Proliferation of BYOD devices prompts Wi-Fi network upgrade at University of Miami

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The explosion of connected BYOD devices and the need for greater mobile network density prompted the University of Miami to make a major upgrade to their Wi-Fi network.

The university turned to Aruba Network to upgrade its system, which covers 200 buildings and 11 million square feet at the university's three main campuses, as well as the UHealth-University of Miami's three hospitals and two dozen outpatient facilities. The university has more than 15,000 students enrolled, and each student has an average of four to five mobile devices.

More than 25,000 devices connect to the university's network daily, with peaks as high as 18,000 devices simultaneously on the network.

"We are faced with a diverse environment, different needs ranging from clinical and research to academic and administrative. It had been awhile since we did a wireless worklist. We had a decent pervasive wireless network" [provided by Meru Networks], explains Brad Rohrer, deputy CIO for information technology at the university.

"We did an evaluation of multiple vendor partners and products ... Aruba just seemed to be the right product for us given the diverse set of demands from our customers as well as [Aruba's] ability to scale," Rohrer tells FierceMobileIT.

Rohrer declined to say who the other vendors were, but he noted that they were the leading enterprise Wi-Fi vendors in the market. According to Gartner, leading Wi-Fi vendors include Aruba, Cisco and HP.

"We are finding students with four or five devices each connecting to wireless. So it's no longer just wireless coverage or speed, it's density ... It's becoming like electricity. You assume it's there, and you needed it to be there," Rohrer explains.

The university has different security profiles for their various Wi-Fi networks. Security is an important issue especially for the UHealth network because of the patient information that is stored there.  

The university plans significant Wi-Fi upgrades in the next two months, Stewart Seruya, chief network officer for information technology at the university, tells FierceMobileIT. By the end of the summer, the university plans to install another 3,000 access points (APs), in addition to the current 2,300 APs, many of which are 802.11ac.

"We're fine-tuning the process as we go along, Seruya adds.

For more:
- check out Aruba's release

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