Intelligent CIO Africa Issue 58 - Page 44

COUNTRY FOCUS : EGYPT conducting a health check on all devices trying to connect to the network .
“ If any vulnerabilities are detected , the system automatically takes remediation steps such as performing operating system and software updates . This ensures that every device that connects to our network is authenticated and secure ,” said Ismail .
Rapid return on investment
Ismail estimated that the flexibility and scalability of Aruba ’ s solution will enable his team to realise a rapid ROI and continued operational efficiencies and savings .
Cityscape of Cairo to repurpose investments , and a rapid realisation of ROI on the first phase , being highlights of the engagement .
Offering an example , he said : “ In the first phase , we used Aruba 5400R series switches in our campus core and Aruba 2930F series switches in our campus access layer . As we expand for the next phase , we will replace the core with Aruba 8400 Campus Core switches . But we will still be able to use our existing 5400R series switches in our Distribution Layer .”
Navigating lockdown logistics
Despite the impact of COVID-19 and logistical challenges , the implementation was completed within just eight – 10 weeks .
An expertly crafted design , based on a detailed wireless heatmap , ensured the coverage of each Access Point was maximised while the high density PoE + capability of the Aruba switches enabled these APs to be easily installed without the added complexity of power cabling . Other network connected devices such as security cameras and IP telephones have been similarly implemented with ease .
Supporting the latest e-Learning tools and devices
This next phase of the project , which is currently underway , involves scaling the Aruba wired and wireless network to two additional buildings .
Commenting on how the technical capabilities of Aruba ’ s solutions have been perfectly complimented by their competitive pricing , Ismail said : “ We were impressed that Aruba could deliver market-leading solutions while offering us especially attractive pricing owing to us operating in the education sector .”
More innovation on the horizon
Based on the ‘ exceptional ’ experience that the University has had with Aruba – both from a technical as well as a support perspective – Ismail and his team are keen to deepen their engagement .
Hossam Ismail , IT Network Lead ,
Information Technology , The Knowledge Hub
To deliver its digitally oriented curriculum , TKH makes use of several digital tools including a Learning Management System ( LMS ). “ The Aruba solution allows students and staff to have seamless , uninterrupted access to these essential learning tools . Moreover , through orchestrated and automated user and devices authentication via ClearPass , they can use these applications on their own personal devices which greatly aids adoption and utilisation ,” said Ismail .
Also using ClearPass , his team has set up a ‘ Guest Portal ’ that conveniently authenticates staff and students based on the same credentials registered in the University ’ s Active Directory . Moreover , Aruba ’ s solution ensures compliance by automatically
“ From implementation through to daily operation , we have never faced even a single issue with our Aruba network . This kind of performance and reliability is rare with technology deployments ,” he said .
TKH is already in discussion with Aruba to extend the network for the upcoming phase of the project which will involve expansion into a further five buildings .
“ Our students and staff are incredibly happy with the performance and convenience of our network and associated digital services . This gives us the confidence to keep introducing Aruba solutions and new innovations that set our University apart as a pioneer ,” Ismail said . p
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