Brocade selected to upgrade WiFi network at Chevalier College

Brocade announced it has been selected to deliver high-performance WiFi network for Chevalier College, located near Bowral in the NSW Southern Highlands.

Powered by Brocade VCS Fabric technology, the infrastructure now boasts a highly automated, scalable, and resilient network.

The new network has enabled the college to increase its WiFi capacity by 400 percent, offering more than 1,100 students access to the college campus network from their own mobile devices for the first time.

The college had a campus-wide WiFi network in place for the last five years, but many areas were speed-limited to approximately 20 percent of capacity due to bottlenecks caused by our previous switching infrastructure, commented Adrian Burgess, Chevalier College’s IT manager.


“We wanted to increase capacity for students to be able to use their own mobile devices – in addition to nearly 900 desktop and tablet devices the school operates for staff and students – which meant we needed to upgrade our core and edge switches,” Burgess added.

The network upgrade was carried out with Brocade partner ASI Solutions. The implementation utilized Brocade VCS Fabric technology and Brocade VDX 6720 switches.

Brocade VDX switches are ideally designed for cloud data centers and form a self-managing Ethernet fabric, which in turn supports wire-speed 10 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) backbone connectivity. The flexible architecture allows the college to increase core network capacity by simply connecting to another Brocade VDX switch into the fabric, Brocade said.

To provide 1 GbE network access and to support WiFi access points, Chevalier College has also deployed Brocade ICX switches. These switches provide capabilities typical of enterprise-class chassis switches – such as support for virtual LANs and 10 GbE fiber uplinks, the company claims.

“Chevalier College is pioneering in terms of using Brocade VDX fabric switches for its school campus network core instead of a conventional chassis switch – and we are starting to see this becoming a lot more common,” said Gary Denman, senior director, Australia and New Zealand for Brocade.

According to Denman, the level of intelligence embedded in the fabric makes it different to network operation.

The network upgrade with 10 GbE backbone has improved the reliability and throughput, and there’s been a significant reduction in overall network latency.

“Despite students now bringing in their own laptops and tablets, people are commenting that the network is much faster. The Brocade solution is also very cost-effective. We’re enjoying 15 to 20 percent cost savings across the board,” said Burgess.

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