Welsh college gets new network in 12 weeks

05 November 2019

Coleg Gwent had 18,000 students, making it one of the largest further education colleges in Wales.

It provides experience and personal support to students wanting to develop skills and gain qualifications to progress to a brighter future in employment, at university or in an apprenticeship.

Yet while it was paving a way for its students to have a bright future, the college’s network was very much living in the past.

It decided to replace end of life unsupported LAN switches and Juniper/Trapeze wireless access points.

A tender was published to install a new network which was won by AIT Partnership Group, a specialist integrator of network, mobility and cyber security solutions.

With hundreds of wireless access points and six core switches distributed across six sites to be installed during term time, the work has to be carried out to tight deadlines without disruption to students and staff.

The college was looking for the most cost-effective, secure and resilient solution to build a 21st century network, so Aerohive’s centralised management capabilities, to be delivered by AIT, were an obvious attraction.

AIT designed and installed a new network in under 12 weeks, using modular switches from Brocade with 40GbE uplinks and Aerohive’s cloud-managed enterprise Wi-Fi.

The replacement of over 300 access points and configuration of the new solution was completed by working around active classrooms and a busy college life.

It was planned by and co-ordinated by AIT’s project management team and implemented by its technical unit working closely with the college’s ICT department.

Now, thanks to AIT’s experience in managing IT projects in the education sector, the project was completed to specification and on time.

Students and staff now reap the benefits of a fully supported network.

With its modular, scalable cloud managed network that supports the mobility requirements of its students, Coleg Gwent is embracing the future.