Innovative College Uses Aruba Wireless LAN and ClearPass Access Management System for Campus-wide iPad Initiative
SUNNYVALE, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Aruba Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ: ARUN), a leading provider of next-generation network access solutions for the mobile enterprise, announced today that Regis College, a Catholic university located in Weston, MA., has deployed Aruba’s wireless solutions to deliver reliable, pervasive wireless access across its entire campus. The new Aruba wireless network supports the university’s 2000 graduate and undergraduate students in Regis’ extensive Apple iPad initiative and its goal of enabling a “classroom without walls” environment.
After evaluating a number of wireless solutions, Regis chose Aruba and began deploying its new wireless network in May 2012, completing the implementation in just three months with the help of Integration Partners of Lexington, Massachusetts. Using a combination of Aruba mobility controllers, 400 Aruba access points, the AirWave Network Management System and ClearPass Policy Manager, Regis was able to lay the stable, high-performing wireless foundation necessary to support their broad iPad initiative, which put 1,200 iPads into the hands of Regis students and faculty in the fall of 2012.
Regis’ “classroom without walls” philosophy was a central driver in the new wireless network deployment. The university believes that learning doesn’t just take place within a classroom, rather, it should be extended to all areas of the campus and students should be able to access educational materials, lectures, notes and applications from anywhere, at any time. According to Marla Botelho, Chief Information Officer for Regis College, the Aruba wireless LAN is crucial to successfully enabling this environment, which has become a competitive advantage for Regis. “We knew robust, ubiquitous wireless was absolutely key to allowing our students and faculty to experience the ‘classroom without walls’,” she said. “Since completing our deployment, the performance of the network has been excellent and we’ve seen rapid adoption of wireless and our iPad initiative by our entire campus population. In fact, the first week the network went live, half of all the traffic going to our Learning Management System (LMS), Moodle, alone, was via iPads leveraging the wireless network.”
Aruba’s ability to handle the unique requirements of the Apple iPad and its experience with iPad deployments were key factors in Regis’ selection of Aruba. “There aren’t too many test cases out there for large iPad deployments on campus-wide wireless networks,” explained Botelho. “Since our iPad initiative is a key component of our overall mobile strategy, having a solution that could handle the iPad traffic consistently and without any degradation in performance was a critical decision factor. Aruba’s proven ability to handle iPad deployments made the Aruba wireless LAN an easy choice for us. No other vendor compares to Aruba in this arena.”
Regis was also impressed with Aruba’s ClearPass Policy Manager, which they are using to centrally manage and enforce user- and device-based access policies including registration for Apple Bonjour-enabled devices.
As part of its intention to become an all-iPad institution, Regis issues iPads to all incoming students and refreshes the iPads every two years. When students graduate from Regis, they can take their iPad with them as a graduation gift. On the faculty side, Regis initially provided iPads and training to “innovator faculty” – those who submitted proposals for using the iPad in their classroom to enhance learning. The iPads have been so popular that Regis now offers a training program for all faculty who want to use the tablets in their classrooms. In addition, all Regis board members now utilize iPads during meetings, as the college is moving away from paper-based documentation. The Registrar’s office also encouraged students to use their iPads to display a fast pass for expedited service during check-in for spring term.
“One of the ways in which Aruba has differentiated itself from other wireless vendors is the strength of our solution in handling the Apple Bonjour protocol and iPad-based traffic,” said Manav Khurana, Senior Director, Product and Solutions Marketing, for Aruba. “This is key for the education sector where colleges like Regis are distributing iPads to students and faculty and want to ensure a reliable, consistent experience.”
In addition to Moodle, the College’s LMS, students can access a wide range of applications via their iPads and the wireless network including iLife and iWork, eClicker and Adobe Connect for virtual meetings. In addition, the College is excited about the iPad’s ability to offer interactive content and several faculty members are beginning to use iBooks Author software to create this type of educational content. Faculty and students also utilize AirServer which enables the display and sharing of iPad content in the classroom.
With its early adopter status and forward-thinking philosophy, Regis intends to continue using the iPads on campus to enhance learning and collaboration across campus and in the classrooms, and to reduce paper-based communications for the entire campus population. In terms of the wireless network, the College is satisfied that with its Aruba wireless LAN, it can be prepared for future growth and expansion, including the addition of 1,000 iPads for graduate programs in the fall of 2013.