Aruba Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ:ARUN), a leading provider of next-generation network access solutions for the mobile enterprise, today announced that Springfield School District 186, a K-12 district comprised of 39 locations in Springfield, Illinois, is in the process of deploying Aruba Instant, Aruba’s controller-less Wi-Fi solution, to upgrade its wireless network. When complete, the deployment will utilize 1,200 Aruba Instant IAP-105 access points along with the Aruba AirWave Management System, to deliver a high-performing, 802.11n wireless LAN for the entire district.
Springfield School District is comprised of three high schools, seven middle schools, 24 elementary schools, a charter school, an adult education center, a technology center and business and administrative offices. Although Springfield had previously deployed a wireless network to serve the district, the pre-802.11n network was not reliable or high-performing enough to accommodate the influx of mobile devices and equipment being used in classrooms. Springfield evaluated a number of wireless vendors including Cisco, HP, Meru and Meraki, but ultimately chose Aruba Instant for its low cost, ease of management and reliability.
“Our teachers and students have become increasingly dependent upon the wireless network for teaching and learning, and with the 1:1 iPad initiative we plan to roll out in the high schools, having a reliable infrastructure is even more critical,” said Brent Qualls, manager of data and information systems for Springfield School District. He added, “The wireless just has to work, because we don’t have the resources to troubleshoot and fix network problems. With our old network, we were experiencing connection issues on a daily basis, but in the buildings where we’ve now deployed Aruba Instant, our wireless issues have disappeared.”
To test Aruba Instant’s reliability, Springfield began its deployment in the most challenging locations in its district: three high schools, one of which was built in the 1900s and contained thick, brick and mortar walls, and all of which had experienced problems. “We felt if Instant could work in these locations, it could work anywhere,” Qualls explained. The Aruba Instant access points (IAPs) performed flawlessly, providing the coverage and performance Springfield was looking for.
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