SOURCE: Aruba Networks, Inc.

Aruba Networks, Inc.

December 08, 2009 00:10 ET

Northwestern University Energizes Residence Hall and Hot Spot Wireless With 802.11n Wi-Fi and AirWave Suite From Aruba Networks

University Replaces Legacy Fat APs With Nearly 1,000 802.11n Access Points

SUNNYVALE, CA--(Marketwire - December 8, 2009) - Aruba Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ: ARUN), a global leader in 802.11n wireless LANs and secure mobility solutions, today announced that Northwestern University has deployed Aruba's adaptive 802.11n wireless LANs throughout its undergraduate and graduate residential housing and at select hot spots across its Evanston and Chicago campuses. Founded in 1851 to serve the Northwest Territory, Northwestern supports more than 15,000 students and almost 7,100 faculty and staff at its 240 acre Evanston campus and 25 acre Chicago campus. The new residential 802.11n networks supplanted legacy Cisco stand-alone access points, which will be replaced in the remaining legacy hot spot locations as budgets permit. In the meantime, both the Aruba and Cisco networks are managed through a single console powered by Aruba's AirWave Wireless Management Suite (AWMS).

"Prior to deploying Aruba, our legacy deployment consisted of stand-alone access points that were difficult to manage, offered limited security, precluded seamless mobility and did not meet the bandwidth needs of students," said Shehzad Amin, Northwestern University Information Technology Director of Telecommunications and Network Services. "To address these limitations and future-proof our network, we sought a new 802.11n wireless LAN with a centralized architecture, built-in firewall, small broadcast domain support, flexible VLAN pooling scheme, and compatibility with the existing 802.3af power over Ethernet injectors. Aruba was awarded the project based on the price and performance of their solution. They were also the first vendor to offer a small, aesthetically attractive 802.11n access point that ran in 3x3 MIMO at full power from our PoE switches."

The diminutive dual-radio AP-125 802.11n Access Point deployed on the campuses feature redundant gigabit ports and Trusted Platform Modules to protect network certificates. The modular software design allows the access points to be repurposed for connectivity, mesh, intrusion sensor, and remote access applications -- allowing one device to serve many purposes.

High performance 802.11n connectivity is ensured by Adaptive Radio Management (ARM) technology, which continuously optimizes Wi-Fi performance. Acting on their own, Wi-Fi clients don't always work cooperatively with other clients, or select the optimal band, channel, and access point. These issues are exacerbated in settings with legacy 802.11b/g clients and densely packed users such as lecture halls and libraries. By automatically compensating for interference, network traffic, and even the types of applications run on the network, ARM ensures that data, voice, and video applications have sufficient network resources, including airtime, to operate properly.

The access points are supervised by Aruba 6000 Mobility Controllers, which were selected because of their field-upgradable design, integrated wired and wireless security, flexible guest access, and industry-leading 80Gbps throughput. The centralized architecture simplifies system deployment and maintenance, while an integrated policy-enforcement firewall manages security on a per-user basis. "The system is designed to minimize IT overhead," continued Amin. "ARM does away with the need for channel planning surveys and automatically manages access points, while policies and updates need to be loaded only once and are then automatically pushed to all devices. As a result, the IT team is freed from many of the time-consuming tasks that plagued the stand-alone access points."

To further reduce IT overhead, AWMS manages both the Aruba and legacy Cisco networks from a single console. AWMS incorporates key features that are considered essential to every wireless network, yet are generally lacking in proprietary management solutions:

--  Support for multiple generations of technology, wireless standards,
    and vendors through a single console interface;
--  Comprehensive diagnostics, advanced troubleshooting, and reporting
    including assistance with PCI audits;
--  Extensive Help Desk features and interfaces to third party trouble
    ticket solutions;
--  Ability to monitor individual interfaces, including Wi-Fi radios, and
    configure the access ports.

"Network manageability was a key concern since we're concurrently running parallel Aruba and Cisco networks," said Amin. "The AirWave multi-vendor support blends these two disparate networks into one easily managed system, providing a graceful migration path from old to new."

About Aruba Networks

People move. Networks must follow. Aruba securely delivers networks to users, wherever they work or roam, using a combination of award-winning solutions:

--  Adaptive 802.11n Wi-Fi networks optimize themselves to ensure that
    users are always within reach of mission-critical information. Rightsizing
    expensive wired LANs by replacing them with high-speed 802.11n Wi-Fi
    reduces both capital and operating expenses;
--  Identity-based security assigns access policies to users, enforcing
    those policies whenever and wherever a network is accessed;
--  Remote networking solutions for branch offices, fixed telecommuters,
    and satellite facilities ensures uninterrupted remote access to
--  Multi-vendor network management provides a single point of control
    while managing both legacy and new wireless networks from Aruba and its

The cost, convenience, and security benefits of our secure mobility solutions are fundamentally changing how and where we work. Listed on the NASDAQ and Russell 2000® Index, Aruba is based in Sunnyvale, California, and has operations throughout the Americas, Europe, Middle East, and Asia Pacific regions. To learn more, visit Aruba at For real-time news updates follow Aruba on Twitter, Facebook, or the Green Island News Blog.

© 2009 Aruba Networks, Inc. AirWave®, Aruba Networks®, Aruba Mobility Management System®, Bluescanner, For Wireless That Works®, Mobile Edge Architecture, People Move. Networks Must Follow., The All-Wireless Workplace Is Now Open For Business, RFprotect, Green Island, and The Mobile Edge Company® are trademarks.

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