N.C. District Deploy Wireless LAN Solution

North Carolina's Rowan-Salisbury School System has implemented Aerohive’s wireless LAN networking solution to manage the influx of new mobile devices, tablets and laptops.

The sprawling Rowan-Salisbury School System comprises 35 schools, with over 20,000 students and about 3,000 employees. As the largest employer in Rowan County, the school district was facing the need to accommodate a rapid influx of Apple iPads, iPod Touches, laptops and other popular Wi-Fi enabled mobile devices, on its wireless network.
In addition to this growing wave of devices, the district’s technology team wanted to provide its staff and students with an enriched learning experience by letting them use the same devices in the classroom as they use at home, and this required upgrading its WLAN.

“Before implementing Aerohive’s solution, we were forced to provide select rooms with a laptop cart with an access point,” said Phil Hardin, Executive Director for Technology for the Rowan-Salisbury School System. “Classrooms without these carts were unable to have wireless access. We quickly realized we needed to change this dated process in order to enable our students and staff to expand learning opportunities beyond the classroom.”

The district's IT team evaluated three other wireless solutions before selecting Aerohive, which offers cooperative control access points (AP) running 802.11n technology that don't require network controllers or overlay networks. Unlike controller-based solutions where there is a single point of failure, Aerohive APs work together to recover from component failures without the need to deploy redundant systems.

Aerohive’s new, patent-pending Bonjour Gateway makes networks service-aware and makes BYOD with Apple devices a native part of every network. The Bonjour Gateway feature manages and controls Apple service availability (such as AirPrint, AirPlay, file sharing, collaboration applications, etc.) across an entire enterprise-class network.

“We’re very excited about Aerohive’s Bonjour Gateway feature, because we use iPads in our one to- one program,” Hardin said. “We use separate VLANs for students and teachers, and that security separation makes it difficult to fully use AirPlay and AirPrint in the classroom. With this new Bonjour Gateway feature, it integrates the technologies we’ve already chosen into our learning environment.”

The IT team at Rowan-Salisbury worked closely with SLAIT Consulting to deploy Aerohive’s technology throughout the school system. SLAIT is an information technology consulting services firm specializing in delivering customized IT solutions.

Since deploying Aerohive’s wireless LAN solution as a pilot program in one school in 2010, Rowan-Salisbury school district has now expanded this implementation to include all 35 campuses.