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College Prerequisite: Wireless 101 @ University of Louisville

September 10, 2012 - 1 Comment

My dad went to UC Berkeley for engineering, and he always told us that his college life was the definition of minimalist: all he needed was his books, the library, and his intramural volleyball team, dubbed “Open Set” by his teammate (who was a math major). He is currently helping my sister move into her freshman dorm, and you’d be amazed by his current expectations for colleges. Of course they need to have cafeterias serving international fare. Of course they need to have gyms with ellipticals, treadmills, and pools. Of course they need to have libraries with state of the art resources. Of course he, and his child, should be able to get Wi-Fi on their smartphone and laptop in each of those places and everywhere in between! And that’s just what the PARENTS are thinking.

Just like the cafeterias, the gyms, and the libraries, wireless connectivity is not just something that would be nice to have, but a requirement to keep current and prospective students (and their parents, AND their multiple devices) satisfied.

IT organizations all across the world are faced with a ubiquitous challenge of how to handle the implications of BYOD. Corporations have the luxury of implementing a top down approach, defining and enforcing policies amongst its workforce; but  other environments, especially schools and universities, are faced with additional pressures from their user populations. Higher education in particular poses stringent demands on support and bandwidth for their own devices.

Meet the University of Louisville, 22,250 students strong. The problem: a legacy network unable to meet the current requirements of today’s higher education campuses. With 6400 faculty and staff across 8.5 million square feet and 114 buildings across three campuses, the growing organization needed a strong, stable, scalable, wireless solution.

With the new trend towards BYOD, increasing expectations from the higher education community, and an outdated legacy network, the University of Louisville was challenged to meet the wireless expectations of its students, community members, and visitors. It had become increasingly evident that pervasive wireless is a key differentiator to many stakeholders in higher education and it was clear that the University of Louisville administration had to commit to, and fund, the establishment and maintenance of a pervasive, secure, and technologically adept wireless environment to handle the proper access to appropriate resources using any device, from any location, at any time.

The University of Louisville chose to migrate to the Cisco Unified Wireless Network. Read more about the technology deployed in the Case Study.

By deploying a Cisco Unified Wireless Network solution, the university was able to achieve full benefits enabled by the integrated network management products: Cisco 3350 Mobility Services Engine, for full visibility of interference and rogues to fully capture the benefits of CleanAir; and Cisco Prime Network Control System, for converged wired, wireless, and security policy management.

Only Cisco can provide an end-to-end wireless solution for optimized user experience and ease of network management. With Cisco’s innovative technologies, the University of Louisville can now:

  • Deploy high-performance 802.11n wireless network in all buildings and common areas
  • Support any mobile device the students or parents may choose to bring to the campus
  • Provide high-density coverage for high-traffic areas – like the library during finals
  • Simplify troubleshooting for network administrators
  • Deliver better quality of experience for students and faculty

There is a greater demand for strong wireless performance now more than ever before. The movement towards BYOD is undeniable and organizations need to know how to provide the right solution to meet the growing demands of the user populations, while maintaining their control over compliance and usage. Cisco’s technologies integrate seamlessly into flexible and scalable solutions for any enterprise so any user can connect to the resources they need.

You can read about the details of the wireless upgrade in our case study.

Is your organization facing the challenge of BYOD deployment? How are you solving them? Let us know!


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