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Florida State Improves User Experience with New Aruba Wi-Fi

Florida State University (FSU) is in the midst of upgrading its Wi-Fi network to 802.11n. The 40,000-student university is upgrading its wireless infrastructure to optimize the user experience and gain control over network security. The university selected Aruba Networks gear for the wireless makeover. Although the new network, named FSUSecure, won't offer any difference in connectivity speed, it will be able to accommodate any number of devices configured for a single user.

The new installation will run alongside FSUWin, a less streamlined collection of 802.1 a/b/g access points authenticated with multiple controllers. The wireless network traffic on that older equipment is unencrypted and users can't move between buildings or outdoors without losing their authentication and having to log back in.

"We now have a wireless environment that is fast, secure, efficient, easy to use, and easy to operate," said Michael Barrett, CIO and associate vice president for IT services. "With role-based access, users' information is both better protected and accessed more readily. Our faculty, students, and staff can now roam seamlessly throughout the campus without dropping connections or having to re-log in."

Barrett also pointed out that network management efficiency has increased dramatically. "Software and feature upgrades are pushed out centrally, and the number of service calls has been drastically reduced," he said. "We estimate that, where it used to take one technician to support 200 access points, the ratio has been increased to one to 600."

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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