Westmont College Moves to 802.11n Wireless
- By Dian Schaffhauser
Westmont College in Santa Barbara, CA has selected equipment from Meraki to outfit its campus-wide, indoor/outdoor 802.11n network.
Westmont has about 1,350 students and 24 major buildings on its 111-acre campus. The college decided to upgrade to an all 802.11n network for two primary reasons. First, it had experienced a significant increase in mobile Internet usage among students and faculty and expects the trend to accelerate in the coming years. Westmont plans to use its 802.11n wireless network to support in-class and campus applications as well as providing Internet connectivity within residence halls and faculty residences. Second, Westmont's existing deployment didn't provide comprehensive indoor/outdoor coverage and wasn't user friendly.
"At Westmont we are moving to a cloud-based approach with as many of our IT initiatives as possible in order to improve reliability and performance, reduce cost, and allow an already busy IT staff to more effectively manage new IT infrastructure," said Reed Sheard, vice president and CIO of IT. "Meraki is unique in bringing the benefits of cloud computing to wireless networking. As a result, we will be able to move entirely to 802.11n and become one of the first colleges in the country to do so."
"With Meraki's Enterprise Cloud Controller, our deployment time will be cut in half and we can manage the entire network without adding new IT staff," Sheard added. "From enhancing the classroom experience to supporting special Westmont iPhone applications, we look forward to using the Meraki 802.11n network to make Westmont an even better place for students and faculty."
Novacoast, an IT professional services firm and a Meraki partner, is managing the installation of the new wireless network at Westmont. "Every college or university that is currently considering a campus-wide WiFi network from Cisco or Aruba should evaluate Meraki," said Adam Gray, the chief technical officer of Novacoast. "Meraki's performance, reliability, ease of management, extremely fast deployment, and unparalleled value is ideal for schools looking to get more from their IT investments."
Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @schaffhauser.