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Tsinghua University’s Wireless Campus Steps up to a Higher Level

Tsinghua University is one of China’s most famous universities. It is an important hub for scientific research in China and one of the country’s top breeding ground for talents in a variety of fields. It is a world-renowned academic institution and ranks among the world’s top 50 universities. With about 300 scientific departments, the university makes about 200 academic achievements and hosts about 60 world-class academic conferences every year.

Tsinghua University has already completed its construction of wireless coverage in teaching areas and some dormitory buildings before its 100-year anniversary. It urgently requires wireless coverage across all dormitory buildings so that teachers and students can easily access the campus network, facilitating teaching and enriching their lives. It has the following network requirements:

  • Simplified management and O&M: Tsinghua University has 43 dormitory buildings housing in excess of 14,000 rooms. After the wireless network is deployed, over 8,000 network nodes need to be managed and maintained. The task of deploying and updating such a large number of disparate devices, not to mention replacing faulty devices, presents a huge challenge to the university’s O&M team.
  • High bandwidth and low latency: Students like watching online videos, downloading learning materials and videos, and playing online games. To meet the demand for smooth video and game play without frame freezing, the wireless network must provide at least 10 Mbit/s bandwidth for each terminal (assuming that each room has four users and each user has two terminals).
  • Stability and reliability: The wireless network in dormitory buildings provides services for almost 50,000 students, so there will be over 100,000 concurrent online terminals at peak hours. This imposes a high demand on network reliability.

To meet the University’s network requirements, Huawei offered a high-bandwidth and high-reliability Wi-Fi solution that is easy to manage and maintain. This solution has the following features:

  • Vertical virtualization, simplifying O&M: This solution uses Super Virtual Fabric (SVF) technology to virtualize the aggregation switch (S5720-HI) and access switch (S5700LI) in each dormitory building into one logical device for centralized management. It also uses eSight to facilitate plug-and-play and zero-configuration replacement. This solution reduces the number of managed devices, simplifies O&M, and improves O&M efficiency.
  • Superior product performance, ensuring user bandwidth: All APs support 802.11ac Wave 2, and provide superior user access and concurrent user processing capabilities. After the solution was deployed, twenty 802.11ac terminals were used in a dormitory room to test the concurrent user processing capabilities. The test result showed that per-user performance of each AP reached over 10 Mbit/s.
  • AC hot standby and switch cluster, ensuring wireless service continuity: Given centralized forwarding of large wireless network traffic, multiple AC cards are installed on four S12700 agile switches at the core layer. Both the switches and AC cards work in two-node hot standby mode for real-time backup of service data. Even if a switch is faulty, service data will be automatically switched to the standby switch to ensure service continuity. During the switchover, users do not need to initiate re-authentication or re-association.

Huawei solution meets the Tsinghua University’s network requirements on stability, reliability, and advancement of a new-generation wireless campus network. It has helped Tsinghua University’s wireless campus network to step up to a higher level and continue its ascendency through the ranks of the world’s first-class universities.

By Zhao Jiahe and Ma Zhenpeng