MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab Upgrades to Meraki for Stata Center Wi-Fi

Feb 17, 2010, 08:00 ET from Meraki

SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Meraki, the cloud-based wireless networking company, today announced that the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) in Cambridge, MA, has selected Meraki to provide reliable, high-performance Wi-Fi coverage in the Ray and Maria Stata Center. Also known at MIT as Building 32, the Stata Center is a 720,000 sq. ft. facility that houses MIT CSAIL, the Laboratory for Information and Decision Systems, and the Department of Linguistics and Philosophy. MIT will deploy 80 Meraki MR14 access points to improve reliability and performance throughout the building.

Designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Frank Gehry in a style characteristic of "DeCon Architecture", the Stata Center consists of 8 floors of curving walls, tilting columns, and a medley of construction materials that includes brick, mirror-surface steel, brushed aluminum, and corrugated metal. Academic celebrities such as Noam Chomsky, Rodney Brooks, and Ron Rivest have offices in the building. CSAIL is not only the largest lab that occupies the Stata Center, but also the largest lab at MIT, with over 800 faculty, staff, and students.

The wireless overhaul was necessitated by a growing number of complaints about the reliability and performance of the existing Wi-Fi system from a well-known networking vendor. The CSAIL IT team sought a next-generation wireless solution that could overcome the physical challenges of the building's architecture, accommodate the growing demand for wireless, and support the sophisticated network architecture already implemented in the building. They also wanted a system that was easy to manage.

Meraki satisfied the Stata Center's wireless requirements with dual-radio 802.11n access points that employ technologies such as Multi-Ratio Combining (MRC) and Multiple In, Multiple Out Spatial Streams (MIMO) to improve signal coverage, reliability, and performance. In addition, through its unique cloud-based management architecture, Meraki provided sophisticated features—such as event logging, per-user VLAN tagging, and 802.1x authentication—that enabled the CSAIL IT administrators to implement and manage the Meraki solution quickly and easily.

Jack Costanza, Associate Director for Infrastructure at CSAIL, said that Meraki not only had the feature set the facility required, but also offered an unprecedented wireless management experience to the CSAIL IT staff. "Our technology standards are pretty high here at MIT," stated Costanza, "so we were impressed when we saw how much information we were getting from Meraki about our wireless network." As an example, Costanza indicated that his team was looking at the Meraki summary reports every day to get a sense of what wireless devices were connecting to the network. iPhones have been at the top of the list in recent months, representing 35.5% of connected clients, above Windows and Mac OS X. "No other wireless LAN solution provides this kind of information," said Costanza.  "Meraki has the feature set, and they have a system that's really intuitive and easy to manage. It's a great experience for both wireless users and IT administrators."

About Meraki

Meraki offers enterprise-class wireless networks at a fraction of the cost and complexity of traditional networking vendors. Using Meraki's unique cloud-based architecture, an administrator can configure thousands of Meraki access points over the web through a single interface. The company's customers include small-to-medium sized businesses, global hotel chains, and world-class educational institutions. Meraki wireless networks serve millions of users on over 14,000 networks in more than 140 countries. Meraki is located in San Francisco, California, and is funded in part by Sequoia Capital and Google. Follow Meraki on Facebook and Twitter. For more information, go to