Luther College – Victoria, Australia

Aruba provides cutting edge wireless learning environment for Luther College’s 1200 students

Providing a cutting edge connected learning environment for 1200 students across a 22-acre campus is the number one priority for Chris Topp, Director of IT at Luther College in Victoria, Australia.

“There is a proliferation of mobile, wireless devices in the modern world, and that is something we recognise and strive to support in our learning environment,” said Topp. “It’s a managed environment where we provide the primary learning device, but we also need to support the personal devices brought onto the network by students.”

Creating the Ultimate Mobile Learning Environment

The students, teachers and parents love the new Aruba network. It’s 100 per cent reliable, which is what we need because our teaching environment requires a rock-solid wireless infrastructure.Chris Topp, Director of IT, Luther College

As a large private school, Luther College was quickly outgrowing the capacity of its existing network.

“We were outgrowing the existing infrastructure,” says Topp. “For us it was a positive when HPE purchased Aruba, as rolling out Aruba infrastructure would provide a high degree of compatibility with our existing HPE switching hardware.”

With the help of partner HoneyLight Systems, Topp and his team of five IT professionals selected Aruba. “We deployed AirWave, ClearPass and 802.11 ac Wave 2IAP 325 access points,” says Topp. “This provides a complete, secure and flexible wireless solution across our entire campus, both indoors and outdoors.”

Managed Learning Environment

According to Topp, virtually every student has at least two devices connected to the Aruba network. Luther College provides a fully managed environment for the students’ primary device, and allows BYOD for any secondary devices, such as smartphones.

“We view the primary device as a creation tool, not a consumption device,” Topp says. “We wanted to own the management of the primary device to use in a productive way, which just couldn’t happen effectively if we did not have granular control of the devices.”

The school relies heavily on cloud collaboration tools, such as Microsoft Office 365, OneNote for the Classroom and Adobe Premier for video editing.

“Wi-Fi downtime is not an option,” he says. “Our operation is dependent on having infrastructure working and being available.”

Ease of Network Configuration and Device Management with Aruba

Luther College found it simple to deploy the Aruba solutions of ClearPass and AirWave, which has a positive effect when it comes to network management and user authentication.

Topp and his team rely on ClearPass to deliver visibility, policy control and workflow automation in one cohesive solution.

“Using the smarts in ClearPass makes management and authentication simple. Another benefit is increased throughput. If we need to deploy 200 machines in one hit in a small area, we can do that without impacting other users in the area,” said Topps.

ClearPass also provides access for visiting students and faculty. ClearPass handles temporary access rights to the network. Visitors are provided with a network ID and log-on, and they are able to access parts of the school network relevant to their needs.

AirWave Optimises Wi-Fi

Luther College uses AirWave to maintain the overall operability and health of its Wi-Fi network. Its map-like interface provides critical and granular visibility into each access point, including real-time and historical connection information. By proactively monitoring the health and performance of all things connected, AirWave allows the team at Luther College to gain the insights they need to support the digital learning environment.

“With the Aruba management controller we have an easy and simple way to troubleshoot the network. For example, if one of our school-owned learning devices has application issues, we can quickly identify the problem and easily provide a solution,” said Topp.

Positive Outcomes for Luther College

Since the implementation of the Aruba network, Luther College has experienced significant reliability, strong user uptake and positive user feedback.

“The students, teachers and parents love the new Aruba network,” says Topp. “It’s 100 per cent reliable, which is what we need because our teaching environment requires a rock-solid wireless infrastructure.”

“Wireless is a critical component in the mix of a modern education environment,” he adds.

As Luther College continues to embrace a digital learning environment for its growing student population, Topp and his team look forward to working closely with Aruba to support the school with a secure and scalable wireless network.