|[March 14, 2017]
The University at Buffalo Brings Aruba Gigabit Wi-Fi to its 10 Million Square Foot Campus
Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company (NYSE: HPE), today announced
that the University at Buffalo (UB), the flagship campus of the State
University of New York (SUNY) system, has replaced its legacy wireless
infrastructure with an Aruba gigabit wireless network. Using a
combination of Aruba
802.11ac Wave 1 and Wave 2 access points, Aruba
AirWave for network management and Aruba
ClearPass for policy management and guest access, the University is
upgrading all three of its campus locations, totaling 150 buildings and
10 million square feet to deliver ubiquitous, high-speed wireless access
to students, faculty and administrators.
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With its new Aruba network in place, University at Buffalo enables secure Wi-Fi for students, faculty and administrators throughout its campus. (Photo: Business Wire)
Founded in 1846, UB has a diverse, international student body comprised
of 20,000 undergraduates and 10,000 graduate students. UB has been in a
rapid growth period, with new leadership that recognized the need to
make high-density, robust Wi-Fi a top priority for its campuses. Driving
that need was the expansion of hybrid and online courses, students'
access to videos and recorded lectures, in-classroom learning
applications and of course, students' desire to bring a myriad of
devices into the residence halls.
"As a member of our faculty stated, 'Wi-Fi is as important to a
university today as ink or chalk was 100 years ago'," said Brice Bible,
Vice President and Chief Information Officer for the University at
Buffalo. "Ensuring reliable, high-speed Wi-Fi has been a top priority
for our IT team."
As Wi-Fi connectivity became the item most complained about by students,
faculty and administrators, the University began searching for a better
solution. After a formal Proof of Concept comparing Aruba's solutins to
competitors in three key areas - wireless architecture, network
management and policy management - UB selected Aruba for its network
According to Jerry Bucklaew, Network Architect with UB Information
Technology, "We chose the Aruba solutions because they delivered greater
price for performance value and the portfolio included gigabit Wi-Fi
access points specifically designed for residence halls/hospitality
applications. For policy management, ClearPass was the most flexible in
terms of deployment and configuration."
Once UB settled on Aruba, the institution embarked on a three-year
network upgrade that will be completed in the fall of 2017 and is being
deployed in two parallel tracks. The first track, for classroom and
administration buildings, started with the largest buildings that also
have the highest concentration of academic spaces on campus including
libraries and large lecture halls, and will finish with the smaller
buildings. The second track, for the residence halls, is being conducted
in two parts, with about half of the dorms completed in the summer of
2016, and another half to be completed in the summer of 2017.
UB is installing approximately 6,000 access points, 3,500 of which are
already in place, consisting of both Wave 1 and Wave 2 802.11ac APs. In
addition, UB is using Aruba's 7000 Series Mobility Controllers, AirWave
Network Management with the Clarity (News - Alert) module, and ClearPass for device
profiling, differentiated customer access and an efficient way to
connect visitors on the guest Wi-Fi network.
ClearPass was a key factor in UB's decision to choose Aruba. Bible noted
that UB is using ClearPass Guest for two purposes that are unique to the
"We're using ClearPass Guest to create a guest's active account, but
more importantly, we're using it as a way to automatically drive
customers to register all of their personal devices. These devices then
reside on the Guest side of the house. The ClearPass Policy Manager also
delivers insights and profiling capabilities used for visibility,
planning and troubleshooting," he said.
According to Bucklaew, ClearPass has been beneficial in reducing
complexity for the University, condensing their SSIDs from five or six
down to three, with their ultimate goal to have one for 802.1X and one
for everything else. In addition, UB is enthusiastic about the profiling
capabilities that ClearPass provides, which have helped them enhance and
streamline the device registration and authentication process.
Bucklaew added, "Our two biggest types of devices are APs and IP phones
on our wired network, but with 6,000 of the former and 10,000 of the
latter, we didn't want each one of them to be specifically registered.
Using profiling, we can determine if a device is an AP or a phone, then
apply the appropriate policies in real-time, so we can avoid
individually registering these 16,000 devices. We can then continue to
require registration and authentication of all other devices on wired
and Wi-Fi which will become even more useful as we see more IoT devices
on the network."
Looking ahead, Bible expects that the Aruba wireless infrastructure will
allow the University to explore new areas like Mobile Engagement for
location-based services. He also foresees UB expanding coverage to
outdoor portions of the campus, fine-tuning their use of ClearPass on
the wired network to bring it in line with the wireless side, and
enabling more scanning and profiling of devices in preparation for IoT.
Bible says the University is already seeing significant results from the
new network allowing him to better meet the mobility expectations of its
students, faculty and administrators, while preparing the University for
the future. For example, based on student surveys, residence halls
equipped with the new Wi-Fi infrastructure have seen a 21% increase in
satisfaction as compared to those still utilizing the legacy network.
"When UB first deployed wireless in 2000, it was one of those
nice-to-have things," said Bible. "Wi-Fi was cool, but if it didn't
work, it wasn't a big deal. Now customer expectations have shifted and
regardless of the location, application or type of customer, everyone
considers wireless critical. It has to work 100 percent of the time, no
exceptions. With our new network, we're seeing utilization through the
roof and the complaints we used to see coming in from the website,
social media postings and calls into support have declined rapidly."
About Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company
Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, is a leading provider of
next-generation networking solutions for enterprises of all sizes
worldwide. The company delivers IT solutions that empower organizations
to serve the latest generation of mobile-savvy users who rely on
cloud-based business apps for every aspect of their work and personal
To learn more, visit Aruba at http://www.arubanetworks.com.
For real-time news updates follow Aruba on Twitter and Facebook,
and for the latest technical discussions on mobility and Aruba products
visit Airheads Social at http://community.arubanetworks.com.
View source version on businesswire.com: http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20170314005208/en/
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