Chapman University Selects Aruba to Secure and Automate IT Operations and Deliver New Digital Experiences

14 May 2019

SANTA CLARA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company (NYSE: HPE), today announced that Chapman University, California’s third largest private university, has standardized on Aruba wireless, and deployed Aruba switching, security and management solutions, to modernize and mobilize its 11 schools and colleges across its main City of Orange campus and Irvine location.

Home to over 9,000 undergraduate and graduate students, Chapman is seeing more than 13,000 concurrent devices connecting to its network daily. According to Phillip Lyle, Assistant Vice President of Enterprise and Research Infrastructure at Chapman, the demand for secure and reliable wireless has topped the IT team’s priority list and has become a key differentiator for attracting and retaining today’s mobile-centric students.

“Students that we’ve surveyed tell us that wireless is the most important service on campus,” Lyle said. “Our students rely on it every day, and it is critical to the educational experience in our classrooms.”

Chapman found that their legacy wireless network could not address the University’s growing needs. In particular, the outdoor coverage was spotty and students were lodging complaints about frequent disconnects. The University was using an open configuration that lacked the kind of encryption, authentication, and role-based policy necessary to deliver secure network access, particularly as IoT devices are added. Furthermore, the network required manual tuning, configuration and management, all of which cost the IT team valuable time and resources.

Chapman sought an infrastructure that could automate deployment and management tasks, securely onboard IoT devices, and allow IT to develop role-based access policies to simplify the connectivity experience for students, faculty and guests. The University also wanted a full wired and wireless solution for its latest campus additions – Keck Center for Science and Engineering, and Chapman Grand, the newest and largest apartment-style student housing.

Chapman turned to Aruba, deploying both indoor and outdoor access points as well as Aruba’s 303H Series APs designed to meet the unique requirements of residence hall and hospitality needs, 7200 Series Mobility Controllers, a combination of 8320, 3810 and 2930 switches, Aruba ClearPass and AirWave network management.

Simplicity and manageability were key factors in Chapman’s decision to select Aruba. Explained Lyle, “When we replaced our existing equipment with Aruba’s, the process was so much easier and faster than our initial deployment. Previously, we had to tune each individual access point, but with AirWave we were able to automatically determine and provision the settings for each AP. This saved us a tremendous amount of time and effort. Even some of the other vendors we evaluated admitted that Aruba AirWave offered superior management capabilities to their management platforms.”

This simplicity extended to the deployment of the 303H Series APs in the Chapman Grand residence hall, which is designed like a 400-unit apartment complex. Using the APs in concert with Aruba’s zero-touch provisioning, Chapman was able to quickly bring the new building online, saving the IT team a substantial amount of time and cost.

ClearPass was also a primary factor in selecting Aruba, as the IT team needed a way to implement secure role-based access policies across the wireless and wired network, while making it easy for users to connect. This capability is particularly critical in Chapman’s new flagship Keck Center for Science and Engineering which has a robust wireless deployment, but also utilizes the Aruba 8320 switches for aggregation and analytics to anticipate the increased bandwidth demands that a science building could generate.

ClearPass is integral to Chapman’s transition from an open network to an authenticated system for students, staff and faculty, as well as managing guest access.

“With ClearPass we can now manage the type of access each individual receives depending on their role as student, faculty or staff. And we’ve established a captive portal for guest access that has been well-received by visitors,” added Michael Ferguson, Network Operations Manager for Chapman.

ClearPass also allows students, staff and faculty to register their own personal devices and is crucial to the University’s IoT strategy. Ferguson noted that the University is seeing a great deal of IoT device demand with alarms, door locks, smart lighting and HVAC sensors, as well as students just wanting to connect TVs and printers. Chapman is using ClearPass to effectively manage all of this, with an eye towards using it for full wired and wireless access control in the near future.

Moving forward, Chapman will evaluate Aruba Meridian in a Proof of Concept scheduled for summer 2019. The University will pair Meridian with an application called CriticalArc to enable location awareness for reporting security incidents. Beyond public safety, Chapman is also interested in wayfinding and other location-based services that could be used to improve its users’ experiences.

“Experience – that of our students, faculty or visitors to campus – is the most important consideration for our network deployment,” said Lyle. “In the past, we’d have 150 students in a classroom, and maybe a handful of them would have problems connecting and accessing a quiz. That’s a significant problem. Since we moved to our Aruba infrastructure, the number of complaints have diminished, and surveys reveal that wireless is not only the most important but also one of the top-rated services now for our students.”

About Chapman University

Chapman University is California’s third largest private university and ranks fifth in the U.S. News & World Report listing of Best Regional Universities in the West. Chapman is categorized by the Carnegie Classification as an R2 “high research activity” institution and offers personalized education to more than 9,000 undergraduate and graduate students. Chapman strives for diversity and inclusion by recruiting and supporting students representing a variety of backgrounds, experiences, learning styles and unique talents. The campus has produced a Rhodes Scholar, been named a top producer of Fulbright Scholars and hosts a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, the nation’s oldest and most prestigious honor society. Founded in 1861 and based in the City of Orange, California, Chapman also includes the Harry and Diane Rinker Health Science Campus, 21 miles south in the Irvine Spectrum, Orange County’s technology hub. In 2020, the university will open its 11th college, the Fowler School of Engineering in its newest facility, Keck Center for Science and Engineering.

About Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company

Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, is a leading provider of secure, intelligent networks that enable customers to thrive and deliver amazing digital experiences in the mobile, IoT and cloud era. We are changing the rules of networking to make it simple for IT and organizations to bridge the physical and digital worlds at the Edge.

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