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Shanghai University Overhauls Wireless Network To Support Mac Systems

A Chinese university has upgraded its wireless networking to 802.11n across multiple campuses, moving to a system that will better support its Mac OS X systems and provide greater wireless coverage. For the deployment, the university used WiFi gear from Aruba Networks.

Shanghai University of Finance and Economics has deployed gear from Aruba Networks, as well as the company's AirWave Wireless Management Suite at four campuses. The new equipment replaces a legacy wireless network that, according to a statement from the vendor, didn't interoperate well with Apple Macintosh computers, provided limited wireless coverage, and was very difficult to manage.

"WiFi usage has been rising steadily over the past few years, and it simply outgrew the capacity and capabilities of our fat access point network," said Liu Hong, director of the Education Technology Center at the institution. "Our new Aruba system addresses all of these issues. It is designed to scale to support thousands of access points, all centrally managed, and it provides both state-of-the-art security and self-optimizing wireless that is tailor made for our multi-media electronic learning initiatives. We have laid the foundation for a network that can keep pace with the fast growth and dynamic learning environment of our four campuses for many years to come."

The deployment includes dual Mobility 6000 Controllers and hundreds of AP-105 and AP-125 802.11n access points mounted both indoors and outdoors. The AirWave Wireless Management Suite includes three modules: a management platform for a centralized view into network operations, a "rogue detection" application to locate unauthorized access points, and a location and mapping utility that generates a visual image of the network.

"The AirWave solution streamlines the way in which we handle routine management tasks such as updating controller configurations, software versions, and problem resolution," Liu added. "Our legacy system was unable to define parameters for different users, and as a consequence Macintosh users faced recurring log-on issues. The AirWave Suite provides our IT administrators with visibility into the entire wireless network. We can remotely check a user's log-on details and history trails, and if a problem is found, it can be resolved remotely."

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.

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