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Brewster Academy Upgrades Wireless LAN To Accommodate More Mobile Devices

Brewster Academy, an independent college preparatory school in Wolfeboro, NH, has completed implementation of phase one of its new enterprise-grade 802.11n wireless local area network (WLAN), which delivers secure WiFi access to all of the school's academic areas. Phase two will expand coverage to the rest of the 80-acre campus, including 20 residence halls, and should be complete in July 2013.

School administrators decided to upgrade the WiFi to accommodate the increasing number of smartphones, tablets, and laptops being brought onto campus by the school's 358 students, 175 faculty and staff, as well as guests. In selecting the new WLAN system, the school's IT staff were looking for a solution that was easy to manage and troubleshoot; provided secure, differentiated access for students, faculty, staff, and guests; and allowed users to register their own devices on the network.

The IT department worked with Adaptive Communications, a value-added reseller, designer, and installer of enterprise data networking, enterprise storage, and information security solutions to review WLAN solutions from Xirrus, Juniper, Meru, Aerohive, and Aruba Networks. The IT department opted for an AirWave Network Management System and ClearPass Access Management System, both from Aruba Networks.

Phase one of the implementation uses 130 Aruba AP 105 wireless access points (APs), AirWave, and ClearPass to support the school's academic areas, and phase two will add 145 more APs to support the remainder of the campus. According to the company, Aruba's AirWave enables the school's IT department to identify who is on the network, where they are accessing the network, the mobile devices they are using, and how much bandwidth is being consumed by specific devices. ClearPass provides devices with secure access to the network and ensures that each user has appropriate access privileges based on who they are and what devices they're using.

The new WLAN will help support the school's 1:1 initiative, which provides students and faculty with Apple MacBook Pro laptops to access the Moodle learning management system (LMS), Google Apps for Education, custom wikis, curricular file servers, and classroom management systems. The school also plans to use the WLAN to pilot new iPad and Apple TV testing programs.

Further information about Aruba AirWave Network Management System and ClearPath Access Management System is available at arubanetworks.com.

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at leilameyer@gmail.com.

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