Monthly Archives: February 2009

Wangaratta Deploys 802.11n to Enhance Student Connectivity

Wangaratta High School Chooses Xirrus® 802.11n Wi-Fi Arrays™ for Its New Environmentally-Friendly Campus

 

Xirrus, Inc., the Wi-Fi “Power-Play” that delivers the most wireless coverage, bandwidth, and throughput in the industry announced today the deployment of their 802.11abg+n Wi-Fi Arrays across Wangaratta’s new high school, located in Wangaratta, Victoria Australia. Wangaratta High School chose to replace their existing Wi-Fi network for their new environmentally-friendly facilities because Xirrus required far fewer products, cables, switch ports, and energy while delivering 8X more Wi-Fi bandwidth to support a large assortment of wireless devices and applications.

Established in 1909, Wangaratta High School is on the forefront of high schools using technology to better meet the learning needs and interests of its students. To celebrate its 100th anniversary, Wangaratta High School is undergoing a major renovation, with an entirely new school being built to revolutionize the way education takes place—open spaces to foster student autonomy, wireless networking to increase learning collaboration, and environmentally-friendly facilities to be more resource and earth conscious.

“The state government decided to rebuild Wangaratta High School for the 1,300 plus students who attend, so we are working hard to complete the project for the schools 100th anniversary this year,” said John Patrick, IT Technician at Wangaratta High School. “We have designed the new facilities to allow for better student participation and information access by utilizing open classrooms and wireless networking. Thanks to the Xirrus Wi-Fi Array, we are able to deploy a Wi-Fi network to support our large student population with the fewest number devices and least amount of energy possible.”

“I’m extremely impressed with the design of these 802.11n Arrays—A single Wi-Fi Array easily supports 250 users running internet, email, and server-based applications on an assortment of Windows® laptops, Apple® MacBooks®, and PDA’s,” added John. “Because the Wi-Fi Arrays integrate the access points and controllers into a single modular device, there is no separate controller that needs to be installed, making adds, moves, and changes a breeze.”

“Schools like Wangaratta are tired of the expense, resource drain, and surprise added costs associated with traditional wireless access point vendors,” said James Shields, Regional Manager at Xirrus. “We do things differently at Xirrus—we work side-by-side with our customers to formulate a plan, we do not charge for our services, and we back everything up with a signal strength guarantee and 5-year warranty on our hardware—no one else does that!”

To view this press release and others, please click here.

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Southern California Linux Expo (SCALE)

This past weekend I had the honor to be one of the representativies for Xirrus at the SCALE event. SCALE took place at the Westin LAX from 2/20/09-2/22/09 (granted the first day was only for exhibitors to set up). I was surprised with the turnout. Taking place on Saturday and Sunday, I thought people would rather do something else than to go to a technology event…boy was I wrong.

I arrived on Friday to set up the booth and to go over last minute changes or needs before Saturday. I was out of there by 3:30, but by that time it was rush hour. If you live in Los Angeles, near the LAX, then you know how bad it gets. Let’s not go into detail about that…

Here’s how the booth looked, courtesy of your’s truly and the rest of the Xirrus team at the show:

Saturday kicked off and was a great turn out! We definitely had people who researched our product and people who never heard of us. Of course the people that never heard of us said that the Array looked like a “pizza cooker, flying saucer, Roomba, and Star Trek spaceship.” I had some good laughs, but it was a pleasure to talk with potential customers and to educate people on our product. My highlight was getting all those free zebra toys for my nieces and nephews. If you like free stuff, definitely go to tradeshows!

Sunday was a tad slow. Well it was Sunday, what could we expect? We did get a few solid leads, but it was more of a day to chat with the other exhibitors.

Thanks to Ilan, Gareth, and the rest of the SCALE crew for making this event happen and allowing us to be the Wi-Fi provider.

One more picture for you guys!

