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Engineering University Expands WiFi Network Across 11 Campuses

The Arts et Métiers ParisTech, a French engineering university founded in 1780, has deployed Aruba Networks' wireless gear at 11 campus locations. The new wireless LANs link the campus community to network resources and also provide guest Internet access to visitors. The multi-campus deployment was undertaken by Aruba partner and wireless LAN specialist Bluesafe.

The new networks, which use about 90 access points from Aruba, enable users to move between the multiple campuses with authentication and access rights consistently and uniformly applied on the wireless network. Additionally, the new Aruba networks interoperate with the Education Roaming (eduroam) authentication service, a secure international roaming service for European research and educational institutions. The eduroam network interconnects the RADIUS authentication servers of its member establishments, enabling traveling scholars to connect to the network of other member schools using their own identification information and without establishing a visitor account.

"We wanted to continue ensuring optimum security within our campuses and Aruba made this possible," said Sylvain Ricard who heads up the university's wireless project. "Aruba's integrated ICSA-certified firewall implements and manages user profiles and access, while strong WPA2 encryption means that data are always secure. Of course, security is for naught if the network isn't reliable, and Aruba's adaptive WiFi technology optimizes both client and network performance in real-time without any manual intervention by my team. No site surveys, no tweaking--it just works. Bluesafe's applications expertise, and their willingness to address our specific deployment needs, made the commissioning process uneventful."

With one exception, each campus has an Aruba Multi-Service Mobility Controller and wireless access points. One smaller remote site is networked using Aruba's Remote Access Point (RAP) technology, a low-administrative replacement for a virtual private network.

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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