Aruba Networks Inc. (NASDAQ: ARUN) today announced that the Kings of Wessex Academy, one of the leading senior schools in South-West England, has deployed an Aruba wireless network with the ClearPass Access Management System to facilitate Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) for staff and students. The Aruba deployment has enabled Kings to accelerate its plans for e-learning by facilitating a rapid increase in the number of mobile devices that can connect to the school’s network – a move that would have been unfeasible just a few years ago.
Located in Cheddar, Somerset, the Kings of Wessex Academy specialises in technology, providing its students with state-of-the-art IT facilities and enhanced opportunities in Science, Mathematics and Design Technology. This commitment to recognising and utilising cutting edge technology was key to the school’s decision to deploy a wireless network capable of meeting the demands of the modern classroom and student.
With the explosive growth of BYOD and rapid development of e-learning, the Kings of Wessex Academy realized that expanding their existing Aruba wireless network and deploying ClearPass had to be a priority. The number of student-owned smartphones, tablets and laptops had grown faster than anyone could have predicted. In addition, the school’s virtual learning environment, which gives students access to educational resources both at home and in school, has fuelled its plan to equip each student with a netbook starting from the 2012 intake, which will introduce 300 extra devices onto the network every year. By adopting ClearPass, Kings can easily support secure connectivity for IT-issued and personal mobile devices across any network.
“At the same time as upgrading our APs we also brought in ClearPass, allowing the students to self-enroll on the Wi-Fi,” said Chris Oakley, IT Manager at the Kings of Wessex Academy. “That’s been brilliant – they see a browser page that looks like the school network, they just have to agree to the terms and conditions and enter the username and password that they already have for classroom use. For example, we have more than 300 sixth-formers with a lot of self-study periods – and while there are a number of computers in the library, if they want to work in their own social areas, they are now able to do so.”
The expanded Aruba Wi-Fi network has already helped with a number of innovative e-learning projects. For example, the Mathematics department uses QR codes to link students to online video clips that help with problem solving and mathematical techniques. Given the insufficient 3G coverage around the school, Wi-Fi delivers the bandwidth required to improve the performance of communication applications allowing students to save on phone bill costs.
It took just one day to swap the school’s existing population of more than 40 single-band Access Points (APs) for dual-band equivalents that can support 802.11a at 5GHz. No changes were needed to the wired backbone, and the new Aruba AP-125 dual-band APs worked with Kings' existing Aruba mobility controller.
“Aruba Networks has delivered a comprehensive solutions approach to enable the Kings of Wessex Academy to take advantage of the latest technologies and e-learning practices,” said Bob Vickers, UK Director at Aruba. “The school serves as a fine example of how to proactively deal with emerging trends. By purchasing Aruba’s flexible and scalable Wi-Fi infrastructure along with the ClearPass Access Management solution, the Kings of Wessex Academy has been able to convert a potential problem with BYOD, into a powerful enhancement of school life.”
About Aruba Networks, Inc.
Aruba Networks is a leading provider of next-generation network access solutions for the mobile enterprise. The company’s Mobile Virtual Enterprise (MOVE) architecture unifies wired and wireless network infrastructures into one seamless access solution for corporate headquarters, mobile business professionals, remote workers and guests. This unified approach to access networks dramatically improves productivity and lowers capital and operational costs.
Listed on the NASDAQ and Russell 2000® Index, Aruba is based in Sunnyvale, California, and has operations throughout the Americas, Europe, Middle East, and Asia Pacific regions. To learn more, visit Aruba at http://www.arubanetworks.com. For real-time news updates follow Aruba on Twitter and Facebook.
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