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Creighton School District Upgrades to Xirrus 802.11n

Xirrus 802.11n Wi-Fi Arrays Provides Schools with Improved Wireless Throughput and User Density

 

Xirrus, Inc., the Wi-Fi “Power-Play” that delivers the most wireless coverage, bandwidth, and throughput in the industry announced today the deployment of their 802.11abg+n Wi-Fi Arrays throughout the Creighton School District, located in Phoenix, Arizona. The new Xirrus 802.11n Wi-Fi network services 7,500 students and 1,200 staff utilizing computing devices such as Microsoft®-based notebooks, Apple® MacBooks®, and BlackBerrys® across 9 different campuses. Creighton School District chose to upgrade to Xirrus’ 802.11n Wi-Fi Arrays because Xirrus delivers the most throughput with one-third the devices, cable pulls, and switch ports than Cisco.

“We have been utilizing Wi-Fi in our district for over 4 years now, but those traditional access points just didn’t have the throughput to support all staff and student laptops, including four 1:1 classrooms, two Language Labs using Rosetta Stone®, and professional development for over 400 certified staff members,” said Ed Stolze, Director of Information Systems & Technology at Creighton School District. “Xirrus offered a far superior solution over Cisco, which would have required more than 500 access points, cable pulls, switch ports, along with several weeks to install and program. The Xirrus solution required roughly 65% less devices, which is a big deal when pulling cable through cinder block wall buildings. Thanks to Xirrus, we have no problem putting 40 to 60 teachers in a multi-purpose with ready access to the network for real-time technology professional development.”

“Organizations frustrated by Wi-Fi vendors quoting hundreds or thousands of access points need to give Xirrus a call. The unique design of the Xirrus products allows us to place radios where they’re needed without having to install and manage a sea of access points like other vendors,” added Ed. “We are now able to see at least three radios from anyplace in the district—allowing for better load balancing, throughput, and robustness. The Xirrus Wi-Fi network allows our staff to teach and modify their instruction based on real-time access to student assessment data—leading to quality instruction, caring teachers, and successful students.”

“We planned for the success of Wi-Fi by creating an architecture that integrates multiple radios with a Wi-Fi controller into a single device,” said Douglas Haider, Principal Technologist at Xirrus. “Our processes are quite different from other Wi-Fi vendors: Design of our solution is simple enough that we can demonstrate it during the first meeting, we then conduct a free site survey using real product, assist you in developing a network plan, work with you to install and program the network, and back everything up with the industries only signal strength guarantee.”

To view this press release and others, click here.

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Poudre School District Selects Xirrus to Cover All 50 Schools

School District Saves Money, Time, and Energy by Selecting Xirrus for Wi-Fi Network

 

Xirrus, Inc., the Wi-Fi “Power-Play” that delivers the most wireless coverage, bandwidth, and throughput in the industry announced today the deployment of their Wi-Fi Arrays across Poudre School District (PSD) in Fort Collins, Colorado servicing over 27,000 students, faculty, staff across 50 schools including 32 elementary schools, 10 junior high schools, and 6 high schools. The district-wide deployment is part of an overall learning initiative to use cost-effective, energy-saving technologies that will improve the collaboration and learning between students and teachers—to support and inspire every child to think, to learn, to care, and to graduate prepared to be successful in a changing world—with notebook computers and adaptive Braille Sense devices for the blind.

“There were many reasons we chose to deploy Xirrus, over all the other Wi-Fi vendors” said Victor Rosengren, Telecommunications Manager at PSD. “First, our biggest requirement in selecting our Wi-Fi network was density support—finding a Wi-Fi solution that would scale as we grow over time from mobile laptop labs to a laptop for every student. Second, budgets are always tight, so we needed a solution that would not cost an arm and a leg to install and manage. Xirrus offered us the perfect solution for our needs. By integrating multiple radios and the wireless switch into a single device, we were able to deploy these Wi-Fi Arrays quickly and more cost-effectively without the need of adding large numbers of cable runs and switch ports.”

“Third, we are well known for our energy efficient building projects and our sustainability management process, in fact, we have the first school in the nation to receive the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) for schools Gold rating,” added Victor. By selecting Xirrus, which uses less switch ports, PoE boxes, and access points, we were able to extend our energy savings to our wireless network.”

“Xirrus is refreshingly different from most companies we’ve worked with,” added Victor. “These guys are dedicated to our success. They demonstrated why their solution is superior, conducted a real-world site survey, installed the network, and trained us on the system – all for no additional fee. And the clincher, they gave us a signal strength guarantee ensuring that we’d have the coverage we were promised.”

