Malaysian university rolls out new wireless WAN

The Malaysia-based International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) has chosen wireless networks provider Aruba Networks to roll out adaptive wireless LANs throughout its Gombak and Kuantan campuses.

The main campus, a 700 acre facility in Gombak, serves 20,000 students from more than 90 countries. The new network was installed by Transition Systems Malaysia, an Aruba- sole distributor and provides pervasive wireless coverage across both campuses.

"The university's legacy wireless network served only selected areas of the two campuses, and used stand-alone access points, also called Fat APs, with limited guest access, complex management requirements, and no expansion capabilities," said Dr. Ahmad Unggul, IIUM's ITD deputy director.

"To meet both current and projected network demand, a reliable, centrally-managed, campus-wide network was needed -- one that offered comprehensive guest access provisions, and supported data, video, and voice applications," added Dr Unggul.

"We selected Aruba for the project because their network management architecture can manage, diagnose, troubleshoot, and update all of the university's 765 access points from IIUM's Gombak and Kuantan data centers," said Engineer Jaiz Anuar Yeop Johari, project manager of IIUM's Campus Wide Wireless Project.

He said: "Centralized management minimizes our IT costs by avoiding the need to dispatch staff for routine support and maintenance tasks. Overhead is further reduced by Aruba's identity-based security, which enables access privileges to be based on a user's role. Our staff can now easily define roles for students, faculty, guests, and contractors, and know with confidence that access privileges will be enforced uniformly across all of our facilities."

According to Aruba, adaptive wireless LANs deliver follow-me connectivity to roaming users, support standard Wi-Fi clients, and deliver high-speed data, toll-quality voice, and streaming video applications. Aruba's identity-based security associates policies with users instead of ports, delivering follow-me security that enhances mobility without compromising security.

Replacing aging networks

"Many universities throughout the Asia Pacific region want to replace their aging Fat AP networks with state-of-the-art Wi-Fi solutions that are more easily managed and support multimedia applications," said Mike Guo, Aruba Asia Pacific vice president. "IIUM is a textbook example of how a campus-wide infrastructure upgrade can support new learning initiatives without burdening the IT organization with additional overhead."

"Aruba has a long history of supplying advanced wireless networking solutions to universities, and several Universities in Malaysia are already using our networks," said Desmond Teo, executive director of Transition Systems Malaysia. "Wireless LANs are a critical network resource for students, faculty, and staff in today's universities, and in their role as business-critical infrastructure the wireless LANs must perform to a very high standard."

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