SMU gets GenMobile-enabled with Aruba Networks
By Digital News Asia September 22, 2014
- #GenMobile characterised by need to be constantly connected for both work and play
- Campus network now secured and allows ‘eduroaming’ for SMU and visiting students
SINGAPORE Management University (SMU) has boosted its network to support wireless access for up to 99% of its entire city campus using technology from Sunnyvale, California-based Aruba Networks Inc.
Based on the Aruba Mobility-Defined Networks architecture, the new infrastructure delivers a campus-wide wireless mobility experience to more than 8,000 SMU students, faculty members, staff and guests, Aruba Networks said in a statement.
Powering a variety of tasks, from video streaming and document sharing to complex research and simulations, the new environment promises to deliver capabilities that further enhance SMU’s world-class research and distinguished pedagogy, Aruba Networks claimed.
SMU will be using its wireless infrastructure to support e-learning and increasing mobility demands by a new generation of students.
Defined by Aruba Networks as #GenMobile, these students and employees are characterised by their need to be constantly connected for both work and play.
On campus, SMU is seeing students from the #GenMobile population connecting three or more mobile devices to its WiFi network at any given time, Aruba Networks said.
With an increasing number of mobile devices tapping on the network, providing wireless access has become more critical than wired. The existing network infrastructure was unable to accommodate the demanding needs of #GenMobile, the US networking company said.
In addition, as the campus is spread across a busy section of Singapore’s city centre, SMU had to constantly deal with network intrusions, which affected the quality of the WiFi experience for its community.
“At SMU, a seamless wireless connection becomes a requisite as students and faculties use the wireless network extensively for learning, teaching and research,” said Lau Kai Cheong, SMU’s chief information officer and vice president for Integrated Information Technology Services.
“We wanted a wireless environment that would keep our students and staff connected to resources, anywhere on our vast compound.
“Inherent to this was the need for a network that is highly reliable and has strong security features that are easy to implement and manage,” he added.
The university required a WiFi environment that could be trusted to provide stable and secure mobile access to authorised users at any time on campus, Aruba Networks said.
To ensure a seamless and immersive connected experience for users, SMU decided to adopt Aruba’s high-speed access points throughout its campus. It also deployed Aruba’s ClearPass Management System for policy management and guest access.
The network connectivity and access control allow SMU’s IT team to easily authenticate user profiles and apply network policies across user devices and applications. ClearPass also allows SMU to prevent unauthorised network access and ensure that end devices are compliant with network policies.
In the new environment, visitors to SMU can get guest access to the wireless network simply through an SMS self-registration.
Without the need for further IT intervention, SMU has successfully supported many prominent events in the campus auditorium. This included lectures delivered by distinguished speakers such as former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as well as Nobel Peace Laureate and politician Aung San Suu Kyi, Aruba Networks said.
The deployment also enabled SMU to launch ‘eduroam’ – secured, world-wide roaming wireless Internet access service developed for the international education community.
Visiting students from eduroam-participating institutions can easily obtain Internet access using their own institution’s ID and password, minimising the work required of SMU’s IT staff to allow access to every new visiting student.
In the same way, staff and students visiting other eduroam-participating institutions can easily connect to their wireless network without going through their IT department.
“SMU’s campus is the perfect representation of #GenMobile,” said Aruba Networks managing director for South-East Asia James Chia.
“The growing variety of devices on different operating platforms makes it essential that networks adapt accordingly to various user preferences for a consistently seamless and secure connection.
“Aruba’s suite of solutions understands the dynamic needs of #GenMobile, automates according to these needs and hence, takes the strain off limited IT resources,” he claimed.
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