“Leading school districts like Poudre realize that Wi-Fi does not need to be complicated or expensive to be successful,” said Curtis Reid, Regional Manager at Xirrus. “Wireless networks should take fewer devices and cable runs than wired networks, not more. It’s been great working with Poudre to deploy this state-of-the-art Wi-Fi network that will enable them to better utilize their valuable resources as they continue to provide more educational services to their students and teachers. Find out for yourself why Xirrus is the most powerful Wi-Fi solution on the market today.”

Click here to view this press release.

Please go to www.xirrus.com for more information on Xirrus.

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Ballinger Independent School District Empowers Students with High Performance Network

Xirrus® Wi-Fi Arrays™ Chosen to Support 1-to-1 Computer Initiative District-wide

 

Xirrus, Inc., the Wi-Fi “Power-Play” that delivers the most wireless coverage, bandwidth, and throughput in the industry announced today the deployment of their 802.11abg Wi-Fi Arrays across Ballinger Independent School District (Ballinger ISD) in Ballinger, Texas. Ballinger’s newly launched 1-to-1 computer initiative “emPOWERs students for the Future” by arming all staff and 500+ students, grades 6th – 12th, with Apple® MacBook® computers to be used for classroom learning. Xirrus was selected as the Wi-Fi provider after the district performed an extensive product and cost analysis of competing solutions, which found Xirrus to not only offer the most powerful Wi-Fi solution on the market, but also the greatest cost and energy savings.

“Our school board decided they wanted each staff member in the district and all students in the junior high and high schools to be equipped with an Apple MacBook computer this year, so we quickly went to work to find the Wi-Fi network that would support all the students, deliver the necessary bandwidth, be easy to install and maintain, and not cost the district an arm and a leg,” said Tim Gau, Director of Technology of Ballinger ISD. “We had roughly six weeks to have the 600+ computers ready, which meant having the network in place and the teachers and students trained. By and large, the only way we were able to make the deadlines was by selecting to go with Xirrus—their Wi-Fi Arrays require far less devices, which is a big deal when you include the installation costs, the cables for each device that must be pulled and the switch ports that must be configured. The Xirrus Wi-Fi Arrays required far less than any other Wi-Fi system we looked at…and it was the cheapest when all things considered.”

“Selecting Xirrus was the right call—they came when called, performed a free real-world site survey, helped install and configure the network, and guaranteed we’d have the promised signal strength throughout the schools,” added Tim. “We were able to build, image, and bind the computers across the Xirrus Wi-Fi network far faster than we could have across the wired network. The Xirrus Wi-Fi Arrays made it possible to deploy our 1-to-1 computer initiative quickly and cost-effectively—they saved us from having to rebuild our wired infrastructure in the middle of the project. Our students and faculty have been using the new system since August now and we’re all very impressed with it’s performance and the increase in student/teacher collaboration—well worth the effort. You know you have a top-notch wireless infrastructure when teachers are able to run full motion video over wirelessly connected computers at the same time. The system is secure and has not gone down since we brought it online.”

“The Ballinger Independent School District is a great example using technology to increase instruction and learning,” said Robert Smith, Regional Manager at Xirrus. “Schools do not need to spend months pulling cable and long nights configuring switch ports. With a single cable drop, one of our Wi-Fi Arrays can cover multiple classrooms, support hundreds of concurrent users, and deliver the bandwidth for all types of applications. Like Ballinger, we empower customers for the future.”

For this press release and others, please click here.

To go directly to Xirrus, go to www.xirrus.com

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Xirrus Releases New Wi-Fi Client Management Tool for Windows

Free Xirrus® Wi-Fi Inspector™ Utility Provides Valuable Client Monitoring and Diagnostic Services

 

Xirrus, Inc., the Wi-Fi “Power-Play” that delivers the most wireless coverage, bandwidth, and throughput in the industry, announced today the release of the latest addition to its family of Wi-Fi utilities for Windows clients. Following on the success of the highly popular Wi-Fi Monitor gadget/widget tools – which together have achieved nearly two million downloads since 2007 – the Xirrus Wi-Fi Inspector is a standalone application for managing and troubleshooting a laptop’s Wi-Fi connection in addition to scanning and monitoring the Wi-Fi environment.

