Pepperdine U Upgrades WiFi with Xirrus Arrays

Pepperdine University has deployed 161 Xirrus XS8 WiFi Arrays (1,288 radios) at its 830-acre Malibu, CA campus. The XS8 WiFi Array integrates eight radios and high-gain directional antennas in one device, along with an onboard gigabit switch, WiFi controller, firewall, and dedicated WiFi threat sensor, which, the vendor said, dramatically reduces the number of devices, cables, and switch ports required to achieve a comparable range of WiFi service.

"Anyone deploying WiFi in a university setting is foolish not to evaluate Xirrus. They engage like an expert consultant, execute like a full service integrator, and work alongside you right up to the end--making sure you are successful," said Tim Chester, CIO of Pepperdine. "We were in the midst of a WiFi implementation with another vendor when I noticed the project costs getting out of control due to the use of a predictive site survey rather than an active site survey. I called in Xirrus and within days they had accomplished a comprehensive free site survey, delivered a plan to execute to, and backed it up with a guarantee and a price that allowed us to deliver more and stay within budget."

A predictive site survey uses floor plans and software to estimate the coverage, placement, and amount of equipment required. Active site surveys use WiFi products in the actual environment where the network is to be deployed to measure the exact coverage, performance, placement, and amount of equipment required.

"Coverage alone is not a sufficient condition for wireless 'device rich' environments. For example, one of our six-student dormitory suites on average contains six laptops, two desktops, six mobile phones, several wireless music systems, and several wireless video gaming systems," Chester said. "To successfully meet end user demand in a 'device rich' environment like this you must implement a dense radio design and operate on as many channels as possible to deliver the maximum amount of throughput possible. Xirrus is the only manufacturer that we felt was up to this challenge."

Pepperdine U has about 8,300 students in five colleges and schools.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at dian@dischaffhauser.com or on Twitter @schaffhauser.

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