Based in 1872, Doane is Nebraska’s oldest non-public school and is designated as a “Prime Nationwide Liberal Arts Faculty” by U.S. Information and World Report. The College’s primary campus is comprised of 21 buildings together with six residence halls that home 800 college students. Doane additionally operates two satellite tv for pc campuses positioned in Lincoln and Omaha.
When the Covid-19 pandemic hit, it escalated Doane’s want for a dependable and safe community. College students had been having issues connecting to their programs from house or their dorms and had been being dropped from their Zoom classes. The IT crew was confronted with both upgrading their current Cisco community or changing it with a extra modern resolution that would help the College’s long-term imaginative and prescient in addition to its speedy wants.
“My aim has all the time been to guarantee that the one factor that’s difficult for our college students is their coursework,” mentioned Doane College CIO, Derek Bierman. “It’s essential for us to suppose strategically about all the expertise we’re utilizing to offer a unbelievable studying expertise for our college students and construct a community for the place the College desires to be, not the place we are actually.”
Whereas Doane’s IT crew thought-about utilizing Cisco for a refresh, the excessive value, coupled with the requirement for a future-ready resolution that helps their imaginative and prescient, drove them to search for options. As well as, because the pandemic lingered, the uncertainty surrounding the share of time college students would spend in lecture rooms versus distant studying underscored the necessity for a basis that would higher deal with a hybrid studying mannequin.
Working with accomplice DataVizion, Doane moved to an Aruba ESP community together with Aruba Wi-Fi 6 entry factors (APs), CX Collection switches, with Aruba Central offering unified cloud-based administration. The primary part of the deployment throughout Doane’s residence halls was accomplished in lower than six weeks. Part two, which incorporates connecting the remainder of the buildings on campus and deploying ClearPass to unify wired and wi-fi NAC, is underway.
Unified Administration Saves Time, Simplifies Duties for IT
One of many main causes Doane selected Aruba ESP was its unified wired and wi-fi administration. Doane’s Director of IT, Ryan Dorshorst famous, “We wouldn’t wish to put all of our APs within the cloud and handle them with one system, then need to troubleshoot our switches on one other platform. Having the ability to handle all the pieces from a single pane of glass utilizing Aruba Central saves us worthwhile time and sources.”
Dorshorst additionally discovered that Central permits the crew to watch and handle the community from wherever with out a VPN connection. For instance, on the nights when college students are shifting into their residence halls, he can oversee the community remotely from his cellphone. Central additionally permits him to run reviews on particular site visitors – akin to that emanating solely from scholar gadgets – and supplies templates for straightforward configuration modifications, leading to time and value financial savings for the IT crew.
Dorshorst can be excited concerning the potential to make use of contextual information from Central to determine at-risk college students in order that Doane can develop programming to help them and additional improve their academic expertise. With a few of the proximity tracing capabilities inherent in Central, for instance, a professor might determine an absent scholar and test in to ensure the scholar is effectively, can receive notes and assignments from the missed class, and may keep on monitor.
Pupil Gadgets and IoT Can Join Securely and Reliably
One other key good thing about Doane’s Aruba ESP community is the flexibility to reliably and securely join the big variety of gadgets college students are bringing to campus together with Sonos audio system, Amazon Alexa gadgets, gaming gadgets and printers, and the same old laptops, tablets, and smartphones.
Stated Dorshorst, “The Aruba community is delivering the reliability we lacked beforehand within the residence halls. I’m not getting complaints that college students are having hassle getting their cell gadgets related or dropping from Zoom calls anymore.”
As Doane enters its second semester, it is going to be conducting Covid-19 testing for college kids, permitting these with damaging outcomes to return to lecture rooms, however persevering with to allow others to study remotely. Dorshorst mentioned the community is crucial to constructing this hybrid atmosphere, giving college students a seamless expertise whether or not they’re again within the classroom or of their dorm.
As well as, Dorshorst says that Doane will add IoT gadgets as the brand new community is totally carried out. The College’s amenities division already has the complete HVAC system related through the wired community, however Dorshorst famous that it is going to be simpler so as to add IoT gadgets wirelessly shifting ahead, significantly for the reason that Aruba APs have built-in Bluetooth and Zigbee to simplify IoT deployment and administration.
“We have already got an engineering professor including sensors for air high quality or water detection to cut back Doane’s insurance coverage prices, as one instance,” he mentioned. “However we envision many various sorts of wi-fi IoT gadgets will now have the ability to join simply and securely.”