Westmont College Selects Meraki for 802.11n WiFi Network to Cover 111-Acre Campus

Top Tier College Chooses Meraki Over Aruba Networks and Cisco Systems to Deploy Campus-Wide WLAN for a Fraction of the Cost and Complexity


SAN FRANCISCO, CA — July 20, 2009 – Meraki, the could-based wireless networking company, has been selected by Westmont College in Santa Barbara, Calif., for its campus-wide, indoor/outdoor 802.11n network. After careful consideration and testing, Westmont College (Westmont) chose Meraki over Enterprise WLAN providers Aruba Networks and Cisco Systems. Westmont joins a growing number of universities choosing Meraki for its high performance networks that are easy to manage and typically cost 50% less than traditional wireless solutions.

Founded in 1937 and ranked in the top tier among the nation’s best liberal arts colleges according to U.S. News & World Report’s “America’s Best Colleges 2009 Edition,” Westmont enrolls more than 1,200 students across a 111-acre campus with 24 major buildings. Westmont decided to upgrade to an all 802.11n network for two main reasons.  First, Westmont experienced a significant increase in mobile Internet usage among students and faculty and expects the trend to accelerate in the coming years.   Westmont plans to use its 802.11n wireless network to support in-class and campus applications as well as providing Internet connectivity within residence halls and faculty residences. Second, Westmont’s existing deployment did not provide comprehensive indoor/outdoor coverage and was not user friendly.

When selecting a WLAN system, reliability, performance, ease of use and management were vital factors.   “At Westmont we are moving to a cloud-based approach with as many of our IT initiatives as possible in order to improve reliability and performance, reduce cost and allow an already busy IT staff to more effectively manage new IT infrastructure,” said Reed Sheard, vice president and CIO of information technology for Westmont.  “Meraki is unique in bringing the benefits of cloud computing to wireless networking. As a result, we will be able to move entirely to 802.11n and become one of the first colleges in the country to do so.”

Meraki offers universities and colleges reliable, premium-featured networks that can be deployed for less than half the cost and in less than half the time of traditional solutions. Meraki’s Cloud Controller offers very easy-to-use and powerful management tools that allow a multi-site network to be managed remotely with minimal IT staff and resource time. Meraki’s high performance 802.11n access points and mesh configuration provide strong indoor and outdoor coverage across entire campuses including classrooms, auditoriums, stadiums, student and faculty housing and the campus grounds.

Meraki also offers educational institutions the latest enterprise-grade wireless LAN features, such as automatic radio frequency (RF) planning, quality-of-service (QoS) for voice and video, security with 802.1x authentication and the ability to create multiple virtual-LANs on a single physical network – for example one for students, another for staff, others for different wireless applications such as security cameras or voice over wireless.

“With Meraki’s Enterprise Cloud Controller, our deployment time will be cut in half and we can manage the entire network without adding new IT staff,” continued Dr. Sheard.   “From enhancing the classroom experience to supporting special Westmont iPhone applications, we look forward to using the Meraki 802.11n network to make Westmont an even better place for students and faculty.”

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