Wireless Project 2016

Wireless Project 2015-16 Logo

 

Update: 26.04.16

The new Ruckus wireless solution has now been in and running since February at both Canterbury and Swale Campus’. We have completed the post site review and made some minor changes to the Access point positions and on some devices tweaked the signal (power) strength.

CC-Guest network is now also up and running allowing external visitors to access the internet on their personal mobile devices. Visitors need to log their details with Main Reception when they sign in or visitor the IT Service Desk to obtain the individual access code.

The backend Wi-Fi appliance hardware will receive a software update at the end of May which should will resolve some of those connection issues a handful of user devices have experienced.

Update: 12.01.16

The new Wireless solution is here and the servers are installed…. The wireless access point hardware is installed in the new Business & Sports Centre and Art buildings which were opened on January 4th 2016..

We now are working on installing the other 160 wireless access points across the Canterbury and Swale Campus’

This will take some time as we have some additional network cabling work to complete at the same time.

Please note that as we are rolling out the new hardware there maybe some instances where your Wireless service does not roam between buildings. This is because new and old Wireless hardware is not compatible. Therefore you may need to reconnect to eduroam or CC-WiFi if you move between blocks.

Update: 20.11.15ruckus-wireless

The Wireless refresh project is progressing and the new solution and provider has been selected, The pre-site survey was completed successfully on Wednesday 18th and Thursday 19th of this week. to ensure coverage is fully optimised.

The order will be placed ASAP and installations will start through December and likely into January.

Coupled with a new Wireless infrastructure, updates to eduroam backend servers will take place over the next month and will improve authentication and connectivity.

As a result of tasks above the ability to roam from Wireless Access point to Access Point will greatly improve, wireless capacity and availability will increase and the overall the wireless experience across personal devices and College laptops will be more seamless and reliable

Installation progress map:
(The Canterbury and Swale Campus’ are now fully covered for Wi-Fi access)

WirelessRolloutJan16

 

Project Outline

The College has had a wireless network for the past 7 years, although updated in places throughout that time, the technology is now old and the is proving unreliable. The College has took the decision in Summer 2015 to update and replace the Wireless network across both Canterbury and Swale Campus’.

Project Timeline

The wireless project started in Summer 2015 and is due to completed by Feb SDSW 2016.

August – October 2015 Research, Testing and Proof of concept

During the summer term Computing Support will research new Wireless technologies, speak to Wireless solution vendors and suppliers and trial possible solutions. User consultation will take place to fully understand the requirements of a new systems and the existing challenges users face when using the College wireless network.

November – December 2015 Procurement

Due to the large scale nature of a full Wireless solution replacement project purchasing will need to follow Procurement guidelines and Financial regulations to ensure the College receives best value for money.

A full scope of works project documentation will be produced and a formal tender process will be initiated.

It is also very important suitable and supportive vendor and wireless technology partner to complete not only the installation but also provide high quality ongoing support is selected as part of the procurement process.

January – February 2016 Implementation

Once the technology and service provider and procurement activities are completed the installation of the new system will begin.

It is proposed that the new solution will take the form of a staged roll-out. Although the plan is listed below this is subject to change depending on works required to install the additional wireless access points.

Associated wireless work. eduroam authentication server rebuildseduroam

At the same time as the installation of the new wireless solution, Computing support Technical team are updating the eduroam authentication servers. Since eduroam network was introduced the servers although maintained have started to struggle in recent months and this has caused problems for end users connecting their personal IT devices. The Infrastructure technicians have also had continued to patch and repair to resolve this issues.

The decision has been taken to rebuild all eduroam authentication servers over the Christmas break 2015 so that they will be ready for the installation of the new wireless hardware.

The team will need to wipe and rebuild 4 servers in total to ensure the system is resilient and robust to cope with the increasing numbers of connections from student, staff and visitor devices.