The Xirrus Wi-Fi Inspector is ideal for:

  • Searching for and locating Wi-Fi networks
  • Managing laptop Wi-Fi connections
  • Troubleshooting Wi-Fi connectivity issues
  • Verifying Wi-Fi coverage
  • Detecting and locating rogue APs

One of the primary applications for the Wi-Fi Inspector is analyzing wireless user problems. IT managers or help desk staffers can direct users to run the utility – readily available as a free download over the Internet – to assist troubleshooting Wi-Fi connectivity and performance issues. As is the case with many users of the Xirrus Wi-Fi Monitor gadgets/widgets, the Wi-Fi Inspector can be made part of the default image installed on corporate-managed laptops to be available when needed.

The Wi-Fi Inspector facilitates a 4-step process for analyzing a laptop’s Wi-Fi and network connection that can be easily executed by the end user:

1. Wireless Configuration – The Inspector displays whether the laptop is successfully connected wirelessly.

2. Network Configuration – The Inspector displays detailed IP addressing data indicating if the laptop is appropriately configured to communicate to the network and Internet.

3. Network Connectivity – The Inspector determines the state of the network connection by running a series of Ping tests to identify connectivity issues.

4. Network Performance – The Inspector determines the performance of the overall wireless and network connection by running a throughput test against an external Internet server.

Similar to the Xirrus Wi-Fi Monitor utilities, the Wi-Fi Inspector scans the surrounding environment for Wi-Fi networks (SSIDs) using the client’s Wi-Fi adapter. The Wi-Fi network information is displayed in real-time graphically on a radar-like display as well as in a table format. Detailed information about each network is provided, including signal level, security level, Wi-Fi channel, AP equipment vendor, etc. From this display, Wi-Fi networks can be selected to connect to or disconnect from, or selected for more detailed analysis via signal level graphing and location functions.

The Xirrus Wi-Fi Inspector – as well as all Wi-Fi Monitor gadget/widget tools – are available for download for free from the Xirrus website at http://www.xirrus.com/library/wifitools.php. The Wi-Fi Inspector runs on Windows Vista® and XP®. The Wi-Fi Monitor is available for Windows Vista, Windows XP, MacOS®, and Linux®.

To go to this press release and others, please click here.

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Dätwyler Cables puts out press release about Xirrus

Using the WLAN technology Xirrus, Dätwyler Cables has added high-quality and yet cost-efficient and energy-saving WiFi arrays to its Unilan portfolio. The WiFi arrays optionally integrate 4, 8, 12 or 16 ”self-adjusting“ access points (according to IEEE 802.11abg+n), have high-amplifying directional sector antennas, a Gigabit Ethernet switch, the WiFi controller, a threat sensor and a Stateful Inspection Firewall all in one housing. The WiFi arrays provide ranges from 7000 to 11600 square meters, a high coverage (up to 1024 users per device), data throughputs of up to 864 Mbit/s and bandwidths of 2 gigabits each. With this high specification, they are particularly appropriate for professional use in the office environment, in conference centers and educational institutions, in production and logistics, hotels and hospitals as well as in airports. In order to guarantee a safe data transfer and energy supply of the device, Dätwyler Cables recommends the installation of a shielded twisted pair data cable with a high conductor cross section, for example the AWG 23 data cable Uninet 7150 4P, to feed it. 

Dätwyler Cables offers a series of different housing and installation solutions to ensure full integration into the corresponding infrastructure and ensure the business-critical safety requirements are upheld. 

The Xirrus Management System (XMS) allows the network managers to guarantee a central configuration, setup and management of safety features (IDS/IPS), a central performance monitoring of all WiFi channels and central reporting for several hundred  WiFi arrays via the installed layer 3-network.

There are special PoGE injectors available for the power supply to the devices, via the structured Gigabit Ethernet cabling. The central remote power system allows easy and cost-efficient power supply. Optionally it is also possible to supply the WiFi arrays via the integrated power supply unit. The power consumption under full load amounts to 26 to 100 watts – depending on the device. 

To go directly to this press release, please click here.

For more information on Xirrus, please visit www.xirrus.com

 

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