Texas A&M University replaces Cisco with Aruba to support BYOD on campus

Telecom Lead America: Texas A&M University will
replace its Cisco wireless network with a campus-wide Aruba 802.11n mobile
network based on the Aruba Mobile Virtual Enterprise (MOVE) architecture.

Texas A&M has about 50,000 students and 2,700
faculty, each with between two and five mobile devices in regular use, and the
upgrade is expected to increase user satisfaction and reduce helpdesk calls.

With 3,000 Aruba 802.11n access points (APs) deployed to
date, university IT leaders estimate that the campus now has 60 percent
wireless coverage. The addition of 3,000 to 4,000 APs will bring the university
close to campus-wide coverage. The network deployment is being managed by Aruba
partner Layer 3 Communications.

Three years ago you might have had a 1:1 ratio of
students and faculty to mobile devices, and that -mobile’ device was probably a
laptop that you used, and closed, then moved on,” said Willis Marti, director
of networking and information security for Texas A&M.

Now, you have closer to a 3:1 or even 5:1 ratio of
devices to users, and they are always on. That requires a high-performance and
highly reliable mobile network, and that’s what we have with Aruba,” Marti

Texas A&M selected the Aruba AP-125 over similar
offerings from Cisco, citing performance and stability, as well as ease of
deployment and management, as the deciding factors in their selection.

The university manages the network with Aruba AirWave,
which gives visibility into everything that affects service quality – Wi-Fi
coverage, access points (APs), controllers and the wired network.

Moreover, it offers tools to improve operations and
manage RF security, including user location and mapping, real-time monitoring,
proactive alerts, historical reporting, and efficient troubleshooting.

The campus-wide migration to an 802.11n network will not
only enable mobility to play a growing role in teaching and learning, but will
also help ensure that student and faculty satisfaction with the service remains
high, well into the future,” said Robert Fenstermacher, director of educational
solutions marketing at Aruba.

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