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Law School Goes Without Controller in New Wireless Network

A public university with nearly 315,000 students has implemented a new wireless infrastructure in its law school. Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México in Mexico City deployed hardware from Aerohive Networks in its 74-acre Faculty of Law campus. This school serves 15,000 students and 1,600 faculty members.

The deployment is part of the law school's "Digital Faculty" initiative, a project to digitize and automate the storage and retrieval of law school documents. It also encompasses broad wireless availability for device usage, video conferencing, telephony, and other on-campus services.

Working with a Mexico-based systems integrator, Datateam Consulting, the law school drew up a shortlist of three vendors for its wireless components. The school chose Aerohive, according to Ruperto Patiño, the law school's director, because it "would provide the power we needed and it would be easy to administer with our tight IT resources."

Aerohive builds control intelligence into its access points, called "HiveAPs," eliminating the need for a wireless controller. According to the company, the Aerohive design enables HiveAPs to self-organize into groups, dubbed "hives," that share control information to handle aspects of wireless, such as roaming and radio frequency management.

"I was pleasantly surprised to see that the installation went smoothly and very quickly. Part of the reason is the quality of the technology from Aerohive, and part of it was the proficiency of Datateam Consulting," said Patiño. Within a month, the school had about 100 access points in place. "From the time we received the equipment to the time the antennas were installed and running we were 15 to 20 days ahead of our schedule. It was very impressive," he added.

The installation uses HiveAP 120s inside buildings, including classrooms, cafeterias, and auditoriums. For outside coverage the law school used HiveAP 340s. Both types of devices support 802.11a/b/g/n standards.

"We currently have 1,000 concurrent users during our most demanding times," Patiño said. "Aerohive has handled everything we've thrown at it."

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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