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Handling School Wi-Fi Connection Blues on Move-in Day


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In this Document, you will learn how to tackle the wireless connectivity challenges that schools face every semester, without compromising on the quality, safety and security of the Wi-Fi connection.
Schools these days are expected to keep up with the high demands of the tech-savvy generation glued to their Wi-Fi devices. Delayed, slow or complicated connectivity issues immediately put off students. They don't think a moment before ranting about it on social forums that cause an irreparable damage to the reputation of the school.
While students expect easy and flawless wireless connectivity from day one, the school’s IT teams struggle to keep up with the barrage of devices each student brings in. IT also has to ensure wireless LAN solutions provide uninterrupted Wi-Fi connectivity in classrooms, libraries and in every corner of the campus, which adds to the endless anxiety of the school staff.
Wireless registration, authentication and access don’t have to be so cumbersome and complicated. Meru’s bring-your-own-device (BYOD) solution for universities ensures network security and balanced network loads at all times thereby providing hassle-free Wi-Fi access. It also automates many of the requirements for maintaining and managing a secure, high-performance network, giving the much needed relief to the IT staff.

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Handling School Wi-Fi Connection Blues on Move-in Day

  1. 1. Avoid Campus “Move-in Day” Blues Ready to welcome battalions of tech savvy students armed with a barrage of shiny, new gadgets and demanding immediate access to high-speed wireless network? Nightmares? Then it’s time to invest in ‘IdM Automation Solutions’. Download Now Copyright ©2013. All Rights Reserved.
  2. 2. Campus Scenario Students bring multiple devices that include laptops, tablets, smartphones, gaming consoles etc. Schools face the challenge of providing wireless connectivity to incoming freshmen, returning students, and teaching staff all at the same time without compromising on anyone’s needs or demands. For students, wireless connection is as natural and ubiquitous as running water; they expect high-speed connectivity everywhere - indoors as well as outdoors. Even if schools get Wi-Fi challenges on Move-in Day under control, they face the same situation again in January (The Santa Effect), when the students return from holidays with more new or upgraded devices. Over 90% of web traffic on campus is wireless, yet there is never enough IT support. Frustrated students and parents may bad-mouth schools on online review sites and discussion forums if they don’t have reliable access to Wi-Fi. A good solution to tackle the entire situation should possess: A streamlined process for on-boarding students, faculty and guests A means to scale to handle tens of thousands of students and 3-4x as many devices A seamless connection in spite of different platforms, software versions, capabilities A wireless platform that will keep the staff and students connected throughout the year A level of automation – to deliver the scalability, security and performance But, behind the scenes, IT staff has its own set of critical considerations: A secure network with balanced network loads Devices that comply with, IT and institutional security policies Connectivity provided to appropriate access point only A solution that allows configuring 802.1X and certifications The current BYOD approaches like self-service guides or queuing up to IT support staff for connectivity leaves on-boarders and IT staff frustrated. Wireless Network Best Practices 1. Manage expectations: Students should know ahead about the steps required for access, the challenges of Wi-Fi reliability, and the quality of Wi-Fi they should expect. 2. Implement “smart” technology: Automate secure connections, increase efficiency and ensure security protocols are followed. 3. Segregate Wi-Fi traffic: Create network traffic separation for students, faculty and guests to improve network performance and management of service level assurances and security policy enforcement 4. Devote appropriate resources: Wi-Fi networks carry more than 90% of your IP traffic - an important fact often overlooked. 5. Clearly mark out areas indicating connectivity levels and quality. 2
  3. 3. All said and done, best practices only ‘aim’ at achieving the happy balance. To ensure complete control of the situation, schools need to invest in solutions that streamline on-boarding processes, and prevent Move-in Day Blues for freshmen as well as the IT Department. IdM Automation is the way to go! Meru’s IdM (Identity Management) Automation promises to get rid of the Move-in Day Blues; they automate many of the requirements for maintaining and managing a secure, high-performance network and greatly reduce the number of steps required for set up. It does this through its key components: BYOD Provisioning Guest Management Federated Access Once deployed, the value of IdM is clearly visible at several levels: Fewer IT Help Desk complaints about Wi-Fi Single sign-on for the entire term is a great convenience for students Reduced IT workload that allows more time and manpower for other important projects Reliable Wi-Fi and guest management allows school theaters and conference facilities to be rented to the community for revenue that can be re-invested in school initiatives Besides, the Integrated IdM is very user-friendly. The IT staff simply has to add another module for guest and device access, with common reporting, common look and feel, and single source of training and vendor support that can often be negotiated at a lower price. To learn more, read the “Avoid Campus Move-in Day Blues” White Paper. Download Now About Meru Networks Meru Networks is a supplier of wireless local area networks (WLANs) to healthcare, enterprise, hospitality, K-12 education, higher education, and other markets. Founded in 2002 and headquartered in Sunnyvale, California, United States. For more information visit 3