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Higher Colleges of Technology deploys new network

HP ProCurve network rolled out by IBT for campus-wide connectivity

Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT) has announced the roll out of a new network infrastructure at its Abu Dhabi campus.

The infrastructure deployment, which is being carried out by Integrated Business Technology (IBT), will provide a complete wired and wireless network, based on HP ProCurve solutions, to link over 3,000 students, staff and faculty at the college.

HCT is running a number of applications and solutions over its network, including voice, elearning solutions such as online exams and content and IP-based projectors and clocks. All of the students at HCT are connected exclusively via the wireless network, and much of their work is carried out online.

The new network replaces the existing infrastructure, and will provide a 10GB backbone, LAN and wireless, to give the HCT more capacity, lower TCO and better control over the network, according to Ali Hamidi, technical director of IBT.

"On the LAN side, [HCT] saw the need to migrate to a 10 Gigabit backbone as over the years, HCT has continued to deploy more demanding applications on their network. As for the wireless, they have moved from a mix of 802.11a and b legacy standalone access points, to a centralized dual radio 802.11a + 802.11b/g solution. The new solution provides not only the required bandwidth increase, but it also provides a much higher level of reliability as well as significantly simplifying management," Hamidi said.

The project includes Network Access Control (NAC) with the deployment of ProCurve Identity Driven Manager (IDM), will authenticate users as soon as they connect to an access point and assign them to the appropriate VLAN.

The wireless element of the network was also crucial, to support the large numbers of students on the network. HCT selected ProCurve because it had the scalability required, and also offered features such as fully redundant network controller and self healing capabilities on the access points. The overall lower TCO of ProCurve solutions was also a factor, Hamidi said.

"One of the key things that made a difference to HCT was lower operational and maintenance costs. ProCurve does not have ‘paid for' software updates, they are free as long as they own the hardware, and also ProCurve has a concept of a true lifetime warranty, so they will fix problems for the whole lifetime of the product," he said.

"Also, there are a lot of things like the core to edge initiative - all products are uniform across the entire range, even the modules, so they are interchangeable, which lowers costs," Hamidi added.

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