Illinois State University Increases EdTech in Classrooms, Securely Connects 30,000+ Mobile Devices with Aruba Networks Gigabit Wi-Fi

Illinois State University Increases EdTech in Classrooms, Securely Connects 30,000+ Mobile Devices with Aruba Networks Gigabit Wi-Fi

New Campus-wide 802.11ac Replaces Meru Networks, Solves Device Density Challenges

SUNNYVALE, Calif. – October 21, 2014 – Aruba Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ: ARUN) today announced that Illinois State University (ISU), ranked among the top universities in the nation by U.S. News and World Report, is deploying a campus-wide Aruba 802.11ac-based network. The new Gigabit Wi-Fi infrastructure is enabling Illinois State to securely connect the 30,000+ mobile and wireless devices being used on campus while allowing University faculty to incorporate a wide range of education technologies and enhanced collaboration into their academic programs.

Illinois State’s Administrative Technologies department had been receiving complaints about their existing network’s coverage, reliability and speed, especially in sections of the campus with extreme device density. To address those concerns and improve network access for students, faculty, staff and guests, Illinois State decided to replace its Meru Networks wireless infrastructure and upgrade the network. After a thorough review of options, including a bake-off between Aruba and Cisco, Illinois State selected Aruba’s 802.11ac solution. Key considerations in Illinois State’s decision were Aruba’s ability to handle increasingly high device density, deliver outstanding performance, and quickly authenticate device connections on a multi-vendor network while the University migrates to the new Aruba infrastructure over the next three years.

“Some students today are bringing up to five mobile and wireless devices each onto campus,” said Ryan Johnston, Interim Director of Infrastructure, Operations and Networking for Illinois State. “From laptops, tablets and smartphones to televisions, Blu-ray players, gaming systems and printers, there is truly an explosion of devices trying to access the network. Our students expect their devices to work anywhere on campus, and to work as well as they do on their home networks. Our new Aruba infrastructure with ClearPass will allow us to provide the consistently fast and reliable access our students are demanding.”

The growing number of devices that Illinois State University students are bringing onto campus reflects the findings of a survey that Aruba conducted on #GenMobile, a new generation of tech-savvy users who rely on their mobile devices for every aspect of work, school and personal communication. In that study, 64% of respondents reported that they own three or more connected devices.

Illinois State’s new network will be comprised of Aruba AP-220 Series 802.11ac access points (APs) and Aruba 270 Series Outdoor 802.11ac APs – both with Aruba’s patented ClientMatch™ technology, which continuously matches mobile devices to the best access points as they roam through the campus, 7200 Series Mobility Controllers, the AirWave Network Management System, and the ClearPass Access Management System.

In addition to supporting student devices on campus, the new Aruba infrastructure allows the University’s faculty to better utilize the wireless network for instruction. “Our professors want to detach from the podium and move around the classroom, encouraging more collaborative work,” continued Johnston. “They want to use Apple TVs and Chromecast devices to enable students to delve deeper into course materials. Also, for our teaching program, which is well-known for its focus on 21st Century teaching practices, wirelessly projecting from a tablet is a vital capability for instruction. Aruba’s AirGroup feature can allow our teachers to do this easily.”

Secure guest access was another key factor in Illinois State’s selection of Aruba. Said Johnston, “We have a high number of visitors on campus each day including visiting faculty, conference, and event attendees who want to use the wireless network. We must be able to support their connectivity needs too, and with ClearPass, we can ensure that each user on the network has the proper access privileges based on who they are and what device they are using.”

Looking ahead, the University expects the growth of mobile devices to continue and Johnston is confident that the new Aruba network will meet the school’s evolving needs. “With innovations like connected watches and other wearables coming to market, we expect the number of devices to continue increasing and we need to be prepared to handle these new developments. We’re confident that the Aruba infrastructure will be able to keep pace with our future connectivity demands,” Johnston said.

About Aruba Networks, Inc.
Aruba Networks is a leading provider of next-generation network access solutions for the mobile enterprise. The company designs and delivers Mobility-Defined Networks that empower IT departments and #GenMobile, a new generation of tech-savvy users who rely on their mobile devices for every aspect of work and personal communication. To create a mobility experience that #GenMobile and IT can rely upon, Aruba Mobility-Defined Networks™ automate infrastructure-wide performance optimization and trigger security actions that used to require manual IT intervention. The results are dramatically improved productivity and lower 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, Africa and Asia Pacific regions. To learn more, visit Aruba at For real-time news updates follow Aruba on Twitter and Facebook, and for the latest technical discussions on mobility and Aruba products visit Airheads Social at

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Pavel Radda
Director of Corporate Communications
Aruba Networks, Inc.
Lori Hultin, Principal
LSH Communications for Aruba Networks