Wireless Campus

Richard Scaletti


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We originally selected the vendor Cisco and their Aironet wireless solution for our pilot. The reasons for this were:

  1. It met the 802.11b specifications
  2. Consistent solid reviews on their solution - typically reviewed as the #1 solution
  3. The software was easy to install and configure
  4. Our core network is based on Cisco equipment

After our successful pilot we re-evaluated options for the remaining two campuses. Cost was one significant factor for determining a final solution and we needed a more economical solution to complete the project with available funding. After evaluating competitors and reading reviews we determined that a multi-vendor solution might be possible with an Avaya / Orinoco solution. This decision was based on the following factors:

  1. Cost - The Avaya solution was considerably less expensive than Cisco
  2. The Avaya solution consistently received reviews as the number two solution behind Cisco and received the best value award from Network Computing magazine
  3. Solution was based on the 802.11b standards
  4. Each Access point was easily configurable to double the bandwidth by simply adding a standard PCMCIA adapter at a cost that is now less than $100
  5. The software is easy to install and configure
  6. Interoperability between the Cisco and Orinoco solutions was tested and worked

Our Final Wireless solution was implemented as follows:

  • Danvers Campus - Cisco Aironet Three Access Points
  • Beverly Campus - Avaya / Orinoco Six Access Points
  • Lynn Campus - Avaya / Orinoco Thirteen Access points
  • Cummings Center Avaya/Orinoco Three Access points

Cost Breakdown

The following graph denotes cost comparisons between the Cisco / Aironet solution Vs. the Avaya / Orinoco solution based on 25 access points and 52 wireless network adapters. Note: These were our costs at that time - the wireless network adapters are a combination of desktop and laptops.