When University of San Francisco decided they could no longer tolerate poor wireless performance in their flagship Silicon Valley Downtown SF Campus, the IT Dept turned to Portola Systems for help.
Portola Systems interviewed campus leaders and student body to gain a better understanding of the use-cases of the unique classroom environment, located in a dense brick building, within the heart of SFs thriving downtown, a particularly congested and dense business area. After gaining a thorough understanding of the issues through first-hand experience of the user base, we set out to thoroughly analyze and assess the environment.
Throughout a multi-phased scan, during which interference, throughput, packet delivery, signal coverage and attenuation, and general network performance were assessed, by conducting and measuring real-time test results, Portola was able to identify several deficiencies previously unknown to the institution.
Backed by scientific data and structure test results, the university’s IT Dept was able to easily digest results of the written report, which also outlined observations, deficiencies, and recommendations, organized in relative priority based on implementation ease, cost effectiveness, and potential performance gain.
Some of the recommendations included:
- Basic adjustment needed to reduce cell size in order to ensure users were connecting to the most appropriate APs nearest their location
- Modification of data rates to reduce latency and congestion
- Modifying DHCP settings and VLAN settings to adjust IP address issues
- Adjusting channel settings to reduce overlap in areas where interference was greatest
- Addition of APs in new locations to reduce dead-zones where signal was weakest
- Replacing legacy switching where data throughput exceeded switch capacity capabilities
- Modifying WAN infrastructure to reduce authentication issues
Following the assessment period, USF hired Portola Systems to procure and complete a series of upgrades across the 83K square foot campus during Summer Break. The upgrades were executed by combining the forces of Portola Systems Engineering Services Team with The University’s internal IT Dept.
By working closely together, USF and Portola Systems cost-effectively completed all upgrades and successfully created a learning environment worthy of USF’s immersive Silicon Valley technology campus.
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