So what was his UniFi impression: "Yeah good but took way too long to setup".

Don't forget "Setup" to him means:

  • Sourcing a suitably speced PC (It is not easy to find out if the host needs to be a basic PC, or a high spec PC)
  • Installing Linux
  • Installing UniFi, and then finally..
  • Using the UniFi controller

He said he would have loved to buy an appliance that ran the controller. Would have saved him many hours. And time is money.
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mhoppes
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Re: Hardware Controller?

I'm going to let you in on a little secret... rumor has it there will be a stand-alone (possibly rackmount) controller for at least UniFI pretty soon..... maybe mFi as well. I'll say no more. It might be Ubiquiti sanctioned, but might not be.
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FreenetAntennas
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Re: Hardware Controller?

I certainly hope so.
And I hope that person sells them in huge volume, and makes tons of money.
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mhoppes
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Re: Hardware Controller?

Let's say target price is below the NUC :manwink:
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mopificius
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Re: Hardware Controller?

That would be great. Being able to rack and turn the stuff of would make integration for most people go about 10x faster. What if they even created a rackmount 5 Port ToughSwitch that has an embedded controller?
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mhoppes
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Re: Hardware Controller?

The TS doesn't have enough memory or processor power.
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mopificius
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Re: Hardware Controller?

I know the ToughSwitch doesn't, what I was trying to say is: What if they created a controller with a built in small PoE switch.
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mhammett
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Re: Hardware Controller?

Just pick up a mini-ITX system from somewhere. That'll do UniFi well enough. However, I prefer to see systems going up to VMWare hosted systems vs. individualized hardware systems. More reliable that way.
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mopificius
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Re: Hardware Controller?

That isn't exactly cost effective. I am talking about when you setup a customer with just a few Access Points and they don't have any reliable means to host the controller 24/7. I'm sure that the UniFi controller needs next to nothing for hardware resources, so a Mini ITX system would actually be overkill and more expensive. I am looking for something about the size of a zonedirector 1000 (and rackmountable of course) and under $100.
I'm sure that if the Raspberry PI for $25 can run Debian Linux than Ubiquiti should be able to come out without something in that price range.
The whole point of this would be to able to unbox the unit, rack it, plug it in, power it on, point your web browser to 192.168.1.200 (or something else), put in the default user and password, and let a wizard do the rest. This way anybody can setup their own hardware controller.
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FreenetAntennas
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Re: Hardware Controller?

+1
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mhoppes
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Re: Hardware Controller?

+5 :manhappy:. Keep watching....
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mhammett
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Re: Hardware Controller?

You can't setup a VPN with a Mikrotik?
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mopificius
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Re: Hardware Controller?

You can't setup a VPN with a Mikrotik?

Again, that would still require having an offsite controller. Sometimes that isn't an option, or isn't desirable.
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mhammett
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Re: Hardware Controller?

I think you're just being obtuse. Won't evaluate third party options, won't consider alternatives.
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