Portsmouth University updates wireless management

WiFi Certified Logo

Portsmouth University has deployed new wireless network (WLAN) management software to improve its ability to monitor, secure and develop its capabilities across campus.

Before choosing Aruba Networks AMP version 6.0, Portsmouth University determined network status by checking each individual wireless controller using standard Syslog methods, which proved to be a cumbersome and time-consuming process that also lacked a suitable reporting capability.

James Holland, Portsmouth University's network team manager told IT PRO that the existing system did not know exactly how many concurrent wireless connections were active at any given time, or how much traffic load was presented to each of the university's 220 wireless access points.

He said: "We also currently use Symbol [WLAN] hardware, so we needed to find management software that would work with the existing infrastructure, as well as be scalable enough to work with other vendor's access points, as we are looking at expanding and updating the network in future."

Portsmouth evaluated the AMP 6.0 earlier this year and the network team was impressed both with the ease of deployment and the reporting and visual interfaces.

"It used to be that wireless was seen an something you'd add on, but nowadays it's seen more as an integrated part of the network and so WLAN management needs to be on a par with wired management capabilities," Holland said.

"AMP has taken the guess work out of wireless management, and given us new insights into the operation and optimisation of our Wi-Fi network," he added.

The university also plans to use the software's features including extensive 802.11n, helpdesk, troubleshooting and lifecycle management support to facilitate a move towards offering voice over internet protocol (VoIP) services.

Holland said: "The improved wireless management capability means we are able to provide an infrastructure that's fit for purpose, with sufficient bandwidth and high use levels, capable of delivering the likes of VoIP, which is very much part of future plans."

Miya Knights

A 25-year veteran enterprise technology expert, Miya Knights applies her deep understanding of technology gained through her journalism career to both her role as a consultant and as director at Retail Technology Magazine, which she helped shape over the past 17 years. Miya was educated at Oxford University, earning a master’s degree in English.

Her role as a journalist has seen her write for many of the leading technology publishers in the UK such as ITPro, TechWeekEurope, CIO UK, Computer Weekly, and also a number of national newspapers including The Times, Independent, and Financial Times.