Healthcare Technology Featured Article

July 30, 2014

Aruba Networks Announces University of Miami Network Upgrade

Aruba Networks, a network access solutions company, announced this week that the University of Miami and UHealth-University of Miami Health System have selected it to upgrade their campus and health system wireless networks.

This upgrade, the announcement makes clear, will affect 200 buildings across the University's three campuses, three UHealth hospitals, and 24 UHealth outpatient facilities. Overall, the University hosts more than 15,000 students.

The overarching goals for the network upgrade are far-reaching. Aruba says the number of students who utilize the campus network is growing, and the complexity of handling all those devices is compounded by the different needs for wireless within various University buildings. Aruba says it will be bringing campus-wide access to the new wireless network that will cover student access as well as wireless medical device access; eventually, it will implement a BYOD policy.

The University of Miami interviewed several candidates for the proposed upgrade. In part, it had multiple vendors place network access points in high-traffic areas of the campus. Several decision makers within the main campus and hospital teams analyzed the results and found that Aruba performed best among the competition. Stewart Seruya, assistant vice president and chief network officer for Information Technology at the University of Miami, commented on the selection process.

"We completed multiple pilots in high concentration areas with students, as well as dense areas on our Medical campus, and the Aruba access points were clearly the best-performing in these high density situations," Seruya said. "The Aruba APs handled the different hand-off scenarios we posed - particularly in our medical environment where there are lots of wireless devices being used by the nurses, staff, and physicians - and they passed all of our stress tests. At the end of the evaluation, our decision to go with Aruba was straightforward."

Installation of Aruba devices is already taking place. The company has already deployed approximately 2,300 Aruba 130 Series AP mobility controllers, and it plans to install an additional 4,000 across the next 12 months. The University will also begin using the Aruba ClearPass Access Management System to begin implementation of a BYOD policy.

Aruba's announcement says the University of Miami expects the project to be halfway completed by the end of this summer when main University buildings, medical centers, and residential colleges will all contain new network hardware. Additional areas of the campus will be fitted with new hardware and additional network upgrades will occur throughout the next two years.

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