All Meru controllers run the same System Director operating system. This implements Air Traffic Control, the technology that tightly synchronizes access points to avoid interference and governs all traffic on the network. Important differentiators include
- Client control without add-on software. Most controllers merely manage access points, giving them control over downstream traffic only. Meru's also governs upstream traffic from clients. Unlike other vendors who claim to be able to control clients, Meru requires no proprietary client-side software or compatibility extensions.
- Airtime Fairness. The network's airtime is distributed evenly among clients and between the upstream and downstream directions, ensuring predictable performance. In mixed mode networks, each client negotiates its own data rate with the controller so that legacy clients do not slow down the entire network.
- Network-initiated roaming. Other vendors' controllers force clients to guess which access point they should connect to. With Meru, the controller is in charge, using its network-wide awareness to route client packets to the most appropriate access point.
- Modular OS. System Director's modular architecture makes it easy for Meru to add advanced new optional features for specific applications. Modules already available include Voice Services, Video Services, N+1 Redundancy, Mesh, per-user Policy Enforcement and physical security through AirFirewall and RFBarrier.
- Easy upgrades. Additional modules can be activated simply by purchasing a license key.
- Physical security. Meru is the only wireless LAN vendor that offers the option of physical security. The AirFirewall module drops unwanted packets while still in-flight, preventing attackers from reaching the network at all. The RFBarrier module makes a network invisible outside a predetermined geographic area,
- Choice of deployment options. Controllers are available as standalone appliances or as a chassis-based appliance. They can be deployed in a datacenter or at individual branch offices.
Meru's controllers support from five to thousands of access points. Available as individual appliances or as blades in a chassis, they can be located at a branch office or a corporate datacenter. All controllers run the same System Director operating system. They can be managed either individually or through Meru's industry-leading E(z)RF application suite.