La Sainte Union

Posted on: 8th Aug 2014

LSU was founded in 1861 by the Sisters of La Sainte Union who are its Trustees. The congregation has a long tradition in education both at home and abroad. Inspired by the teachings of Jesus Christ, La Sainte Union offers a broad and balanced curriculum where pupils are enabled to fulfil their potential. Pupils are enthusiastic about learning. Their attitudes and behaviour are very good. They are encouraged to be independent and become lifelong learners. A recipient of many awards in the past, the school’s designation as a Specialist Science College with Maths in September 2004 is a significant achievement which affords young women challenging opportunities and responsibilities as future citizens.

Business Goal

The objective is to upgrade the Intel Wireless Bridging at 11Mb to the Cisco Wireless Bridging 54Mb, which enables the small network of the PE Hall to connect to the rest  of the internal network.

Business Challenge

The existing Intel Wireless Bridge was using the old 802.11b standard. Even though the number of workstations and end-users in the PE Hall is small, the students need to access the internal network and Internet; the PE Hall also required higher data rates. Therefore, the school was looking for a Cisco Wireless Solution to achieve meet their requirements.

Technical Challenge

Two Cisco Aironet 1310 bridges were to be installed to link the PE Hall to the Art Block. There were no VLAN requirements; however, the customer wants the bridge to function as an access point to serve the staff/student laptops as well. The standard bridge normally takes one antenna (primary right) to convert all of the output power to wireless signal. If the bridge is using external antenna for bridging, the other indoor antenna would be required. The power-signal output is divided into half on each side (primary right and left). Therefore, the diversity signaling would not be strong enough to provide the required coverage. Because of short distance requirement between two bridges, it is possible to achieve outdoor point-to-point and indoor coverage but the location of indoor antenna and testing is critical to the effectiveness of the system.

Deployment

NTS’ engineer configured the bridges with one SSID using Open Authentication and WEP Encryption (at the request of the customer) for both external point-to-point and internal wireless coverage. The channel assignment is using automatic method “Least Congested”. After the mounting hardware, antennas and installing the cables, NTS’ engineer took out the existing old Intel wireless bridges and replaced them with Cisco Aironet 1310 outdoor bridges. NTS’ engineer ran an intensive link layer and network layer test on point-to-point external bridging. Furthermore, NTS’ engineer ran a signal check survey inside the PE Hall and Art Block, in order to gather the link speed and signal quality information. The indoor coverage isn’t as high as normal because half of the power is used for external bridging, but there is no significant blind spot in the main hall.

Outcome

Through strong two-way communication, careful planning, and effective wireless bridge replacement and a successful installation were completed. The support-training and solution hand-off meeting were also delivered effectively. The well documented summary and the backup of all configurations are also provided by NTS to the school for future maintenance and reference. NTS deployed the best-fit solution to satisfy customer’s budget, performance, growth, and manageability requirements.