City of Cupertino
Premier Silicon Valley Municipality Launches Aerohive Wi-Fi

Why Aerohive Was Selected

  • Solution-oriented company that is focused on our goals and success
  • Cloud-based architecture enabled migration to efficient operations for employees and residents
  • Sophisticated network management allows insight into user and works seamlessly with Apple
  • Robust outdoor wireless access for guest and employee use

Premier Silicon Valley Municipality Launches Aerohive Wi-Fi

About City of Cupertino

Cupertino, California is located 45 miles south of San Francisco. It is a largely suburban community known for its excellent public school district and as the home of Apple Inc. Cupertino has a distinctive and local flavor, with an emphasis on enterprise and innovation, and was named the most politically independent community in years past.

Home to an incredibly diverse population, it has received several accolades in recent years including Money’s Best Places to Live and named the seventh “happiest” suburb in the United States, ranked by income, safety, marriage and education. With approximately 60,000 residents, the City of Cupertino employs 160 staff, and while the City contracts many of its services including police and fire, the City provides many valuable and key services to its residents.

The Challenge

Not unlike the majority of regional municipalities in Silicon Valley, the City of Cupertino has weathered several economic downturns in the last decade, dictating that Cupertino put state-of-the-art Wi-Fi on the back burner. Cupertino had operated very conservatively, however, as the budget strengthened, the City began to look at updating its wireless infrastructure to meet consumer expectations. Coupled with new leadership on the City Council, the IT Department was mandated to explore new solutions to enable connectivity in public spaces and city facilities. Because the City could also afford to upgrade the broader infrastructure, its priorities were to embrace a new service model to reorient all services to the cloud, as well as placing a significant priority on mobility.

Other requirements included the ability to work cooperatively and seamlessly with Apple technology, as well as other solutions, including a new virtual desktop solution being rolled out concurrently that would greatly benefit from solid wireless infrastructure. Once resistant and hesitant to provide guest Wi-Fi due to the complexity of deployment, the City of Cupertino was poised to move forward and wholeheartedly embrace mobility.

The Solution

Cupertino initially selected a solution from Extreme Networks, but it had serious issues with compatibility and reliability with Apple devices, pushing the City to dig deeper for a solution that worked well with Apple. Having heard of a successful Aerohive deployment at the Santa Clara County Library District nearby, the City explored solutions from Ruckus, Meraki and Aerohive before choosing Aerohive for its outstanding user experience and ease of management.

The city selected Aerohive AP230 and AP1130 access points, and also uses branch routers and SR2024 switches from Aerohive. The cloud-based network is managed with HiveManager Online and the reporting metrics have helped communicate the utility and value of offering robust Wi-Fi. Cupertino has set up three different SSIDs across its network, including a separate network for employees, guests and Apple TVs. All city facilities are now equipped with Wi-Fi including City Hall, and Cupertino has expanded the network to outdoor areas as well. This past year, a new Environmental Education Center opened with Wi-Fi access, allowing the City Naturalist to use Wi-Fi in environmental classrooms and across the preserve. Outdoor Wi-Fi is also utilized at Memorial Park to support its busy festival season and entertainment programs.

Cupertino has also automated several functions, creating efficiencies for staff and residents. The City offers a large selection of recreation and community services with thousands of participants at dozens of locations. Instead of having to register in person at the main office, now participants can sign up on-location with robust wireless access. City Hall now provides iPads to process building permits and inspections. Instead of going to the Planning Department, tablets are now available to administer paperless building plan and permit processes.

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