The Edinburgh International Conference Centre (EICC) had outgrown its legacy hardware controller-based WLAN which supported a limited number of 802.11n wireless access points. With the need to support 802.11ac data rates, greater density of devices and the increasing demand for Wi-Fi access, the EICC required a highly scalable, reliable solution which could support its high profile events and its commitment to sustainability.
With Wi-Fi being the primary method of connectivity and events becoming more app driven, higher speed, higher density Wi-Fi was critical. As a facilitator for this, an upgrade to a 10Gbps core network upgrade took place with resilient fibre links to each remote cabinet.
The EICC deployed ADTRAN’s Bluesocket virtual Wireless LAN (vWLAN) solution with Bluesocket BSAP-3040 802.11ac Wave 2 access points. vWLAN’s optional high availability software was also deployed to create a fault tolerant Wi-Fi environment to keep delegates connected.
ADTRAN’s Bluesocket vWLAN solution enabled the EICC to easily move to a 802.11ac Wave 2 WLAN solution whist avoiding the traditional costs and constraints related to traditional hardware based Wi-Fi controllers. By leveraging the new 10Gbps network infrastructure and upgraded internet connections, the full potential of the Bluesocket 802.11ac Wave 2 access points can be realised by delegates travelling to Edinburgh from across the world, needing the Wi-Fi to keep in touch with business and family.
By using the Bluesocket virtual infrastructure, the EICC benefits from greater scalability, a reduced total cost of ownership, increased capacity and integrated guest access services to support its various events. vWLAN in a high availability configuration provided the EICC with seamless failover with zero packetloss – ensuring user connectivity and satisfaction. vWLAN can effortlessly support in excess of 5,000 concurrent users while also supporting EICC’s sustainability strategy.
With wireless security a constant concern, vWLAN leads the way with a secure 802.11ac solution that takes advantage of intelligent access points to enforce security policies at the edge. A full stateful firewall is configured and managed centrally but the policy is enforced at the access point to ensure that any unwanted traffic never enters the network.
A great product is nothing without great support and Westcom Networks have become part of the team. They understand our unusual business environment and provide us with time critical support on some of our largest events.
As the EICC grows, so will ADTRAN’s Bluesocket vWLAN solution – ensuring client connectivity as part of the EICC’s “wow” factor. With a 10Gb network backbone, the system is well placed to cope with expansion over the years to come.
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