June 14, 2013

Engineering the Social Campus: Tackling the Challenges Facing Today’s Higher ED Data Centers

According to a Wakefield Research Survey,1  38% of college students cannot go more than ten minutes without checking their mobile device during the academic day. Additionally, 73% of students surveyed said that they would not even know how to study without access to some type of digital technology.

These numbers tell us a lot about today’s higher education landscape: Not only do students expect to be able to connect (from everywhere and at anytime), but they view that connection as critical to their academic success.

Especially alarming is that these expectations have a strong impact on the student’s overall perception of the campus. Reinforcing this is an ECAR study,2  that revealed three strong predictors of how students rate institutions of higher education. The students’ ratings are tied to the school’s:

  • Effective use of technologyTechnology in the Classroom

  • Frequency of technology use

  • Seamless integration of technology into coursework

Learn more: Watch our Webinar on the Connected Classroom.

Building a Data Center and IT Network to Match Student Expectations

The challenge becomes upgrading the campus’s data center and network  to meet the bandwidth and capacity demands created by these expectations. In an increasingly competitive educational landscape, the connected campus network is not only paramount for providing fast, reliable wireless and wired access, it must also address the challenges of implementation, security, and sustainability – all while protecting the students, faculty and staff.

It short, this means:

  • The network must be able to effectively and efficiently provide access for any combination of PCs, laptops, smart devices and desktop virtualization

  • As the variety and total amount of digital content grows, the demand for Wi-Fi access increases and the overall capacity and throughput needs of the data center increase dramatically

  • Meeting the educational demands of BYOD,  means providing students, faculties and staff network access – wherever, whenever, using whatever

The question then becomes, “How do you meet these rising expectations without taxing the campus’s already limited resources?” To learn more, watch our Webinar on the Connected Classroom.


  1. http://www.wakefieldresearch.com/blog/2011/08/26/wakefield-coursesmart-wired

  2. http://www.educause.edu/library/resources/ecar-study-undergraduate-students-and-information-technology-2012


About The Contributor:
Bob NilssonDirector of Vertical Solutions Marketing

Bob Nilsson is the director of vertical solutions marketing at Extreme Networks. In this role, Mr. Nilsson leads the Extreme Networks strategy and programs for vertical markets including Healthcare, Higher Education, K-12 Education, Federal Government, and Hospitality. He has over 30 years of experience in marketing IT systems to Global 1000 companies worldwide. Before joining Extreme Networks Bob was VP Marketing at Clear Methods. Prior to that Bob held senior marketing positions at Digital Equipment and HP. Bob holds an SB degree in EE from MIT and MBA from Columbia Business School.

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