Teen Mania Network Expansion

Teen Mania Network Expansion

Over the last several years there has been a rapid growth of personal mobile devices and as a result many organizations have invested heavily in their wireless infrastructure. It is no surprise that taking on projects like this can be expensive, time consuming,  and come with a myriad of challenges; however, the question of worth is the most important one. Is it worth all of the hassle in order to provide your customer a great experience on their personal device? I know that is a loaded question and most people would agree with it.

March 2013 I started asking senior leadership about expanding our network to the student dorms. Many colleges and universities already have an establish wireless network and by having one would help attract more students. The only problem was that there was no connectivity to those buildings. I set out on a mission with the task of finding a company to provide  fiber and trench it, which was not easy to do on a limited budget. I decided to go with 50 micron multi-mode fiber because I know that technology changes so fast that in 5-10 years 10 Gig backbones are probably going to be the norm and for now we can use the all of our 62.5 micron patch cables and SFP modules.

In each closet I added a lockable 12U wall mountable rack and in that rack I placed (1) 24 Cisco 2960 SI switch, Female – Female patch panel, 6 port SC fiber bulkhead, and power distribution. Each dorm had 4 Ubiquiti UniFi access point, 1 in each wing. Each AP will serve on average 20 people; however, they can handle over 40.

The configuration for the switches are fairly simple. Each AP is trunked with a primary VLAN that the wireless controller is part of as well as 4 other VLANs that are allowed for the 4 other SSID networks. 1 network is secured with 1 time use voucher ID’s, 1 network is secured with 802.1x user authorization, 1 network is hidden and secured with a PSK, and 1 network is used for guest services and is open. All the switches are utilizing SSH for management.

This project had a final price tag of $16,081.60 which is substantially less than one quote we received for over $40,000.