Portsmouth U Deploys Wireless LAN Management Platform

Portsmouth University has deployed Aruba Networks' AirWave Management Platform (AMP) version 6.0 at its UK campus. The AMP platform provides a visual representation of the 220 access points in the campus' wireless network. It also allows the IT staff to run status reports on-demand for auditing purposes. Prior to deploying AMP, Portsmouth determined network status by checking each individual wireless controller using the syslog utility.

"Before we deployed the AMP solution, we didn't know exactly how many concurrent wireless connections were active at any given time or how much traffic load was presented to each of the wireless access points," said James Holland, network team manager. "[Aruba] provided us with an evaluation system for a month, and we were impressed both with the ease of deployment and the offered reporting and visual interfaces. We're now fully deployed and I can state categorically that AMP has taken the guess work out of wireless management and given us new insights into the operation and optimization of our wi-fi network."

Version 6 of the software supports 802.11n products from major hardware providers, which allows administrators to manage new infrastructure from the same console used for the legacy wireless LAN. Dedicated help desk views and incident management provide automated diagnostics and integrates with leading service desk solutions for incident tracking and resolution. Wired and wireless LAN monitoring analyzes the status of routers, switches, authentication servers, and existing management servers. An intelligent capacity planning feature helps determine where the wireless network is approaching capacity so expansion can be managed.

A statement about the deployment said that upon commissioning the AMP platform, Portsmouth U noticed that some access points were over-subscribed and others were unused. For example, one access point was routinely seeing 42 simultaneous connections, indicating the need for additional coverage in that area.

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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