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John Cabot University

John Cabot University


  • International university in Rome offering undergraduate and study abroad programs
  • Deployed Meraki APs, Layer 3 Access Switches, and Aggregation Switches
  • Benefiting from centralised management, visibility, and granular customisation

Spread across five locations along the banks of the Tiber River in central Rome, John Cabot University is a four-year liberal arts university with undergraduate and study abroad programs. The university caters to 1,000 students from over 70 countries around the world who go on to prestigious universities and multinational corporations. In order to provide students with a fast-paced and always up-to-date education, Andrea Fornari, IT Director at John Cabot, needed a powerful, yet simple to manage network solution.

Original Networking Challenges

  • Before the Cisco Meraki solution, it was incredibly difficult to know who was using the network and for what purposes
  • The previous network devices were not centrally managed, making problem-solving and updating devices difficult and time consuming
I was amazed by the incredible visibility that the Meraki dashboard provides on our network. I’ve never had anything like that before.Andrea Fornari, IT Director

Why Cisco Meraki

  • Live tools in the dashboard allow the small IT team to respond to tickets at any location quickly without leaving the main office
  • A complete, high performance network could be deployed at a lower total cost compared to other vendors
  • The Meraki solution provides the University with their most important needs of reliability, performance, quick deployment, and simple maintenance, at no additional cost
  • Warm spare failover and per-port configurations on Meraki switches are completed in just a few mouse clicks, providing redundancy and customisation without added complexity

The Deployment

  • Indoor and outdoor 802.11n and 11ac Meraki APs connect through Layer 3 Access Switches deployed throughout the campuses which then route up through 10Gb Aggregation switches
  • APs take the team 5-10 minutes to configure and switches take just 15 minutes; Fornari’s team configures each device remotely in less time than it takes techs to install them
  • One main SSID is typically broadcast with users tagged to guest VLANs that route traffic appropriately; additional SSIDs are activated with a single mouse click if needed


  • Based on user or device type, Fornari adds devices to customized group policies which can be time-based and have different levels of network access
  • With the new network, the University sees over 3,000 unique users each month, with BYOD composing the majority of devices
  • Because the dashboard provides granular visibility into users and applications on the network, the IT team can now set customized Layer 3 and 7 firewall and traffic shaping rules to optimize usage
  • Mac-based device identification and the integrated Google Maps with triangulation has also allowed the IT team to locate lost devices in minutes
  • There are many built-in features in the dashboard which the team has been leveraging to simplify their day to day operation, including search filtering and device/port tagging
  • Automatic firmware updates and new feature releases included in the license provide a future proof network and provide significant cost savings