The innovative engineers at Aruba definitely had Higher Education on their minds when designing Aruba Mobility Master with ArubaOS 8. As I learned about this release, I reflected on challenges customers have shared – needing smarter and simplified operations, budget and staff shortfalls, and serving demanding student and faculty users needing always-on capabilities. Over the next few months, I can’t wait to hear from clients about their experiences with this new release. My prediction – they will give Aruba Mobility Master with ArubaOS 8 an A+ for solving their problems!
University campuses can serve 10,000+ users with 4x that many devices. The network can span hundreds of buildings, over several square miles, or extend across cities. Users access needs vary as do their security requirements. In this demanding environment, there is little tolerance for failure or a bad experience… Wi-Fi needs to work!
Why ArubaOS 8 Matters: THE Technologies Behind the Scenes
Aruba Mobility Master combined with an Aruba controller managed network running ArubaOS 8 addresses higher education challenges, though:
- Controller Clustering: Student and faculty don’t sit still. They roam the campus and expect the network to follow. With Aruba, if one controller goes down, the user stays connected through clustered controllers. No re-authentication necessary! In congested networks (like student centers), users maintain great connected experiences because of automated load balancing that seamlessly moves network traffic from one controller to another when needed.
- MultiZone: Building different networks for different use cases can be costly. MultiZone enables different SSIDs to terminate at the controller and not at the AP. This means multiple networks can now be supported on a single AP! For example, engineering students can leverage the campus network, instead of building their own. The same could be true of a student/faculty network. MultiZone ensures traffic can be separated and secured differently.
- AirMatch: High-density networks with hundreds of users hitting the same AP are commonplace in higher education. Optimizing connectivity is essential. Instead of IT having to do manually assign and configure RF channels, on a daily basis, AirMatch will analyze the past 24 hours of RF network statistics, learn from it, and proactively optimize the network, giving users better throughput in their network traffic.
IT continues to feel the pain of doing more with less, with little time to improve the network while taking care of daily needs of users. AOS8 not only makes user experiences better, but it simplifies operations and reduces demands on IT. IT can migrate between releases incrementally, centralize configuration, and conduct in-service upgrades to features such as AppRF and AirGroup without disrupting the network and impacting users. Let’s face it, fewer helpdesk calls are always better!
Call to Action
There are some great resources on the Aruba Mobility Master with ArubaOS 8 site to further expand your knowledge of these “grade” changing solutions. I encourage you to take a look. What grade would you give it? Let me know in the Higher Education Airheads Community.
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