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De Kade campus Het Anker

De Kade campus Het Anker

Highlights

Located in the Brugge region of Belgium, De Kade campus Het Anker is a learning and support organisation for people with autism and other disabilities, seeking to improve quality of life through tailor-made programs for individuals. The institute is a union of 6 units designed to both educate and care for students, including primary and secondary schools, as well as rehabilitation and support centres. Company and personal devices rely heavily on the Meraki network for quick information exchange, access to learning applications, and daily operations.


Original Networking Challenges

  • With locations distributed throughout the Brugge region, needed a new solution for remote locations that was simple to manage
  • Wanted to minimise the amount of networking equipment deployed without installing a wireless controller on-site

Why Cisco Meraki

  • All management configurations and monitoring are performed via the cloud-based dashboard for wireless, security, and mobile device management
  • Visibility into users, devices, and applications in the centralised dashboard makes it simple for the 1-2 IT members to provide a safe and secure environment for students
  • WIDS/WIPS built into each access point automatically scan and protect the wireless environment 24x7 for potential threats or vulnerabilities
  • Integrated MDM allows the IT team to remotely modify and monitor organisation-owned devices and deploy software as needed


The Deployment

  • First trialed an evaluation AP which provided them the ability to test the devices in their environment and assess the fit
  • Spent about a day configuring and deploying Meraki APs and an MX security appliance throughout the site
  • Students and teachers are separated on different SSIDs, with students isolated using Meraki DHCP for added security and teachers operating transparently in bridge mode
  • Traffic routed on VLANs through the MX security appliance which employs firewall rules, IDS/IPS using SNORT technology, and malware detection
  • In a matter of mouse clicks, the MX can be configured to connect to third-party VPN devices deployed at other sites


Results

  • With the new, more robust Meraki devices deployed, many of the speed and bottleneck issues have been resolved
  • Users are now able to use their devices for learning purposes, to share documents, or to play games without disconnections or slow speeds
  • The IT team is able to make complex changes to their network or identify problems and adjust settings in a short amount of time without added complexity
  • Role-based administration provides the ability for local supervisors to view or manage specific parts of the network
  • As the organisation grows, they are able to simply integrate new devices or entire new sites in minutes to add capacity as needed
  • Automatic firmware updates permit the team to utilise features from the latest wireless release and even benefit from all future updates
With Meraki, you have a lot of opportunities to see what is happening on the network: traffic, where users are surfing, who’s logged in, etc. The nice thing is that you can do a lot with a little bit of tinkering and still perform quite complicated network configurations.Stefaan Vandendriessche, ICT Administrator