Morris Hills Regional School District
Large High School District Chooses Aerohive Over Cisco for Flexible Cloud Wi-Fi

Why Aerohive Was Selected

  • Cloud-managed wireless network gives insight into traffic and network use
  • Aerohive customer service goes beyond the call to enable success and solve issues
  • Reliable wireless solution with flexible licensing and a comprehensive warranty
  • Ease of use with intuitive dashboard and unintimidating enterprise features like PPSK for optimal network deployment

Large High School District Chooses Aerohive Over Cisco for Flexible Cloud Wi-Fi

About Morris Hills Regional District

Morris Hills Regional District (MHRD) is a regional high school district in northern New Jersey, serving more than 3,500 students across a sizeable geographic location in the communities of Denville, Rockaway Borough, Rockaway Township, and Wharton. The two high schools in the district, Morris Hills, formed in 1951, and Morris Knolls, which opened in 1964, serve students in grades nine through 12, and employ over 400 faculty and staff. Both schools are accredited by the New Jersey Department of Education.

The Challenge

For several years, Morris Hills did not consider a wireless network upgrade, until it came time to renew the existing Cisco contract, and the district discovered the cost had increased tremendously, pushing them to consider alternative solutions. With an existing controller-based network, the IT team looked for an alternative architecture.

The district was evaluating solutions at a time before BYOD was mainstream, before each student and faculty member had multiple devices, and the idea of moving from a controller in a closet to a shift to the cloud seemed risky. The IT team moved ahead with a small test environment, looking at solutions from Aerohive and Meraki, and within a year had completely overhauled the Cisco wireless network to an Aerohive solution.

Solution

Initially, MHRD worked with Aerohive reseller Atrion Communications to deploy Aerohive AP121 access points in every other classroom and in hallways. An influx of devices, including plans for Chromebooks for every student on campus, moved up the timing for additional upgrades and network expansion. Previously, the schools used iPads and mobile carts, and the IT team had not anticipated such a rapid rise in the demand for the wireless network. In the last year, the district deployed Chromebooks for incoming freshman, adding 1000 devices to the network, with all grade levels to have Chromebooks in the next several years.

The decision to implement an Aerohive solution has paid off, especially since in the last year the schools are now using projectors over Wi-Fi, students have phones, tablets and laptops, and other devices like gaming systems have also needed to authenticate onto the network.

The IT team has set up separate SSIDs for staff and students, and with the increased client density will now take advantage of Aerohive Private Pre-Shared Key (PPSK) functionality for stronger network security and granular monitoring and control. PPSK will also enable a more scalable and flexible wireless network, without requiring multiple steps to get a device onboarded to the network. The district now has access points in each classroom and has deployed Aerohive AP121, AP230, AP250 and AP1130 access points throughout the schools and district office. Coaching staff use Wi-Fi at outdoor sports fields to demonstrate plays and pull up stats, with the ability to use video footage on the field.

The district will consider migrating to HiveManager NG after the PPSK implementation and take steps to continue to meet demands for greater density across its campuses.

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