University of Cincinnati upgrades wireless LAN with Aruba Networks for 100% wireless campus

Lauren Williams's picture
Friday, June 21, 2013

Aruba Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ: ARUN), a leading provider of next-generation network access solutions for the mobile enterprise, today announced that the University of Cincinnati, a public research university, is upgrading its wireless LAN (WLAN) with Aruba solutions for 100% wireless coverage on campus. With the new wireless infrastructure, the University will offer pervasive access across its campuses, meeting the requests of students, faculty and staff for “anytime, anywhere” access to academic tools and resources. The new WLAN will also enable guest access for University visitors.

A key part of the University’s strategic plan, the WLAN upgrade is designed to enable wireless access in all of the University’s residence halls, academic buildings and administrative facilities as well as green spaces. The first phase of the upgrade, which delivers secure coverage across the University’s main campus, is now complete and supports 38,000+ simultaneously-connected unique mobile devices each day.

The University of Cincinnati selected Aruba for the upgrade after a thorough review of WLAN options from Aruba, Cisco and Meru Networks. The University then enlisted Cincinnati Bell Technology Solutions (CBTS) to manage the procurement. The new WLAN comprises 4,000 Aruba AP-135 and AP-125 access points (APs), Aruba mobility controllers, the Aruba ClearPass Access Management System with ClearPass Guest, and the Aruba AirWave Network Management System. Looking ahead, the University has plans to utilize Aruba’s AirGroup capability to support the Apple

AirPlay- and AirPrint-capable devices such as Apple TVs that are increasingly being used in classrooms, common areas and residence halls. Consistent with its commitment to providing meaningful, real-world work skills to its students, the University sponsored a senior design IT project simultaneous with the IT Department’s evaluation of WLAN options. Senior design students assessed the University’s WLAN needs and requirements, researched available options, and tested them. After a technical “bake off” of competitive options, the students came to the same conclusion as the IT department, selecting Aruba as the best solution.

“We are seeing the consumerization of higher education with the growing Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend, where students are bringing their personal devices onto campus for their individual, private use as well as for their academic coursework. As a leading educational facility, we have to have the infrastructure to support these devices and ensure that all of our users have wireless access wherever they want it, whenever they want it,” said Diana Noelcke, Interim Assistant Vice President, Network and Telecommunications Services for the University of Cincinnati. “Prospective students and guests are making decisions about our University based on the excellence of our wireless coverage and its ease of use, including the quality of guest access that we deliver, and we have to meet and exceed their expectations.”

In addition to the growing BYOD trend, the University of Cincinnati is seeing the dynamics of its classrooms change, with a growing number of iPads and Apple TVs being used for instructional purposes. In the past, faculty members directed students’ attention to an overhead projector or SMART Board and the students would take notes. Now, students can access instructional materials on their mobile devices to manipulate and work closely with the information, immersing themselves in the lesson. Furthermore, in the fall of 2013, the University’s College of Nursing will implement an iPad strategy, wherein all sophomores will be required to have iPads. The entire curricula will be built around the iPads and will mimic the real-world use of mobile devices in the hospitals, nursing homes, surgeries and pharmacies where students will likely work upon graduation.

The new WLAN also supports a wide range of important applications, including the University’s Blackboard Learning Management System (LMS), OhioLINK, which is one of the largest digital library repositories in the country, UCFileSpace, a collaborative, virtual storage space for students, and the University’s E-text program, which delivers electronic textbooks to reduce costs and speed delivery times. The WLAN also supports the University’s membership in EduRoam, the secure, world-wide roaming access service developed for the international research and education community.

“The investment we are making in wireless access across all three of our campuses is important for our future as a leading research university,” continued Noelcke. “Enabling our students, faculty, staff and guests to easily access important digital resources and academic tools supports our innovative teaching, learning and research endeavors.”

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.