In November of 2016, Caltech asked VectorUSA to upgrade the campus’ wireless network. Though there was a wireless network in place, it did not provide adequate coverage. Caltech wanted to upgrade the entire campus, including dorms, classrooms, labs, libraries, and many other facilities.

The initial scope included deployment of two control clusters in a high-availability configuration while providing and configuring access points. After several collaborative planning sessions, it was clear there was a need for an Aruba ClearPass solution to manage their guest network. Caltech also anticipated there would be signal propagation issues and requested that VectorUSA pre-survey multiple buildings to guide the network upgrade’s overall design.

With such an ambitious scope of work inevitably came hurdles. First, VectorUSA was tasked with understanding the client’s exact need. The second hurdle was building a ClearPass guest network from scratch. To do this, Jeff Keese was brought on board and soon became essential to the project. With his wireless networks expertise, he was able to provide Caltech with a solid design that the school desired.

Due to the size of the project, our work is scheduled over a three-year time frame. Currently, the collaboration, building, testing, and feedback are still in full rotation. Individuals leading the charge on this project are Project Manager Kieran Ching, Technology Director Mark Allen, Strategic Account Manager Ryan Stachowiak, and Network Engineer Jeff Keese.

Featured image by (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons