Wireless improvements across network services

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“Over the last year, the Network Services team’s dedicated focus and efforts to improve the wireless experience for our users at Emory have truly paid off.” – Wayne Ortman

It has been a busy year for LITS Network Engineering. With all of the wireless improvements across Network Services, there are clearly a lot of good things going on. The following is a list of some of the work that has kept the team busy.

Monitor Everything phase 2 – All wireless access points (APs) and connected wired switches were added to our monitoring system enabling us to generate ServiceNow incidents for any wireless AP outages.

Wireless support improvement – The Network Operations Center (NOC) has begun using the incidents to respond to and resolve issues detected in the wireless environment within minutes/hours.  As a result of this increased attention, 348 tickets have been generated since 3/15/17.

Wireless LAN standard created – In creating a standard for wireless LAN configuration, the document provides requirements and guidelines for designing and deploying Wireless Local Area Networks (WLANs) for Emory University and Emory Healthcare facilities.  As a result, we have a guide for ensuring we deploy robust, fast wireless services and will be applying this to all future expansions and deployments. For more information, go to: https://wiki.service.emory.edu/display/LNS/Emory+Wireless+Standard+v1.0

Emory University Summer Internship program and wireless floor plan mapping and coverage assessment – We brought in five interns to find, load and populate floor plans for all Emory University and Emory Healthcare wireless network environments. The intern team was tasked with assessing each map against the wireless standard and determining if the space met the standard. As a result, we have assessed nearly 1000 floors of Emory buildings and have recommendations for increased wireless deployments where needed.

Healthcare wireless expansion – The first phases of the Healthcare wireless expansion are underway to improve wireless coverage and services. We expect to add nearly 3000 APs to address service gaps and stability over the next six months.

Ongoing university wireless improvements – We are deploying new wireless APs with improved capabilities for new wireless services on campus. We have begun reviews of the data gathered by our interns, combined with our wireless refresh schedule, to begin rolling out new APs across the enterprises. We are prioritizing those spaces that would address issues mentioned in the ECARS survey of students last year.

Wayne Ortman, Director of Network Services, said, “Over the last year, the Network Services team’s dedicated focus and efforts to improve the wireless experience for our users at Emory have truly paid off. We now have the foundation in place to ensure the wireless network is ready to meet the challenges and demands of our users now and in the future.  I’m very proud of the improvements so far, and look forward to the continued improvements the team will bring in the future.”

I am grateful for all of the outstanding efforts of our teams as I believe this work will lead to a dramatic improvement in our wireless user experience and set the stage for next generation networking that is underway.

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