EDUCAUSE, DALLAS, Oct. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Aruba Networks, the Mobile Edge company, today announced it has deployed its Mobile Edge solution at The Ohio State University in what is believed to be the world's largest wireless LAN to date. When the rollout is complete, the Aruba wireless network will cover Ohio State University's main campus -- which comprises over 400 buildings and 25 million square feet, sitting on approximately 1,700 acres. The Aruba network will provide ubiquitous wireless access to the university's student population of over 50,000, in addition to over 27,000 faculty and staff. Ohio State has estimated that over 3,000 Access Points (APs) are required for minimal coverage -- and up to 10,000 APs may be required for optimal coverage, along with over 40 mobility controllers distributed across their three core router points of presence (POPs). Ohio State University is now in the first year of a five-year project to deploy the Aruba wireless network. "Within a mere three weeks, we have been able to activate over 1,700 APs in 28 buildings," said Bob Corbin, director of telecommunications and networking, Ohio State University Office of Information Technology. Evolving from Islands of WLAN Connectivity to Pervasive Secure Mobility The distributed computing environment at Ohio State University is composed of hundreds of different college and departmental networks of varying degrees of complexity, some of which included thick APs to provide wireless access. The university was seeing a steady increase of wireless usage, but in an unplanned manner, as each wireless network was a stand-alone island. In addition, the legacy network was not able to provide access to all users within range of the APs due to the varying levels of security and authentication methods deployed by each college and departmental area. As a result, Ohio State had only pockets of wireless access, not a seamless mobility solution across the entire campus. These factors -- coupled with Ohio State's recognition of the potential for mobile computing and mobile Internet access to benefit instruction, learning, and collaboration -- led the university to seek a mobility solution that would offer simplicity, ubiquity and reliability. Recognizing the trend amongst large enterprises, Ohio State also felt that the mobile network should be considered an extension of the university's wired network, not a full replacement. Flexible, centralized management, in particular, was a key requirement as reported by the majority of network administrators across campus. It was imperative that the new solution would enable them to troubleshoot problems, configure new SSIDs and access lists, and contribute to the overall support and success of the campus-wide network. Corbin adds that it would not have been fiscally responsible to ramp up central IT staff in support of the 10,000 potential APs when the university already had capable and willing distributed support personnel. Aruba Provides Healthy ROI Short-term cost savings of Aruba's thin AP Mobile Edge architecture over the previous approach is expected to be in the range of 25 - 45 percent. By centrally managing their campus infrastructure, opportunities for long-term cost savings for Ohio State result from minimizing redundancy, enhancing productivity, increasing network availability, reducing maintenance costs, and providing for better business continuity across the organization. Other immediate business benefits include improved customer satisfaction from the university's residential population -- who has received exceptional coverage from the over 1,700 APs installed to date in 31 buildings. "Aruba's products have been installed at over 170 higher education institutions around the world, and we're now seeing a significant shift in the way universities are looking at the technology," said Keerti Melkote, Aruba's founder. "Colleges and universities are no longer just looking for a wireless LAN, but rather a complete mobility solution. From an educational perspective, mobile networking provides new collaborative opportunities by transforming any space into a learning environment. Those universities not considering mobility as part of their networks are at a competitive disadvantage." Aruba's Mobile Edge is seen as a means of fulfilling the promise of mobile computing with anywhere, anytime access -- while also providing faculty and students with the means of exploring and implementing new and innovative teaching and learning strategies. Deployment Phases at Ohio State Ohio State is currently conducting proof of concept testing in the College of Humanities -- which has 40 APs and two mobility controllers. It is also completing the installation of wireless throughout its residence halls, which will include over 1,800 APs and five mobility controllers. The university will complete the 31 residence hall network -- which will be a high-density installation supporting over 12,000 students -- within the next 30 days. After this phase is complete, the university will install 400 APs in student gathering areas, which are publicly accessible spaces that are freely open to all students, faculty, and staff across campus. These areas could include classrooms, food courts, study lounges, lobbies, and outside green spaces. The entire campus-wide wireless deployment is expected to be complete in 2011 with an estimated 10,000 APs deployed. Future Plans for Ohio State's Wireless Network The university has tested VoIP over wireless LAN (VoWLAN), and has plans to extend this pilot across the campus in the next 12 months. Other future possibilities include "killer apps" such as location-based services and applications focused on public safety. Ohio State is planning to provide faculty and staff with secure access to their departmental networks from any location on the wireless network. The university will also work towards providing secure remote access to the campus network through a pre-configured OSU wireless AP for faculty and staff, even when they are working away from the office. Interested parties can see Aruba's education-specific Mobile Edge products at EDUCAUSE 2006, October 9-12 at the Dallas Convention Center, in Aruba's booth #638. About Aruba Networks Aruba Networks is a fast-growing enterprise infrastructure company enabling the Mobile Edge, an evolutionary network architecture that represents a new approach to transitioning enterprise networks from a fixed, port-based architecture to an architecture centered on secure, identity-based mobility. The Mobile Edge simultaneously delivers mobile data and VoIP services, as well as a common user experience to mobile workers in the office, at home and on the road, by creating a secure mobility overlay that spans the LAN, the WAN and the Internet. To deliver the Mobile Edge, Aruba manufactures and markets a complete line of fixed and modular mobility controllers, wired and wireless access points, an advanced mobility software suite, and a mobility management system. Privately held and based in Sunnyvale, California, Aruba has operations in the United States, Europe, the Middle East and Asia Pacific, and employs staff around the world. To learn more, visit Aruba at http://www.arubanetworks.com . NOTE: Aruba Networks and Aruba The Mobile Edge Company are trademarks of Aruba Wireless Networks, Inc. All other trademarks or registered trademarks are the property of their respective holders.
SOURCE Aruba Networks, Inc.