IU Partners with Jasper IT Company to Centralize Networks

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(Image courtesy of Visit Bloomington) (Image courtesy of Visit Bloomington)

University Information Technology Services at Indiana University is partnering with Jasper-based tech company PIER Group LLC to implement what the university calls a major network infrastructure overhaul. The partnership is part of a 10 year plan to centralize networking devices across its nine campuses. 

Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, will also help to develop strategies to support the plan. 

Goals of the plan include:

  • Anytime access from any wired or wireless device with the same password.
  • Increased security for consumer devices including phones, gaming devices, TV streaming devices, digital assistants like Google and Alexa, smart watches, and other technology that connects to the internet.
  • Real-time student quizzing and polling during lectures, 3-D applications and virtual laboratories. 
  • Improved analytics, allowing the IU administration to study everything from retention to public security. 
  •  A secure Internet of Things environment. IoT devices, such as sensors and cameras, are typically vulnerable to attacks by hackers. 

 “We’re building what’s called a ‘unified edge,’ which is rare in academia,” said Mark Spencer, UITS manager of campus network engineering in a news release. “Many universities have a core team that takes care of the central brains of a network, but individual departments buy and install their own equipment and tools on the network’s periphery. Our core network team takes care of the central brain and the edges as well. Also, we are merging the management and user experience of the wired and wireless networks so that they are much more similar, if not the same. Both of these factors, centralization and a unified approach to wired and wireless, cut down on resource redundancy, enhance focus, and ultimately create a better experience for students, faculty and guests.”

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