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Western Washington University Modernizes Network Infrastructure with Infoblox Enterprise-Grade DDI Solution

“The Infoblox team has worked closely with us every step of the way, and the cutover was a relatively seamless process. Now that the transition is complete, we’re ready to scale for future growth and consider implementing additional Infoblox features such as professional migration services.”
— Jon Junell, Associate Director and Principal IT Architect, Western Washington University

The Customer

Western Washington University is a public higher education institution located in Bellingham, Washington. With more than 15,000 students, 160 academic programs and an energized campus community, Western is the third-largest public university in the state of Washington. Western combines the intimate focus and attention of a smaller college with the academic choice, multicultural diversity and broader resources of a large university.

Facts

Customer: Western Washington University

Industry: Higher Education

Location: Bellingham, Washington

Initiatives: Modernize network infrastructure, Streamline network management

Outcomes: Gained a superior customer experience, Replaced aging BIND solution with enterprise-grade DDI

The university also has a standardized network infrastructure with approximately 20,000 users, including students, faculty, staff and visitors. Associate director and principal IT architect Jon Junell has dedicated his career to Western, having worked in the College of Business and Economics and Enterprise Infrastructure Services for a combined 20 years. He is also a proud Western alumnus himself.

The Challenge

Western faced the dual challenge of having an aging network infrastructure that also had to accommodate ever-rising numbers of connected devices in the age of digital transformation. Given these factors, WWU’s IT team identified two critical areas as necessary evolutionary steps toward achieving its goals: modernizing its network infrastructure and improving network operations and data management.

While Western’s legacy BIND and Microsoft networking system met the university’s basic needs for some time, the IT team looked to replace it in order to set a solid foundation for a modernized network infrastructure. Multiple employees were required to maintain the legacy system, which kept operational costs high and efficiency low.

Setting the Foundation for a Modernized Network Infrastructure

WWU originally ran two BIND servers for wwu.edu that are authoritative, along with Microsoft DNS (univ.dir.wwu.edu) that does zone transfers up to the BIND servers. It was a complex arrangement. As Junell explains, “We used to have a messy DHCP scopes file, a homegrown IPAM solution that was equally complicated, all bolted to 30 years of manually managed DNS records. The network team runs our IPAM solutions, and my staff runs the rest. We were really looking to include both teams and streamline DDI activities. We were also looking at appliances that would add greater value to our teams.”

WWU saw significant value in implementing an enterprise-grade DDI solution that would provide a solid foundation for digitally transforming its network architecture. The Infoblox NIOS platform, with its patented Grid™ technology, provides this foundation. Infoblox enabled Western to enhance network operations with a single pane of glass and role-based access control. The university now benefits from having a single source of truth for everything related to DNSand DHCP and also has a foundational IPAM database.

A Superior Customer Experience

After conducting thorough research on Infoblox and competing vendor BlueCat Networks, the university determined that Infoblox provided a superior customer experience. For Junell, it turned out to be an accurate determination, based on the experience his team subsequently enjoyed with with Infoblox. Says Junell, “The Infoblox team has worked closely with us every step of the way, and the cutover was a relatively seamless process. Now that the transition is complete, we’re ready to scale for future growth and consider implementing additional Infoblox features such as professional migration services.”

For More Information

To learn more about how you can improve your organization’s network reliability, simplify network management with a unified platform for your core network services and more, visit the Infoblox website or try Infoblox for free today.

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