Ohio University Selects Aruba Networks to Tackle Wi-Fi Density and Application Performance for Bring-Your-Own-Technology (BYOT)
Nov 08, 2012 (Close-Up Media via COMTEX) --
Aruba Networks, Inc. announced that Ohio University (OHIO), a 2012 Forbes best college, is deploying an Aruba 802.11n wireless LAN to accommodate the growing Bring Your Own Technology (BYOT) challenge, and to directly address the significant increase in users, mobile devices, and new applications hitting the network.
According to a release, with a 1,773-acre main campus in Athens, Ohio, five regional campuses, two satellite centers, and an e-learning presence, Ohio University serves a diverse student body of 36,000 undergraduate, graduate, and medical students across southeast Ohio. During the past few years, OHIO has seen an increase in the BYOT trend that began on university campuses, with a dramatic surge in the number of mobile devices connecting to the network. In fact, the number of mobile or wireless devices has grown to approximately two per student and exceeds two for faculty and staff.
Although the university's IT department had done a good job ensuring that its existing, multi-vendor 802.11 a/b/g wireless network covered the campus end-to-end, they realized that the network could not handle the increasing number of users and devices connecting - as many as 32,000 at any given time - as well as the high density of users requiring connectivity in classrooms, residence halls and common areas. Based on the success of a pilot deployment of Aruba's wireless LAN solution in five campus buildings, the university decided to move forward with a full campus installation which will include 4,500 Aruba AP-105, AP-124 and AP-135 access points and 16 Aruba M3 controllers when completed. The University is also using Aruba's AirWave network management system for monitoring, reporting and control of the network.
"Wireless is by far the most popular access method on our campus and students are bringing more mobile devices to campus than ever before," said Brice Bible, Chief Information Officer, Ohio University. "We recognize that giving our students, staff and faculty seamless coverage across the entire campus - from classroom to dorm room - is not only a selling point for the university, but a way to enhance the educational experience and improve the productivity, efficiency and satisfaction of our users."
Aruba's wireless LAN solution allowed OHIO to address its need for wireless coverage. It was also instrumental in providing wireless Internet on short notice when President Obama gave an outdoor speech to over 14,000 spectators on the university's College Green on October 17. OHIO network engineers deployed a temporary hot spot on the press podium for 175 reporters and security personnel via two Aruba access points. Three additional access points were deployed around the venue to provide access to students, faculty and staff in the audience.
With the new wireless LAN, Ohio University has enabled applications across campus. Increasingly, professors are using mobile devices in the classroom as teaching tools and are asking students to use their devices for enhanced learning. The university has a number of classrooms that mix students who are physically in the class with distance learners connected via web-conferencing. The university's Alden Library has a mobile application that lets students request, search and renew items, as well as view materials and circulation records. In addition, the Academic Research Center, a collaborative effort between the Colleges of Engineering and Medicine, was designed to utilize the university's new high-speed wireless connectivity giving students access to virtual labs, classroom content and collaboration tools. Finally, the university's Baker Student Center uses the network for secure, wireless point-of-sale transactions. Beyond these applications, the university's IT department is developing a complete mobile application strategy to fully leverage the new Aruba WLAN.
"Ohio University is a perfect example of how wireless technology has evolved and is being used to address the onslaught of new mobile devices and applications flooding university networks," said Gerry Festa, director, industry solutions marketing for Aruba Networks. "With Aruba's high-performing, highly reliable wireless LAN, Ohio University can give its students and faculty access to applications and resources that enhance the educational experience. Universities that recognize the importance of a comprehensive wireless and mobile strategy will have a clear advantage in today's education market."
In terms of future network expansion, Ohio University expects to extend wireless access by February, 2013, to its athletic facilities including Peden Football Stadium, Peden Tower, where training rooms, coaches' offices and the press box are located, and the Convocation Center where basketball, volleyball and other sports compete. All locations on all campuses are expected to be complete by January 2014.
Aruba Networks is a provider of next-generation network access solutions for the mobile enterprise.
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