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University of Maryland Upgrades Wireless Network to Authenticate 80,000 Devices Campuswide Daily

The University of Maryland (UMD) has chosen Hewlett Packard's HPE Aruba Networking Edge Services Platform as its campuswide networking solution. Serving the institution's 1,300-acre campus, the new network includes Wi-Fi 6E wireless access points (APs) and CX wired switches, all powered by AI. The university is expected to save millions of dollars over the new infrastructure's lifespan.

The network will modernize connectivity across the university's entire footprint for the "skyrocketing number of mobile, connected, and IoT devices" used daily — currently numbering 80,000 endpoints, according to a news announcement. It will enable the institution to "secure, centrally manage, and maximize the performance of hundreds of thousands of endpoints, while minimizing costs and IT overhead."

The network infrastructure will include:

Mark Addy, UMD's executive director of systems and networking, said the new infrastructure will improve cybersecurity for the tens of thousands of devices ClearPass authenticates every day, but will also reduce IT overhead.

He said UXI AI monitoring had already identified a problem on the distant agriculture campus, proactively notified IT of it and that it was affecting another building, even though users hadn't yet notified them. This allowed IT to fix both facilities at once, saving them a four-hour round trip.

Other savings will be possible also, Addy said.

"For example, we expect to cut our legacy VLANs by about 90%," he noted. "Among the savings will be refocusing the three full-time engineers who currently administer VLANs manually onto higher-value projects, such as enhancing the at-home network experience for residential students and deploying a more seamless IoT adoption strategy."

For more information on HPE Aruba Networking, real-time updates can be found on the infrastructure's X/Twitter and Facebook pages. Those interested in current technical discussions can visit the Airheads Community.

About the Author

Kate Lucariello is a former newspaper editor, EAST Lab high school teacher and college English teacher.

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