Meru Networks, Inc., the leader in virtualized 802.11n enterprise wireless networking, announced that Mount Saint Mary College has chosen Meru's scalable and high-density virtualized wireless LAN (WLAN) solution to deliver 24x7 reliable wireless access to its 1,000 student residents.
Dissatisfaction with the coverage and reliability of its legacy microcell wireless solution and a recommendation from Frontrunner Network Systems led to a head-to-head evaluation of WLAN vendors. Ultimately, Mount Saint Mary's students chose Meru's AP320i virtualized WLAN solution over competing microcell-based options to handle the growing influx of wireless devices, applications and users on the network.
From the minute the Meru-powered network went live, the support staff vigilantly monitored the network for dropped connections, co-channel interference and performance degradation that had been prevalent with the previous wireless network.
After several hours of monitoring the network with Meru's E(z)RF Network Manager, the school's IT staff was surprised to discover that more than 600 mobile wireless devices had been concurrently connected and running smoothly on the network without any issues. The staff and students reported a Wireless-like-Wire experience as they were able to seamlessly connect all of their wireless devices to the network across the college's 12 dormitories and residence halls.
"At Mount Saint Mary College, we view technology as the cornerstone of our students' education. We sought a solution that could deliver a consistent user experience from any location on campus," says Thomas Sayles, director, technical services, Mount Saint Mary College. "The students and staff chose Meru over the competition by experiencing three separate environments where each vendor was challenged to develop their best solution.
- With a growing number of iPads, iPhones, and other mobile devices hitting the college's wireless network, students are accessing the online resource portal from anywhere on campus. This has generated the demand for a consistent and predictable wireless experience from all locations.
- Meru outperformed microcell-based competitive offerings, alleviating performance and interference issues while enabling the college to accommodate a rapidly increasing number of wireless devices across the 802.11a/b/g/n band.
- A simplified setup procedure made it easy for IT staff to get Meru's wireless network up and running, and available to all student residents, in a short time frame.
- Meru's Virtual Cell approach eliminated the reception and coverage issues prevalent with the college's previous microcell wireless network. By eliminating handoffs between access points and pooling network resources, users are now able to seamlessly roam across the residence halls, while accessing hundreds of devices across the campus.
- Wi-Fi meltdowns have moved beyond large venues and are occurring in many different environments. Meru's ability to help colleges and universities like Mount Saint Mary College avoid a Wi-Fi meltdown has been shown with its WLAN 500TM demonstration, supporting over 500 wireless devices in a 500-square-foot area streaming voice, video, and data concurrently and delivering full quality of service whether mobile or stationary.
"In the end, it was the students themselves who selected Meru, as it was hands-down the only solution that could provide us the reliability, coverage, and performance they needed to thrive in the learning process," Sayles continues. "It was an added bonus that the Meru-powered network was so easy to setup and manage, but something that was definitely a key consideration for the IT staff, tasked with keeping the network consistently performing at a level that guarantees academic excellence. The teams from Meru and Frontrunner were outstanding. They are as committed to our campus-wide wireless vision as we are, giving us complete confidence in our network."
John Gallagher, senior director, solutions marketing, Meru Networks, adds, "Meru has years of experience in understanding the various requirements of educational institutions as they begin to transition their networks to support today's technically savvy student populations.
"The stakes are greater in higher education, which is why there is increased attention at these institutions to deliver a wireless networking solution to accommodate the growing demand for devices and applications," he says.