Wednesday, April 16, 2008

What's this all about ?

Well, we really have a few main goals associated with upgrading the wireless network.

1) Replace the old wireless hardware that is now 6+ years old with a "modern" system that is much more capable. If you stay tuned, I'll cover what a lot of those new capabilities are...

2) Expand coverage area especially in the Bloomington Halls of Residence, but also in other areas of the IUB and IUPUI campuses. Our current wireless deployment in the IUB Halls only covers common areas such as lounges. We will be expanding to cover nearly every square inch of the Halls of Residence (ok, don't quote me on that every square inch thing) - that means coverage in every student room as well as all common areas. To give you an idea of the scale, we currently have a total of about 1,200 Access Points (APs) for the entire Bloomington campus. We will be adding 2,700 new APs *just* in the Halls of Residence ! That's a LOT of wifi !

3) Deploy WPA2 Enterprise to replace VPN as the mechanism for accessing wireless securely. I'll have one or more posts dedicated to discussing what WPA2 Enterprise is and how it works, but in a nut shell it provides an authenticated and encrypted wireless connection in a way that is MUCH more user-friendly than VPN. I've been using this is our test environment for several months and I can tell you, once you use WPA2 Enterprise, you'll never want to use VPN to connect to wireless again !

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