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Globe University rolls out innovation over Cisco WLAN

- September 30, 2014 - 0 Comments

For the past 125 years, Globe University has focused on hands-on training to ensure the career success of students offering associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees, as well as diploma and certificate programs.  A recent article from the magazine Campus Technology showcases how they are pioneers in adopting new technology in the classroom. They have a systematic program dubbed as edUX (Educational User Experience) to integrate tablets into every program they offer. In addition, they work with an e-book platform called VitalSource and use Blackboard technology in the classrooms. Students are also encouraged to use technology. For example, math and science instructors use videos from the Khan Academy, the business school recommends Twitter accounts and the librarian encourages using EasyBib for book citations.

Campus Technology

In the past few years Apple introduced mDNS services such as AppleTV, file servers and printers that use a Zero Config-based technology for service advertisement and discovery called Bonjour. While this technology works well in the home, which is a flat L2 network, when it is deployed in a K-12 or enterprise, it does not lend well over a L3 network. In 2013, Cisco introduced Bonjour Services Directory on the AireOS 7.4 and Service Discovery Gateway (SDG) on the Catalyst 3K, 4K, 6K and 5760 Series controllers with release IOS-XE 3.3. The future releases further optimized the functionality in 7.5 release, 8.0 release and IOS-XE 3.6 release. In this blog, I will share deployment details of unified access at Globe University and how they use Application Visibility and Control (Cisco AVC) to track applications in their network and the Bonjour Services Directory to manage AppleTVs in the classroom.

We spoke to Tom Umphress, IT director for networking and development, Nathan Lourido, network engineer, and Adam Hite, IT director at Globe University, who are responsible for maintaining the entire wired, wireless and voice infrastructure.


  • Located in: Globe University
    Globe University and the associated Minnesota School of Business, Broadview University, Institute of Production and Recording and Minnesota school of Cosmetology can be found in communities throughout Utah, Idaho, Minnesota, South Dakota, Wisconsin and online.
  • Infrastructure:
    • Catalyst Switches: 7K, 5K, 2K, 3560 and 2960
    • Access Points: 302 units of 3602
    • Wireless LAN Controller: 5508 operating on the release AireOS Considering upgrade to shortly. Planning to add an –HA Controller to operate as a standby controller and minimize downtime.
  • Management:
    • Cisco Prime Infrastructure is used to manage wired and wireless solutions. Plan to upgrade to PI 2.1.1 shortly.
  • User Devices:
    • A peak of 2,500 concurrent connected devices with approximately 10,000 unique devices on the overall network
  • 2 SSIDs per Campus:
    • The primary secured with 802.1x to ensure that students, faculty and staff are authenticated against the Active Directory via radius server
    • A guest network with Web Authentication for access

Application Visibility and Control:

The team enabled Application Visibility on for real-time view of application usage within the network. Of course with many mission critical applications offered over the iPad (95 percent of course materials), it was important to understand how much usage in the network is due to school coursework versus the other applications such as Facebook, iTunes and Pandora. They are considering Prime Assurance for historical data.


The Globe University team has deployed close to 500 Apple TVs — one per classroom. They use the Apple Profile Manager to manage AppleTVs to keep the network profile up-to-date e.g. Certificate Expiry. Once Apple supported 802.1x, they could reduce the number of SSIDs from three to two in the network.
One of the features from Cisco’s AireOS 7.5 release that they really like is the Local Specific Services. Teachers from the classroom receive a list of Apple TVs in their vicinity instead of those from the whole school. They are using the onscreen pincode now to protect the classroom and using the conference room mode (cannot mirror other apps to protect Not Safe For Work (NSFW) applications).

What’s next?

The team is exploring AireOS 8.0 for Bonjour per user group and location granular policies. In addition, they are also open to getting the Bonjour solution solved via Apple as listed in the Getting your WLAN ready for Google Android L and Apple iOS 8 blog.

The Globe University team had a fantastic quote about how they came about deploying the Cisco AireOS 7.5 network:

Cisco equipment worked well with third party infrastructure from Microsoft Radius Server to Apple tablets and AppleTVs. The Cisco Sales and support team really came through as the engineering team provided active updates within every two weeks of beta to ensure successful deployment.”

Interested in trying Bonjour Services Directory out at your school or office? Reach out to your local Cisco account team to get access to this code.


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