Vechtdal students connect to the campus WiFi via their tablets
Netherlands-based Vechtdal College had reached a crossroads in the development of its wireless network. The legacy system no longer supported students’ or teachers’ expectations for constant connectivity for their mobile devices. Indeed, feedback across the campus was that WiFi performance was unstable, while managing the network was draining IT staff resources.
Vechtdal turned to Dell, which had provided the college with a number of solutions in the past. These included Dell storage and servers to meet the college’s growing IT needs as well as Dell desktops and laptops for staff, teachers and students. Working with Dell’s trusted advisors, Vechtdal set out to resolve its WiFi issues. The design process moved quickly with the college collaborating closely with Dell. The finished solution comprised Dell Networking W-AP105 and W-AP135 access points, Dell Networking W-7210 mobility controllers and the Dell Networking W-Series ClearPass Access Management System. To control access, the college also installed Dell Networking W-Series Policy Enforcement Firewall and Dell Networking W-Series Wireless Intrusion Protection.
Today, WiFi connectivity across the college has improved dramatically. Teachers, students and staff have reliable access campus-wide with no gaps in coverage. Teachers are getting the most out of mobile devices during lesson times, using them to wirelessly deliver presentations on smart boards and print documents. In fact, everyone has reported that connectivity is fast and continues to stay that way even as more and more devices are added to the network. Moreover, the network is configured so students, teachers and staff can connect their smartphone, tablet device or laptop using a self-registration process that doesn’t tax IT resources.
Besides excellent connectivity, the college also made significant cost savings with its Dell solution. Compared with a solution from Cisco, the Dell design needed 27 percent fewer access points for the same level of coverage – delivering a savings of up to €25,000 (US$34,400). In addition, the college has a forward-looking solution to meet its future needs. Lars Boerdijk, Technical Engineer at Vechtdal College can accelerate the rollout of BYOD because managing the WiFi network takes up little of his working day. He says: “I’m dedicating more time to our tablet project and bring-your-own-device through the simplicity of the Dell Networking WiFi solution.”
Mr. Boerdijk is also confident he can maintain the WiFi network over the long term by working with Dell ProSupport. “I like the fact that Dell ProSupport understands the kinds of pressures that IT personnel face and works hard to maximise uptimes,” he comments.
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