Arcadia University deploys Aruba Networks WLAN to deliver campus-wide access

Infotech Lead America: Arcadia University has deployed an Aruba Networks wireless LAN to deliver campus-wide access to the institution’s students, staff, faculty and guests.


Aruba Networks enables Arcadia to improve coverage, reliability and performance across the university’s academic buildings, residence halls and outdoor areas. The University is expanding its bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy, allowing students, staff and faculty to connect to the network with their own personal devices.


Before installing the Aruba WLAN, Arcadia experienced problems with its existing wireless network including spotty, unreliable coverage, particularly in some residence halls and academic buildings wherein connections were frequently dropped.


“It was crucial for us to build a wireless network that could address the needs of our entire population of students, faculty, staff and administrators. We’ve expanded our outdoor footprint so that the main campus footprint has wireless coverage and simultaneously, we’ve experienced 100 percent up-time on the network since deploying in mid-January,” said Steven Alter, vice president and CIO, Arcadia University.


Arcadia deployed Aruba’s M3 mobility controllers, and 200 Aruba access points including AP-105s, AP-125s, AP-124s and AP-135s, as well as the Aruba RAP-2s which provide access for Arcadia’s remote users. In addition, Arcadia is using Aruba AirWave to manage the network and ClearPass Guest Access to enable the guest network.


A priority for Arcadia was continuing a liberal BYOD policy while ensuring security. To accommodate students while ensuring security for staff and faculty, and enabling guest access, Arcadia implemented three separate wireless networks: the student network requires device registration to ensure that devices are safe to connect and to allow students to receive updates and patches; a separate network allows Arcadia staff and faculty to access their applications and data safely and securely; finally, a third guest network allows visitors to connect to the Internet while on campus.


Using the new Aruba wireless LAN, Arcadia can offer innovative, new programs such as bringing its reference library directly to students. Once a week, Reference Librarians bring their laptops to the Commons area to provide immediate, on-site assistance, as an alternative service point. The new network has also allowed Arcadia to host a variety of academic conferences.


“Arcadia University is a great example of how the right wireless network foundation can enable not only a better working and learning environment for higher education faculty, students, and staff, but can elevate a campus to provide innovative, cutting-edge programs that benefit the entire community,” said Robert Fenstermacher, director of product and solutions marketing at Aruba Networks.


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