Carnegie Mellon Validates Production Xirrus 802.11n Network

Carnegie Mellon University has moved from beta to production status with its Xirrus WiFi network array. The beta project was initially announced in November 2007. At that time Xirrus said it would open up its Linux-based wi-fi array operating system (ArrayOS) to the university and participate in co-development of features and applications that include services such as device and network management, roaming pattern analysis, and usage pattern analysis.

The university's Wireless Andrew network was one of the first campus-wide wireless networks in the world and has been in operation since 1994. Currently, Wireless Andrew 2.0 provides service to 14,000 students, faculty, and staff across the university's main campus.

"Over 2,800 Xirrus 802.11abg+n integrated access points are now operational using only 350 Xirrus Wi-Fi Arrays," said Dan McCarriar, director of network and production services at CMU. "We chose Xirrus to be deployed in the most demanding areas of our campus, including the residence halls and buildings housing a variety of engineering and computer science programs, where performance needs continually spike and the types of applications and devices vary greatly."

"It's interesting to note that nearly 100 percent of this year's incoming freshmen who brought laptops had 802.11abg+n-capable wireless cards," McCarrier added. "We fully expect to see the total student population with 802.11n-capable notebooks climb to 50 percent next year. As the use of Xirrus 802.11n grows, we expect a reduction in use of wired network ports by end users, and even can foresee purchasing fewer 10/100 wired Ethernet switch ports during our next upgrade."

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a writer who covers technology and business for a number of publications. Contact her at dian@dischaffhauser.com.

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