The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) has tapped Cisco to provide Wi-Fi 6 solutions and Digital Network Architecture (DNA) solutions to power its smart campus development.
Over 6,000 Cisco Wi-Fi 5 Access Points (APs) are currently installed across the HKUST Campus, with high density user areas such as the Academic Concourse, Canteen, Library and Teaching Venues chosen as the first Wi-Fi 6 deployment locations. The first phase installation of 270 Cisco Catalyst 9120AX Series Wi-Fi 6 APs is targeted to be completed by Q4 2020.
The Cisco Wi-Fi 6 solutions will provide seamless network connectivity for over 20,000 students and staff with faster troubleshooting, proactive assurance and improved uptime – delivering high-density wireless experience as well as faster throughput and greater reliability for more effective teaching and learning, collaboration and research.
At the same time, the Cisco DNA solutions help the IT team optimise their network performance, reduce troubleshooting time and lower the cost of network operations.
“This pioneering deployment of Cisco Wi-Fi 6 solutions in the HKUST campus is a significant step forward for the University to offer Wi-Fi services based on the state-of-the-art technologies to our students and staff who have extensive demands for high-quality wireless connection for advancing their goals in teaching, learning, research and other educational activities,” said Dr. Samuel Kwan, director of the Information Technology Services Center, HKUST.
“The adoption of Cisco Wi-Fi 6 solutions and DNA Assurance brings our team full visibility of the entire network in terms of health, client usage experience and application performance, as well as improved operational efficiency, while enhancing the service level and wireless experience for our users,” he added.
Cisco has designed a tailored network infrastructure for HKUST underpinned by Cisco Wi-Fi 6 certified solutions paired with Cisco DNA, with enterprise-class products that will address both current and future needs for greater flexibility and increased bandwidth to support more devices and advanced immersive applications.
With the customised network infrastructure, HKUST will be able to provide a seamless, significantly faster end-user experience with real-time capabilities on Wi-Fi devices for its students and staff, delivering four times higher capacity while offering the IT team simplified and automated network management.
Key capabilities include:
- Optimum high-density performance: Going beyond the Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) standard, the Cisco Catalyst 9120 (9120AX) Series Access Points provide integrated security, resiliency and operational flexibility as well as increased network intelligence. This supports a greater overall High Density Experience (HDX) with more predictable performance for advanced applications such as 4K or 8K video, high-density and high-definition collaboration applications, and the Internet of Things (IoT). With the smart antenna connector included on the AP, it also provides advanced network design flexibility in high-density environments such as auditoriums and libraries.
- Real-time automated control of network traffic: Pairing the Cisco Catalyst 9120 with the Cisco DNA Center provides HKUST’s IT team with a path to real-time, automated, end-to-end visibility and control of the network for a total network transformation. It leverages on the built-in feature available on Cisco’s access point, Intelligent Capture, which sends issue detection information back to the Cisco DNA Center for deep analysis and allows IT to find any issues in record time as well as providing on-demand access point statistics for Wi-Fi troubleshooting.
- Management with full visibility and high efficiency: Cisco DNA Center also simplifies network management and speeds innovation, by combining management, automation, analytics and security into one single platform with greater operating efficiency and comprehensive visibility of the entire networking system. This can proactively solve real problems experienced by most network operators, by automating routine tasks and making the network more agile and able to respond to changing conditions, resulting in 49% more efficient network management staff and 35% more efficient network security teams, according to research conducted by IDC.
- Improved troubleshooting efficiency: Cisco DNA Assurance, a feature available in Cisco DNA Center, helps HKUST’s IT team unlock new efficiencies by providing complete network visibility and making it easy to troubleshoot issues with deeper insight into the network through analytics. This feature has helped the IT team to reduce troubleshooting times from more than 2 hours to 30 minutes with 86% reduction in unplanned downtime, while empowering students and staff with remote access from anywhere on campus.
“We are delighted to collaborate with HKUST to build a next-generation high-speed mobile network environment, delivering a seamless wireless experience to the university’s students and staff on the campus,” said Wilson Ching, general manager, Cisco Hong Kong and Macau. “With our commitment to providing best-of-breed innovative wireless network solutions, we will continue to facilitate and accelerate the adoption of Wi-Fi 6 in Hong Kong with greater network performance and an improved mobile experience, while driving new innovations that will change the way people work, live, play and learn.”