London Business School Extends Wireless Network
- By Dian Schaffhauser
London Business School is revamping its wireless network to address 802.11n. Built by Aruba Networks partner Pervasive Networks, the expansion will extend the current deployment of about 140 dual radio AP65 access points, which deliver 802.11a/b/g to include Aruba AP 125 dual radio access points that deliver 801.11a/b/g/n. The access points are controlled by two Aruba 5000 series mobility controllers.
"Incoming students expect wireless connectivity everywhere, and as a result network performance can significantly affect a school's reputation," said James Brookes, director of IT. "Our students are professionals with deep experience in the corporate world, and we want them to have an enterprise-class wireless service that is at least as good as what they experience at their own companies. Our Aruba WiFi solution does just that--it exceeds expectations."
The network, which typically supports about 300 concurrent users, replaced a previous wireless network that the school found didn't integrate well into its security environment. Also, the institution is located in North London, an area with a multitude of other wireless networks in the vicinity, creating problems with co-channel and radio frequency interference. The Aruba hardware, initially put in about two years ago, integrates a proprietary technology called "Adaptive Radio Management," which manages channel usage and power settings, load balances the number of users on any particular access point, and limits the throughput of any single user to make sure that everyone has equitable access.
"The network is exceptionally reliable, the radios adapt automatically to avoid interference emanating from our many neighbors, and the system adjusts dynamically to the changing user population to ensure everyone always has enough bandwidth," reported the singly-named Tomo, a senior network engineer at the School. "We spend less than half a day a month on wireless operations management, freeing IT to focus on school-related business."
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.