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Meru Networks Connects the Intelligent Campus with SDN-enabled Wi-Fi

By Abi Mandelbaum
September 29th, 2014

Wireless leader’s higher education customers using open standards to drive unification of wired and wireless networks and enable third-party application deployment

SUNNYVALE, Calif. – September 29, 2014 – Meru Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ: Meru), a leader in intelligent networking and the only wireless LAN vendor to have received OpenFlow™ conformance, today announced that an increasing number of colleges and universities are embracing its innovative approach to software defined network (SDN)-enablement for the campus access layer. Doing so allows them to build an “intelligent campus,” where network automation and real-time systems consistently deliver an exceptional student experience and support or enable their academic and business goals. Taking an open-standards approach to network development enables unified management of wired and wireless networks and enables integration of a growing number of high-quality, third-party applications.

Yesterday was about campus-wide coverage of Wi-Fi, often achieved with 802.11n. Today is about capacity, with 802.11ac Gigabit Wi-Fi and 80MHz channels. SDN-enabling the campus network edge is the next step in network innovation, giving IT the control needed to deliver a consistently high-quality student experience, and Meru is leading the charge.

Cedarville University, which deployed Meru 802.11ac to support high densities of student devices in its campus chapel, is investigating Meru SDN-enabled Wi-Fi. With the majority of its servers running in virtual configurations, its IT management is interested in minimizing VLAN and DHCP configuration challenges. To do so, they seek to unify management of its wired and wireless access networks using OpenFlow-enabled SDN.

“The role of the campus edge network is changing daily, with device and application numbers, traffic levels and user expectations always on the rise,” said David Rotman, associate vice president for technology and CIO for Cedarville. “Our IT department needs to be faster and more flexible than ever before to keep up with the demand. Meru’s industry-leading approach to SDN will help ensure that we have access to the applications we need to maintain the rapid pace of change.”

The University of Houston is also taking a progressive stance on SDN. With more than 6,000 network elements, including access points, switches, routers and firewalls to manage, unification through a centralized SDN controller will offer multiple benefits. These include comprehensive real-time visibility into the network infrastructure, traffic and devices, as well as enablement of an emergency management portal that tracks user density.

“SDN-enabling the wireless network is a natural and necessary next step in the ongoing development of the campus edge,” said Charles Chambers, manager of network planning and development for the University of Houston. “It increases speed and agility and helps ensure quality by eliminating vendor lock-in. Working with Meru gives us confidence that our network will be able to adapt to the need for change, no matter how quickly or often it comes.”

Meru’s work with SDN builds on the Meru Education-Grade (MEG) initiative. MEG solutions are designed to solve schools’ BYOD issues and support their learning-essential applications. MEG starts with three simple steps:

1. On-board quickly with BYOD provisioning and secure wireless access mapped to IT policies.
2. Connect all BYOD devices reliably anywhere on campus.
3. Learn by deploying validated learning and teaching applications on BYOD devices over the MEG wireless solution.

“Meru is fully committed to the ongoing development of open-standards-based networks that ensure that customers have the speed, quality and agility they need to keep up with the steady rise in usage of their wireless networks,” said Sarosh Vesuna, vice president and general manager of business units at Meru. “SDN is the future of networking and Meru intends to keep its higher education customers at the forefront of this unprecedented wave of innovation.”

More information on Meru and SDN is available here: http://bit.ly/PadF71

About Meru Networks

Meru Networks (NASDAQ: MERU) is a leader in intelligent 802.11ac Wi-Fi solutions delivering uninterrupted user experience for education, healthcare, hospitality and enterprise. The Meru open-standards-based architecture is designed to enable unified management of wired and wireless networks. Its end-to-end application QoS enables enforceable service-level agreements. Meru provides top performance and high capacity in high-density environments. Visit www.merunetworks.com or call (408) 215-5300 for more information.

©2014 Meru Networks. Meru and Meru Networks are registered trademarks and the Meru logo is a trademark of Meru Networks, Inc. in the United States. OpenFlow™ is a trademark of the Open Networking Foundation.

About the Author:

Abi Mandelbaum

Abi Mandelbaum is CEO of YouVisit.