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Casino Wins Big with Aerohive Secure Wi-Fi Network

Controller-less wireless network is affordable and easy to manage.

Today’s consumers have come to expect Wi-Fi. They choose coffee spots and sandwich shops based on wireless access, and they need hotels, convention centers and office complexes to offer this modern convenience.

For a West Coast casino, not having a secure Wi-Fi network on the casino floor became a major nuisance. Customers wanted to check their smart phones and tablets between games — and weren’t happy when they couldn’t.

“It was certainly an annoyance,” says MicroAge’s Amber Burkardt. “Another challenge was making certain the solution would give them a secure Wi-Fi network to meet the very high security demands that come with a gaming establishment.”

After all, modern slot machines and other casino games require Internet connectivity, so keeping hackers out of the client’s wireless networks was essential.

The casino’s IT staff of five sought a solution that would create separate networks for employees and customers — without jeopardizing the security of any games or adding much work to the staff’s busy schedule.

Amber listened to the IT manager’s needs and budget expectations, and after exploring three possible solutions, she recommended Aerohive Networks.

“They’re a great company to work with and have a really great product,” Amber says. “And budget-wise, they fit our client’s expectations — largely because they don’t require a yearly maintenance fee.”

“IT managers like that there are just two SKUs — the hardware and the management system,” says Carl Hartter, Territory Account Manager for Aerohive.

Another advantage that Aerohive offers is that it is a controller-less system.

“A controller can be very expensive, adding about 40 to 50 percent to the cost,” Carl says. So, an architecture that eliminates the controller also removes that cost burden for the client — and, he says, it also means there’s no single point of failure. That is, in other systems, when the controller fails, all the access points fail. Aerohive’s design eliminates this threat.

Aerohive was also able to provide the client with a better understanding of what they really needed. With an onsite visit, Aerohive showed the client a coverage map of their gaming floor, so they could see how many access points a secure Wi-Fi network would need.

With 45 access points, the casino was able to provide an open, public guest network for customers alongside a restricted, password-protected network for employees on the gaming floor.

Plus, Carl explains, this enterprise-class wireless solution is easily scalable should the casino grow and its needs change.

“If customers like it and want to expand, they can just add more access points,” he says. “It makes it really easy for companies to start small and expand.”

Through WebEx, the client was even able to see a demo of Aerohive’s user-friendly management console before making a final decision.

“Aerohive is really great to work with, and the client loved them,” Amber adds. “But for the most part, they let the technology sell itself — it’s that good.”

Need help setting up secure Wi-Fi networks for employees and customers? Call Amber Burkardt at 480-366-2075 or email her at amber.burkardt@microage.com.

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Amber Tuckwiller
9 Years Experience
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