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Surfing the Tsunami: Residence Hall Wireless Devices

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Keeping up with the explosion of wireless devices connecting in the residence halls on campus, Appalachian State University and UNC Greensboro have developed multi-pronged approaches to support, maintain, and grow their wireless deployments. Working closely with our client support groups and with help from the hardware manufacturer, both Universities have overcome severe problems. We’ll discuss our successes, how we relieved pain points, and how we are planning for a future without Ethernet.

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Surfing the Tsunami: Residence Hall Wireless Devices

  1. 1. Surfing the Tsunami Riding the Rising Tide of Wireless Devices and Moving to a Wireless-Only Environment Joint Presentation by:
  2. 2. Introductions  John Pertalion - ASU  Network Infrastructure and Control Systems  Phillip Garrison - UNCG  HRL Assistant Director for Technology  Phillip Kluttz - UNCG  ITS Wireless Network Engineer  Natsu Carr - UNCG  ITS Enterprise Networks and Support
  3. 3. Overview       ASU and UNCG Wireless Environment Placement of Access Points Authentication Customer Support Planning for the Future
  4. 4. Universities At a Glance ASU UNCG Campus enrollment 17,589 18,478 Residential students 34% 30% Residential freshmen 99% 81%
  5. 5. The Tsunami at ASU Clients over the past year  Max 12,500  Avg 7,260
  6. 6. The Tsunami at ASU Bandwidth over the past year
  7. 7. The Tsunami at ASU Clients over the past week
  8. 8. The Tsunami at ASU Bandwidth over the past week
  9. 9. ASU Wireless Environment  Manufacturer – Aruba Networks  Entire Campus  7 controllers  1,800 access points  Residence Halls     4 controllers 900 access points 20 Residence Halls 5,100 beds
  10. 10. ASU Wireless Environment  New Hardware  Reduced the number of controllers  Maximized the license counts on our best controllers  Increased the number of access points  Network Switches  Spread the load of authorized clients  Added to handle increase in number of APs  New switches to accommodate PoE requirements
  11. 11. The Tsunami at UNCG 2013 2012 September Student Visitor Overall AVG 2,540 713 3,630 MAX 3,121 870 4,437 AVG 3,842 160 4,443 MAX 4,673 215 5,427 November Student Visitor Overall 3,109 649 4,166 3,606 768 4,821 5,429 742 5,625 8,279 1,296 8,943
  12. 12. The Tsunami at UNCG
  13. 13. The Tsunami at UNCG
  14. 14. UNCG Wireless Environment  Manufacturer – Aruba / Blue Coat  Entire Campus     4 controllers – 7000 series Almost 1,800 access points PacketShaper 12000 CacheFlow CF5000  Residence Halls     Use campus controllers 761 access points 26 Residence Halls 4,750 beds
  15. 15. UNCG Wireless Environment  Access Point Deployment: Hallway vs In-Room  More success with In-Room deployment  Consequences:  Increase in the number of APs  1G connections for new APs  Better coverage for 5 Ghz devices
  16. 16. Placement of APs  Old technique  Install APs in hallways  Let signal bleed into rooms on both frequencies  Problems  Co-channel interference  Signal quality in the rooms  Other devices in the 2.4 Ghz spectrum
  17. 17. Placement of APs  New technique  Install APs in the rooms  Use only 5 Ghz  Results  Reduces co-channel interference  Improves signal quality in the rooms  Avoids 2.4 Ghz problems
  18. 18. Hallway vs In-Room Which coverage map would you choose?
  19. 19. Authentication at ASU  802.1X authentication against AD radius servers and custom radius server  Registration in our Netreg NAC system  WPA2, dropped WPA  AES, dropped TKIP due to N requirements  Dropped 802.11b transmit rates
  20. 20. SSIDs  UNCG-FacultyStaffStudent  Secured Network  Domain Authentication  UNCG-Wireless  Open with Captive Portal  768K bandwidth restriction  Limited to basic Internet use HTTP Traffic
  21. 21. Authentication at UNCG  UNCG-FacultyStaffStudent  802.1x Authenticated  WPA2 Enterprise  CloudPath Xpressconnect Automated Client Configuration  UNCG-Wireless  Captive Portal using Aruba ClearPass  Password provided with valid email or text  Account expiration after 8 hours
  22. 22. Customer Support  General Configuration Support  Phone support from the Service Desk  Technology Support Center for Walk-ins  Online Configuration Guides  Non Configuration Support  Coverage  Network Configuration
  23. 23. Customer Support  Student Staff  Basic troubleshooting at staffed support center  Detailed Training For Select Student Staff  System Design, Authentication, Wifi Testing, Hardware Layout  Nighthawk Support Team  Client Configurations In Residence Halls  Flipping Access Points  Moving from 5Ghz to 2.4Ghz as needed
  24. 24. Planning for the Future  Continuous Upgrading  Installing new access points, ¼ complete  Upgrade controllers to consolidate hardware  Drop NAC Registration Requirement  Allow access by credentials  Redesign Visitor SSID  Balance access of casual devices  Add network requirements  Move to the new licensing system
  25. 25. Planning for the Future  Wireless ONLY = NO Ethernet in the Residence Halls  Impacts:      Wireless core infrastructure Coverage / density needs for future technologies (ac) Bandwidth needs Device support User support
  26. 26. Planning for the Future Wireless ONLY – Feedback  Learning from our Residents  Surveying Coverage and Perception  Frequent surveys for feedback  Following up on reports of poor coverage  Addressing reality vs perception  Lather, Rinse, Repeat  Three to four surveys per academic year
  27. 27. Planning for the Future Wireless ONLY – Support  Device Support  Desktop support – USB wireless adapters  Home devices – Register up to 3 devices  User Support  Skill-based routing at the Service Desk  Going to the customer
  28. 28. Summary       ASU and UNCG Wireless Environment Placement of Access Points Authentication Customer Support Planning for the Future
  29. 29. Questions  Phillip Garrison – UNCG – HRL  phillip_garrison@uncg.edu, 336 334-5636  Phillip Kluttz – UNCG – ITS  p_kluttz@uncg.edu, 336 334-4762  John Pertalion – ASU – ITS  pertalionaj@appstate.edu, 828 262-7909

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