Knowledgebase: Network/Wireless
Meru Networks - Higher Education
Posted by Rush, Dennis on 13 November 2010 10:51 AM

Meru's Value Proposition for Higher Education

Meru Networks wireless LAN solutions uses virtualization technology to deliver the best wireless performance and end user experience, whether in dense user environments, running high definition video, audio streams, or downloading large data files.

Meru delivers greater performance with fewer components, while protecting schools for future scale, and does all this simply. No other solution protects your RF spectrum like Meru does.

1. Robust and secure connectivity

Meru's high powered Access Points deliver robust coverage and secure user connectivity, ensuring that each user has network access with application aware quality of service.

2. Any device, Any application, Any time

With a large variety of Wi-Fi devices, each running various 802.11 protocols and applications, it is imperative that a wireless LAN support a complete mix of devices and allow them all to operate at their full potential without the degradation of other devices. Meru's Air Time Fairness with Virtual Port ensures each user experience across a range of application-specific devices, regardless of radio technology (802.11a/b/g/n) and application.

3. Simple expansion, linear scaling with no service impact

With virtualized wireless LAN, ADDs/MOVES/CHANGES are a snap and transparent to users. Add another AP, it automatically connects with the controller, runs diagnostics and goes on-line automatically with no impact to users.

As capacity needs to increase, simply layer another channel, providing linear scaling of capacity across the entire campus, or just to specific areas. The multiple channel layers provide increase capacity, but also provide RF redundancy.

4. Saving CapEx requiring up to 30% fewer Access Points

Meru's solutions uses up to 30% fewer components then other solutions, saving on cabling and switch ports, and uses channel layer to ensure your networks' capacity can scale if you should need it in the future. Initial deployments, as well as ADDS and CHANGES, are simple. Simply plug in a new AP and it is automatically added into the network.

Meru networks can be scaled linearly via channel layering, providing the school 3+ times the scaling of other wireless LAN, providing schools the peace of mind that their networks can grow as their needs grow.

5. Saving OpEx with proactive management

Once the network is installed, Meru's EzRF Network Manager captures client state and logs it, allowing network administrators rewind the client state back to the time of the reported problem. It provides network details and forensics to the tips of their fingers, at a laptop or iPhone, so they always have a pulse on the network, while Meru's Service Assurance Manager monitors the performance and reports problems before users ever know there is a problem.

Eliminating Pain Points (Higher Education)

Meru's virtualized wireless LAN solves the fundamental problem of shared medium (HUB) architectures by creating a switch based architecture that eliminates air time contention/collisions and reduced performance. By scheduling client and AP transmissions and coordinating traffic between access point, the available capacity is increased with wire-like predictability and low latency. This is the fundamental reason that all enterprise networks use switched based technologies today, and why they should use Meru wireless to complement them.

How Meru solves the pain points:

The Problems

Long login times or unable to connect

Students expect technology, particularly Wi-Fi connectivity. More students are turning to using Digital Textbooks to reduce the expense of their books, plus they user their laptops, iPads, etc for reports, research, etc. As the density of WiFi users increase in the class rooms, they will experience long logon times, potentially disrupting class time, creating frustration with professors and students.

Poor/inconsistent performance as more users login

With microcell networks, as more users and WiFi devices connect, the performance degrades. Each user will have a different experience and the network will be unreliable. This problem is prevalent in lecture halls, auditoriums, libraries and cafeterias. As students are carrying 3-4 WiFi devices with them, the wireless LAN for a 10,000 student campus may experience having 30,000 clients trying to connect to it.

Jittery/freeze frame video, low quality

Video is real big on campuses everywhere and many universities are integrating video into their curriculum. As they try and distribute multicast and unicast video throughout the campus, they are finding their wireless LANs cannot deliver a quality stream while in the presence of other data applications that are running simultaneously.

Choppy audio/voice quality

Higher education students use many types of applications on their campus wireless LANs, they expect them to deliver the same quality as if it was a wired network. Voice and audio is extremely sensitive to latency and packet loss. Microcell networks cannot guarantee the voice/audio quality in the presence of heavy data traffic and demanding video.

Time consuming/daily maintenance

Network managers of university and college wireless LAN find they spend a lot of time

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