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Staying Connected at Northern Kentucky University

July 3, 2014 at 9:07 am PST

Northern Kentucky University is among the fastest growing universities in Kentucky. It hosts over 15,000 students with about 13,000 undergraduate and 2,000 graduate students. The goal of the wireless program at NKU is to provide secure, robust and ubiquitous wireless access throughout the campus, both indoors and outdoors. This ensures that students always stay connected and feel at home. The classrooms are equipped with smart technology to ensure that the teachers can benefit from technology when collaborating with students. The IT team has blanketed the libraries, the classrooms, the dorm-rooms as well as the outdoor areas with Wi-Fi. In the previous blog in 2012, we described how the Cisco 7.5 release allows networks to recover with no client re-authentication in the rare event of your primarily wireless LAN controller goes down.

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At a Glance:

Located in: the Highland Heights Kentucky

Number of students: 15,000 of which about 2000 stay in residence halls

Number of teachers/staff: 2000

# WLAN clients: Approximately 8500 concurrent clients

Access-Point Model and Units:  1200 units of AP models including AP702W, 3502, 3602, 3702, 1550 and a few older Access Points which are being phased out

Controller Model and Units: 2 Pairs of WiSM2 operating in 7.6.120.0

Switch Models: Various models 2960, 3650, 3850, 3750X and 6500

Prime Infrastructure: 1.4.2

Mobility Services Engine: 7.6

 Deployment Details: We talked to Christopher Johnson, the Senior Infrastructure Systems Analyst II at Northern Kentucky University to capture some of his thoughts around their choice of this solution and the associated benefits. Read More »

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Naughty or Nice: Cisco Wireless Rewards Release 7.6 Innovations to All

Deloitte’s 2013 Annual Holiday survey came out with some staggering statistics:

  • Nearly 7 in 10 shoppers will use their smartphones and tablets to shop this holiday season.
  • Nearly half of all shoppers will use social media to assist in shopping.
  • 73% of shoppers will be influenced by coupons and promotional offers.

Retailers both online and in-store can no longer ignore the power of mobile technology and social media influence with shoppers. Shoppers using mobile devices inside stores are actually more likely to make a purchase when being presented with the right information. In fact, this isn’t only true for retailers, but across all industries. Whether it’s guests, visitors, patients or passengers, there’s a real opportunity for businesses to make an impression via the mobile device.

Today I am happy to announce our latest Cisco Wireless Software Release 7.6. As you may recall from Sujai Hajela’s State of Cisco WLAN blog earlier this week, Cisco’s Wireless group has been ahead of the competition with our dedication to delivering cutting edge, high performing technology to our customers.

Many features in Release 7.6 were designed specifically to enable our customers to take advantage of the latest mobile trends. Here are some of the highlights:

Connected Mobile Experiences (CMX)

CMX for Facebook Wi-Fi is a joint Cisco -- Facebook solution for guest Wi-Fi. Read More »

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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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[Cartoon Catalyst Blog Series] K-12 BYOD. Secure Students, Determine Internet Access, and Yet Provide Awesome Network Performance?

Students bounding into schools touting the latest device is creating big problem for K-12 IT departments. How can schools support BYOD initiatives while securing these mobile devices and the student information embedded within them if IT staff numbers aren't growing?

In his latest blog, K-12 BYOD. Secure Students, Determine Internet Access, and Yet Provide Awesome Network Performance?, Cisco’s Rahul Chohan discusses how Identity Services Engine policy deployment as a part of Cisco BYOD Solutions for K12 Education helps simplify mobile device security streamlines the IT security processes required to deploy BYOD. Rahul's blog covers how ISE helps protect minors, ensure performance, and simplify IT over the wired and wireless infrastructure. How exactly can it do this? You'll have to read his blog to find out.

For more on Cisco BYOD Solutions for K12 Education page.

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[Cartoon Catalyst Blog Series] K-12 BYOD. Secure Students, Determine Internet Access, and Yet Provide Awesome Network Performance?

So many students, so many devices, yet zero increase in number of IT staffers. The increasingly unbalanced ratio is enough to cause a few nightmares for any IT professional.  Luckily, supporting student IT requirements, while remaining secure, has become a bit simpler with Identity Service Engine (ISE)  Policy Deployment, part of Cisco BYOD Solutions for K12 Education.   With ISE, IT staffers can quickly add and support student’s devices like laptops, smart phones and tablets and at the same time ensure the protection of student information access, dynamically control who gets access to what and provide optimal network user experience.  You can be rest assured that we have your back while you balance it all.

K-12 TightRope1    

Protection of Minors – Let’s face it – K-12 means we’re talking about minors, so we need to tread quite carefully. Extending network access across wired and wireless opens education to a world of innovation; yet it also opens the network up to security threats. 64% of parents feel it is a schools responsibility to effectively teach students how to use their mobile devices safely [Info graphic].  Protection of access to and access by students is a high-priority.  It is critical to restrict access to confidential student records while making sure students get the right access to resources they need for learning. The ISE component of the  K12 BYOD Solution protects student information through secure,   role-based, application access – simply - over the wired and wireless infrastructure. Read More »

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