Aruba Networks delivers wireless access for more than 100,000 students at Indiana University

Lauren Williams's picture
Friday, June 7, 2013

Aruba Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ: ARUN), a leading provider of next-generation network access solutions for the mobile enterprise, today announced that Indiana University (IU), a major, multi-campus public research institution, is upgrading its wireless LAN across its two core campuses in Bloomington and Indianapolis, as well as all of its regional campuses, using Aruba’s wireless solutions. With the new wireless infrastructure, IU is addressing the increasing mobility needs of its 110,000+ students and 19,000 faculty who want to use both their personal and university-issued mobile devices across campus and in classrooms.

IU’s network needs have rapidly expanded over the past few years with students bringing an average of two to three devices onto campus and faculty wanting to use mobile devices in the classroom to engage and interact with students. In addition to giving students the freedom to connect their personal devices from anywhere on campus, IU needed a wireless infrastructure that could support its Oncourse Learning Management System (LMS). Oncourse provides a platform for teachers and students to keep track of assignments, tests and grades, and is critical for supporting the university’s distance education programs. With up to 80,000 users signing onto the system in a single day – most of who connect via the wireless network – the university needed to ensure that its infrastructure could provide stable, reliable and fast connectivity. The university also wanted to support innovative, new digital initiatives such as its eText program, which recently won a ComputerWorld Honors award. IU’s eText program has benefitted thousands of students by greatly reducing their textbook costs and allowing faculty to elevate the overall learning experience.

To satisfy its current and future wireless infrastructure needs, IU turned to Aruba, deploying a high availability design that combines Aruba mobility controllers, more than 5,200 Aruba AP-135 access points, and the AirWave Network Management System across the Bloomington and IUPUI campuses. Additionally, 200 Aruba AP-93 access points are being installed within each room of what was previously a campus hotel, now being converted to student housing.

According to Dennis Cromwell, IU associate vice president of enterprise infrastructure, Aruba delivered the best performance for the price of any of the wireless vendors the institution evaluated, and was able to provide the highly reliable connectivity the university needed to address the exponential growth of mobile devices on campus and in classrooms. “We have a very large student population and dense locations with hundreds of devices connected in small spaces, so stability, reliability and ease of monitoring and management were all important criteria in selecting our wireless infrastructure,” Cromwell said. “Aruba addressed all of our current needs, while giving us a path for supporting future requirements like upgrading to 802.11ac.”

Cromwell also noted that IU’s IT department has seen help desk calls cut in half since the Aruba wireless LAN was deployed. “We’ve been able to streamline monitoring and management of the wireless network, reducing the number of wireless-related support calls and thereby decreasing our overall IT costs.”

With the Aruba WLAN in place, IU foresees more of its teaching staff using wireless to further improve the educational experience. Stacy Morrone, IU associate vice president for teaching and learning and IT dean for IUPUI, commented, “Interest in the use of mobile devices to support instruction is increasing rapidly. Our faculty and staff want the freedom to move about their classrooms and engage with their students using mobile devices and other learning technologies. With reliable and high-performing wireless on campus, these enhanced educational activities are finally possible. It’s an exciting time for the university.”

The Aruba wireless LAN is currently deployed at the two core and one regional IU campus, with completion of the final sites expected in August 2013. Aruba is also installed in residence halls on the two main campuses. In addition, IU expects to leverage wireless for more applications in the future, including unified communications. The university already uses Microsoft Lync for voice over IP and videoconferencing and expects to expand its use of Lync and other value-added applications in the near future.

About Indiana University

Founded in 1820, Indiana University is a major public research institution with 110,000 students across eight campuses in the state. IU is a recognized leader in higher education information technology. Its University Information Technology Services unit develops and maintains a modern IT environment throughout the university in support of IU's vision for excellence in research, teaching, outreach, and lifelong learning. UITS provides tools and services to support the academic and administrative work of the university, including a high-speed campus network with wireless access, central web hosting, a rich selection of free and low-cost software for personal use, tools and support for instruction and research, and supercomputers for data analysis and visualization. All areas of UITS work together to support IU in its use of information technology, earning IU a place in Computerworld's 100 Best Places to Work in IT 2010 and 2011. For more information about Indiana University, see http://www.indiana.edu.

About Aruba Networks, Inc.

Aruba Networks is a leading provider of next-generation network access solutions for the mobile enterprise. The company’s Mobile Virtual Enterprise (MOVE) architecture unifies wired and wireless network infrastructures into one seamless access solution for corporate headquarters, mobile business professionals, remote workers and guests. This unified approach to access networks enables IT organizations and users to securely address the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) phenomenon, dramatically improving productivity and lowering capital and operational costs.

Listed on the NASDAQ and Russell 2000® Index, Aruba is based in Sunnyvale, California, and has operations throughout the Americas, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific regions. To learn more, visit Aruba at http://www.arubanetworks.com. For real-time news updates follow Aruba on Twitter and Facebook, and for the latest technical discussions on mobility and Aruba products visit Airheads Social at http://community.arubanetworks.com.