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2 Asian Institutions Overhaul WiFi

Two universities--one in India and the other in Thailand--have replaced legacy networks with wireless networks running Aruba Networks components.

Acharya Institutes, which consists of 10 educational institutions and seven research centers, has replaced multiple 802.11a/b/g networks that ran on Aruba, HP, and Apple hardware at its Bangalore Soldevanahalli campus. The new Aruba network, which includes 802.11n access points in the mix, consolidates what had been disparate systems.

"Laptop usage increased threefold over the past three years, and the demand for pervasive network access across the campus by increasingly mobile users was growing daily," said Ramesh Babu, head of the Systems and Computer Science Department. "Our site had different WiFi networks in the academic buildings, library, and pre-university facilities. The network refresh presented an opportune time to both consolidate everything into a single unified network while moving to a high-speed 802.11n network that would meet our needs into the future."

After working with older Aruba network equipment for three years "without so much as a single problem," IT gravitated to the vendor for its latest update. Acharya purchased an Aruba 3600 controller, which accommodates up to 8,192 users and 128,000 sessions; 100 AP-61 802.11a/b/g and AP-105 802.11n wireless access points; and 100 PowerDsine Power over Ethernet Midspan Power Injectors.

Network administrators use a single console to manage security, configuration, and radio frequency parameters, Babu said, "minimizing training and simplifying system operation." When these factors were coupled with Aruba's "strong local support team," he said, it was "the logical choice for our campus-wide 802.11n network."

Thailand's Khon Kaen University Faculty of Medicine has deployed Aruba hardware to support X-ray image archiving, healthcare and drug dosage record access, and Internet access for 2,000 staff members and 1,200 students. The new system, deployed by Aruba partner World Information Technology Co., replaces legacy Cisco and 3COM access points. It consists of a 3400 Mobility Controller, 64 AP-61 access points, and the AirWave Wireless Management Suite for network management..

"We took advantage of a recent network refresh cycle to significantly upgrade our wireless infrastructure to address three primary concerns: [reliability of] facility-wide wireless connectivity to an increasingly mobile base of users; best-in-class network security and user policy management; and improved operations management of the entire network," said Potchavit Aphinives, associate professor of the university's Department of Surgery. "Our new network serves far more users in more locations and delivers better WiFi service than our legacy system, and yet it's much simpler to manage."

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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