School Connectivity

Education | Internet Connectivity

A privately owned university located in the Asia Pacific region needed a new network infrastructure. The university employs over 200 academic staff who teach around 2000 students.

Challenge

The university’s IT team outlined several essential features needed alongside the university’s new and improved network infrastructure, to cater for all requirements. They want to introduce another connection to work alongside their 1G/1G fiber line, which provides connectivity to the university campus. Due to the cost of implementing an additional fiber line, it makes more sense to utilize LTE as a back-up line if possible.

They have previously been unable to implement an effective user access control solution to be able to create independent bandwidth limits and web blocking for certain user groups. In addition, recent applications which need connectivity include the car park CCTV feed and IoT applications. All of these led the university’s IT team to think this project would be impossible.

Solution

Peplink began by creating an accurate representation of the university’s network infrastructure in order to effectively design the best solution possible, taking into account the budget available.

An SDX was introduced to act as the key router, supporting the fiber WAN connection whilst allowing access to 2000 users. This phenomenal modular SD-WAN router offers extreme performance with a future-proof design, allowing new requirements such as LTE or 5G to be applied via the FlexModule slot.

The SDX will be linked directly to a Peplink 48-port SD Switch. This allows for great scalability and easy management via InControl 2, optimizing LAN devices such as computers and access points.

A Balance 20X is used at the AR/VR laboratory. This device is capable of effective IP port forwarding functions of sensor data, allowing remote access to the IoT platforms.

The CCTV feed has connectivity provided by a MAX BR1 Classic. Alongside the SDX, a SpeedFusion tunnel will be created with the ethernet link utilizing PepVPN, to keep all the footage confidential. The MAX BR1 Classic can also provide an LTE failover connection should the ethernet connection fail temporarily.

In addition to the above, the classrooms have AP One AC Mini access points to provide Wi-Fi connectivity to the students via it’s 2×2 MU-MIMO technology. These tiny but mighty access points allow for creating up to 16 separate SSIDs relative to their own set of defined rules for different user groups within the university. Eventually they plan to upgrade to AP One AX devices due to the faster Wi-Fi 6 capabilities and increased user capacity. 

Result

The solution provided an all-round revamp of their infrastructure, allowing for reliable and fast connectivity. The IT team recorded a ping of less than 20ms with downlink and uplink reaching 220Mbps and 55Mbps respectively.

The AP One access points allow for the use of a captive portal via InControl 2, allowing for predefined user groups to access the Internet independently without interference. This gives ultimate flexibility in providing different limitations and restrictions as per the university’s policy.

The SDX Pro and MAX BR1 Mini work together to form a SpeedFusion VPN tunnel for a stable and secure data transmission from the CCTV to the IoT platform. The MAX BR1 Mini is capable of utilizing an LTE backup connection, ensuring the connection does not drop.

Deployment

Dual AC Power Input 48-Port SD Switch w. 850W Power Budget #2
  • Deployed at the core of the university’s infrastructure as a load balancer, providing connectivity from the fiber WAN to approximately 2000 students. 
  • Supports a FlexModule which allows the device to be upgraded to handle LTE or 5G, if it’s ever required. 
  • Create a SpeedFusion VPN tunnel from the CCTV feed.
  • Handle various LAN devices such as computers and access points. 
  • Huge scalability potential with 48 ethernet ports.
  • Ease of management via InControl 2 cloud management platform.
  • This Dual-WAN device is deployed at the AR/VR laboratory. 
  • Provide a static IP for remote access to the IoT platform via effective Port Forwarding. 
  • Supports LTE out of the box with options to upgrade if necessary.
  • This single cellular device will be deployed at the carpark providing connectivity to the CCTV. 
  • Working alongside the SDX Pro to create a SpeedFusion VPN tunnel for highly secured data transmission. 
  • Can provide a backup connection for failover to LTE if required.
  • Dual-Band Wi-Fi 6 access point for higher transmission rate. 
  • 4×4 MU-MIMO offering uninterrupted data transmission.
  • Support up to 256 concurrent users.
  • Provide user access control to various different predefined user groups. 
  • Provide power from the SD-Switch with the built-in 802.3af PoE input, minimizing cabling. 
  • Ease of management from either the AP controller or InControl 2, all from any web-browser.