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Guest Blog: Migrating High Density University Networks to 802.11ac

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Joe Rogers, Associate Director of Network Engineering for the University of South Florida (USF). Hear Joe speak about his experiences with next-generation wireless in high density environments on next Tuesday’s webinar:  “Migrating Enterprise Networks to 802.11ac” at 10am PST (Dec 17) (Register here)

Joe RogersJoe Rogers is the Associate Director of Network Engineering for the University of South Florida.  He is a graduate of USF’s Computer Science and Engineering program and has worked as a network engineer at USF for the past 20 years.  He is currently responsible for all aspects of USF’s network which provides connectivity to over 100k devices across three campuses.  He’s held a CCIE routing and switching certification since 1999.  When not working, he’s an avid mountain biker (if you can call it “mountain” biking when you live in Florida).

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Universities face some of the most complex design challenges in wireless networking.  Our user population is highly mobile, bandwidth-hungry, and often simultaneously using at least two wireless devices in rooms with hundreds of their classmates.  The wireless network isn’t simply a convenience to them.  It’s critical to their educational success as many of the students are taking tests or working on assignments across the network.

At the University of South Florida, we support over 20,000 concurrent wireless users on our network of over 4,000 access points.  We have more than 90,000 unique devices registered this semester.  Our biggest challenge is designing the wireless network for the device densities in our large classrooms and popular study areas.  In these locations, we often have a thousand devices in a few hundred square feet of space.

We heavily rely on band select to place as many devices as possible on 5Ghz where more channels are available.  Unfortunately many devices such as older tablets and smart phones simply don’t have an 802.11a/n radio.  So we must carefully RF engineer the environment with smaller cells to provide the necessary coverage density. Read More »

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Is Your Nonprofit Using Human and Technology Networks to Multiply Impact?

April 10, 2012 at 9:23 am PST

Last week I had the privilege of attending the Nonprofit Technology Conference (NTC) in San Francisco. Hosted annually by the Nonprofit Technology Network, the conference is a gold mine of professional development and relationship-building opportunities for nonprofit staff who use technology for marketing, fundraising, operations, program delivery, and more.

Nonprofit Technology Conference

Cisco sponsored the Ignite Reception at NTC, where attendees had 5 minutes and 20 slides to talk about how their nonprofits are using technology.

Cisco’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) efforts operate at this intersection of human and technology networks, too. We know that by working with nonprofits, government agencies, or other businesses, we can accomplish much more than we could alone. And, by adding technology to the equation, we can multiply our impact even further.

Many nonprofits have similar experiences. They are collaborating--and using innovative, network-enabled technologies--to reach more people with better services.

If you work for a nonprofit that has used human and technology networks to multiply your impact, we want to hear your story.

Read More »

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