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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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How does Cisco Backbone Switching help address BYOD, Mobility and Security Needs?

November 25, 2013 at 5:05 am PST

Cisco will host a live backbone switching webcast on Wed Dec 4, 2013 to discuss BYOD, mobility, security and how Cisco backbone switching addresses these customer needs. This is the second webcast in the Cisco switching webcast series. You can view the first one, Cisco access switching webcast, at any time as it is now an on-demand video.

This backbone switching webcast comes at a critical time, as BYOD and mobility are creating major impact to the workplace.  According to a recent study on BYOD and mobility,

  • 75% of employees think that the IT department should help secure personal devices used at work;
  • 63% of IT pros say the biggest network issue will be the increased bandwidth requirements;
  • 39% of them say that network latency is a problem because of mobile devices;
  • And 39% of them have seen serious issues tied to network performance as a result.

Read More »

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Designing the Next Generation Branch for Business Impact

register for webinarsThere is no denying the changing role of IT. The traditional govern and build approach is too slow for the new world of cloud and mobile computing.  IT departments, who once carefully metered out which services they would offer and how they would be delivered, are now being led by a completely new set of drivers.

The model has been upended: employees and customers now decide by proxy what they want and it falls upon IT to scramble and deliver it instantly.  These days the face of the technologist is your average high school student, retail shopper, hotel guest, hospital patient, and even branch office employee.   This “consumerization of IT” has transformed these beings into powerful, roaming, high-octane data seekers assuming connectivity at all times. In essence, they expect access to any application on any device from anywhere with a high quality experience. Read More »

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Is Your Branch Office Lean Enough?

CiscoAndStorMagic2Many branch offices rely on Cisco ISR G2 (Integrated Services Router, Gen 2) as their IT platform.  This router series delivers highly secure data, voice, video, and application services through a modular design.  This turns the router into a platform for WAN Optimization (through Cisco WAAS) and Application Visibility and Control, among other services.

When companies need to add a server into the mix at their branch, Cisco’s UCS E-Series is an obvious choice.  You basically have a server blade that can be inserted right into your router.  The E-Series is especially great for multisite organizations that have centralized IT but still need to host applications locally at their branch office. This need can come from performance requirements, survivability, or compliance, for example. Read More »

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Don’t Forget! Register for Webinar: 802.11ac in Higher Education

Curious about how to use 802.11ac in Higher Education and other high density wireless environments?

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Tomorrow, July 24, we are hosting another 802.11ac webinar, this one focused on Higher Education. We will feature Mark Denny, Cisco Product Manager from the Enterprise Mobility Group, who will provide an overview of 802.11ac, discuss the benefits of 802.11ac and provide a summary of Cisco’s 802.11ac Solutions. We will then have Greg Sawyer, the Manager of Communication Services at the University of New South Wales in Sydney Australia, discuss his experience with 802.11ac, the reason why he is deploying 802.11ac and the benefits he expects from this emerging technology.

The webinar is tomorrow, Wednesday, July 24th @ 3PM PDT. Here is the registration link. If you miss it, we will have it available on demand here shortly after. Also, if you missed last week’s 802.11ac Webinar for Healthcare, it is available in the dropdown on demand here.

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