Del Mar College

Del Mar College Modernizes Instruction With Cloud-Managed Wi-Fi

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Del Mar College (DMC) is located in the beautiful port city of Corpus Christi, Texas. DMC is a growing, forward-looking community college that serves up to 25,000 students and over 700 faculty members and staff. While the school’s education programs were at the leading edge of digital learning, the existing Wi-Fi network was trailing behind in performance. August Alfonso, VP of Facilities Operations and Chief Information Officer, set a new bar for his network team. “Our students shouldn’t be doing their assignments off-campus just to find a better Wi-Fi signal. Our faculty shouldn’t give up on introducing new learning models because the Wi-Fi network can’t support bandwidth-intensive applications. Students should be able to register multiple mobile devices on the campus network. And we shouldn’t have to overspend on APs or IT resources to build a high-performance network.”

With that mandate, Alfonso had his IT team put together a comprehensive “mobile roadmap” for modernizing DMC’s Wi-Fi network.

Vince Villarreal, network specialist, says the existing wireless network from Aruba was at its limit. A prime example is the nursing department’s clinical simulation lab, one of the largest in the state. The learning environment approximates real hospital conditions as closely as possible.

  • The existing Wi-Fi network couldn’t support new digital learning models that incorporated video, which requires high bandwidth and quality of service
  • The college often hosted large events where up to 250 users would congregate in a single room—they had to deploy additional APs to meet spikes in demand, and even this solution had poor results
  • Each student could only access the secure campus network through a single personal device on campus, even though the school was committed to supporting BYOD
  • 350 Ruckus 802.11ac wireless access points (APs)
  • Ruckus Cloud Wi-Fi for simplified management of a campus-wide Wi-Fi network covering 45 buildings and 25,000 users
  • One Ruckus AP supports many more concurrent users (up to 4X more) compared to their legacy APs
  • The superior performance and coverage of the Ruckus APs provides high quality Wi-Fi to students, faculty and visitors across their two campuses and satellite locations
  • The IT team now spends much less time on monitoring and troubleshooting; just two network specialists manage the rapidly-growing Wi-Fi network
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