State-of-the-art networks for state-of-the-art institutions

At Aruba Networks’ annual conference, Atmosphere 2019, from March 31 to April 5, CTO Partha Narasimhan spoke with enthusiasm about the company’s Connected Campuses initiative.

Already, more than 2,500 universities around the world rely on NETsatori’s partner Aruba to deploy secure, high-performance networks in complex environments.

NETsatori, a company invested in Québec’s educational networks

As for NETsatori, its collaboration with Québec’s CEGEPs, colleges and universities started in the early 2000s with the deployment of many networks in major institutions such as Vanier College, English-Montreal School Board, Université de Montréal, and the Cégep du Vieux-Montréal, to name but a few. The latter is an excellent example.

Founded with the first Cégeps (“general and professional colleges”) in 1968, the Cégep du Vieux-Montréal stands out for its open educational project and the great diversity of its courses. Created through the consolidation of six schools in the Quartier Latin, “le Vieux” (“the Old one”), as it is called, has retained this diversity and is characterized by high student mobility, a constant flow of ideas and significant communication needs.

With 6,000 students plus faculty and administrative staff, the college required a solid, secure and efficient WiFi network. NETsatori worked extremely hard with the Cégep’s management so that the renowned Québec institution could celebrate its 50th anniversary with a new network that would be commensurate with its mission. Using Aruba technologies, the NETsatori team designed and implemented a powerful state-of-the-art network that boasts hundreds of access points offering complete comfort and speed of access, wherever you are in the college’s massive building.

Solid, secure, high-performance network solutions

With its turnkey solutions that deliver functionalities tailored to the world of education, NETsatori partner Aruba Networks has also carried out several cutting-edge projects for the education sector in the US.

Grove City College

A case in point is Grove City College, north of Pittsburgh. As the IT Vice-President explains in this video, educational institutions face the major challenge of choosing a solution that meets the needs of their entire campus and gives them a simplified view of their network, for example with heat-maps. And in Grove City College, where 95% of the students live on campus, a resilient network is critical. With 14,000 wired access points and 1,200 wireless access points, the Aruba solution is specifically designed to withstand peak traffic loads, among other things.

Texas A&M University

Its plan to build a new facility for its engineering faculty confronted Texas A&M University with a similar challenge, albeit on an even greater scale. This institution ranks in America’s top 10, with its 20,000 engineering students out of 68,000, and they need state-of-the-art facilities and technologies that are compatible with the goal of training highly skilled engineers. No less than 500 top-end access points were therefore deployed in the new building, providing fully personalized content at ultra-high speeds, for both traditional and online and fully interactive instruction, all within a 100 per cent BYOD environment.

“Where’s the chemistry class this week? »

Among new features, no doubt an increasing number of educational institutions will adopt wayfinding, which is just like Google Maps but on a private network, and makes it possible to locate objects (e. g. books in a library), places (classrooms, administrative offices, emergency exits, etc. ) and even people!

No more stressful looking for the chemistry course or the geography lecture in a sprawling campus: an interactive map, powered by the Meridian mobile application, shows you the way!

Optimal connections

In addition, when students and professors move from one building to another, Aruba ClientMatch (PDF) ensures that the connection of each mobile device is constantly routed to the most efficient access point.

Intelligent security

Finally, since security is a fundamental component of network robustness, research centres and universities are invited to consider implementing a User and Entity Behavior Analytics (UEBA) solution: this technology uses artificial intelligence to quickly detect any unusual behaviour on a network, thus limiting risks before they spread to tens of thousands of users.

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