Networking & Wireless | News
Indiana U Upgrades Wireless LAN Across All Campuses
Indiana University (IU) is upgrading the wireless local area network (LAN) at all of its campuses. The deployment of 5,200 wireless access points and supporting systems is intended to improve mobile device access for its 110,000 students and 19,000 faculty. The project should be finished by August.
The university has seen a rapid increase in the number of mobile devices connecting to the network over the past few years. Up to 80,000 users sign on to the system each day, mostly by WiFi. Students bring an average of two to three devices each onto campus, and faculty have started using wireless devices in the classroom to support teaching and learning.
"Interest in the use of mobile devices to support instruction is increasing rapidly," said Stacy Morrone, IU associate vice president for teaching and learning and IT dean for Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, in a prepared statement. "Our faculty and staff want the freedom to move about their classrooms and engage with their students using mobile devices and other learning technologies. With reliable and high-performing wireless on campus, these enhanced educational activities are finally possible. It's an exciting time for the university."
The new wireless network is a high-availability system from Aruba Networks. It includes Aruba mobility controllers, more than 5,200 Aruba AP-135 access points, and the AirWave network management system at the Bloomington and IUPUI campuses, as well as 200 Aruba AP-93 access points in student housing. Deployment has already been completed at the two main campuses and one regional campus, and the remaining sites will be upgraded by August 2013.
According to a news release from the company, calls to the university's IT help desk have been cut in half since the new wireless network was installed.
The Aruba system provides wireless access from anywhere on campus and improves mobile access to the university's Oncourse learning management system (LMS), which enables students and faculty to keep track of assignments, tests, and grades. It also supports digital learning initiatives, such as the university's eText program for electronic textbooks.
The university plans to expand its wireless usage in the future to include unified communications and other value-added applications. The university already uses Microsoft Lync for voice over IP and videoconferencing. The Aruba system also supports an upgrade path to 802.11ac, which the university may implement in the future.
Indiana University is a public research institution with two main campuses in Bloomington and Indianapolis, as well as six regional satellite campuses.
Further information about Aruba's wireless solutions can be found at arubanetworks.com.
Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.