Aruba Networks Installs World's Largest Wireless LAN at Ohio State University

Aruba to Showcase Education-Specific Products at EDUCAUSE Booth #638

Oct 09, 2006, 01:00 ET from Aruba Networks, Inc.

    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 .
     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.