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Networking & Wireless | News

Canadian School District Upgrades WLAN Architecture To Support Mobile Devices

Durham Catholic District School Board (DCDSB) in Ontario, Canada, has announced plans to upgrade its wireless local area network (WLAN) to a mixed solution that uses a combination of controller-based access points (APs) for high-density mobile support and controllerless APs for simplified implementation.

About 80 percent of the district's classrooms currently use mobile, interactive technology to some degree, including laptops, tablets, and e-readers, and the district is in the process of rolling out interactive video projectors to all of its classrooms. Teachers use iPads to broadcast interactive classroom materials and information from the iPad, through the IVP, to an Apple TV for classroom viewing.

To support the wide array of mobile technology, the board decided to upgrade to an enterprise-class WLAN solution. It needed a WLAN that could support a high density of mobile devices in its high schools and ease of deployment in its elementary schools, where mobile device density isn't as high and IT support is limited.

After evaluating WLAN vendors, the DCDSB selected a WLAN solution from Aruba Networks and is working with Toronto-based Access2Networks to deploy it. When complete, the WLAN will include more than 700 APs, with controller-based APs in the high schools to support their high density environments, and Aruba Instant controllerless APs in the elementary schools to simplify implementation. The district is also implementing the Aruba AirWave Network Management System and Aruba remote APs for off-site staff, so they can connect to the network and access district resources from remote locations.

"Our IT staff is lean, so it was very important that our new wireless LAN be able to meet the varying needs of the schools in our district, as well as offer simple, cost-effective deployment," said Ronald R. Rodriguez, chief information officer for DCDSB, in a prepared statement. "Aruba delivers all of this. The Aruba interface is intuitive, and our network is now self-configurable and can be managed from a central location. Best of all, we can have both a traditional, controller-based solution in the schools where we need it, and the Aruba Instant controller-less APs for quick installation in our elementary schools, without sacrificing any crucial enterprise-class features."

Durham Catholic District School Board is located east of Toronto, ON. It serves more than 22,000 students and employs more than 2,000 faculty and staff at its 40 elementary schools, eight high schools, and eight alternative and continuing education sites.

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at leilameyer@gmail.com.

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