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Ahmadu Bello University Chooses a Cisco Borderless Network Architecture to Create the Most Sophisticated Campus Network in Nigeria

MEED Networks Installs a Cisco Network at Ahmadu Bello University for Increased Bandwidth, Network Convergence, Reliability and Redundancy (December 01, 2011)

LAGOS, NIGERIA -- (Marketwire) -- 12/01/11 -- Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) announced today that MEED Networks in Nigeria is to deploy a Cisco Borderless Network architecture at Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), the largest university in Nigeria and second largest in Africa, second only to Cairo University in Egypt. ABU is situated in Zaria, Kaduna state in northern Nigeria.

The Cisco optic-fiber campus network links the faculties, halls of residence, digital laboratories and libraries of ABU's three major campuses -- Shika, Samaru and Kongo -- with 65 plus locations offering a minimum of 2GB connectivity. The new infrastructure will enable ABU to deliver high-speed Internet and intranet access to more than 40,000 students and staff as well as facilitate enhanced e-learning, online applications and multimedia communication services for all campus residents.

Cisco 6500 Switch series combined various high capacity Cisco Campus Switches (such as Cisco 3750s and also the 2960s) have been deployed across the campus network. Additionally, Cisco Network Management and monitoring was also factored in using Cisco's ACS Server appliance, as well as security firewalls to ensure protection of the campus all-round.

Highlights / Key Facts:

  • Prior to this, ABU had been running primarily on a wireless infrastructure which did not scale well to match its growing technology. This coupled with the unique geographical terrain of Zaria prompted the university's management's decision to deploy a Cisco network infrastructure.
  • The new fiber optic campus network infrastructure addresses a number of key issues amongst them reliability, redundancy, increased bandwidth and network convergence. The University needed to have a campus infrastructure that could be relied upon across its 3 campus sites. Furthermore, given the number of faculties, departments and colleges spanning over 35km radius, ABU required redundant protocols to keep the campus infrastructure up and running even during times of power failure.
  • ABU's goal to ensure academic excellence via technology has led to the introduction of network services such as triple play (voice, video and data) transmission all across its campuses. With the adoption of new technologies, e-learning, and also moving the normal educational activities to a network driven service campus, it was paramount that the new ABU campus infrastructure should be one that converges all the required information in the least possible time.
  • Borderless Networks is Cisco's architecture for connecting anyone, anywhere, using any device, at any time -- reliably, and seamlessly and with industry leading security. Its latest innovations of centralized policy, unified management, and automated video and voice help organizations achieve increased workforce productivity, greater IT efficiency, and higher quality of customer experience. These enhancements are enabled through solutions and services that help customers realize the full business value of their technology investments and close the gap between technology innovation and ease of deployment.

Executive Quotes:

Professor Abdullahi Mustapha, vice chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University
"Due to its huge staff and student population as well as the increasing demand for converged network services and bandwidth, ABU needed a state-of-the-art network infrastructure that would cater for its technology needs of the future. MEED Networks were able to deliver this requirement through the deployment of Cisco technology solutions which met our needs to the letter. Today, ABU's campus backbone network is viewed as the technology foundation for all campus endeavors in Nigeria, supporting teaching, learning, research, administration, and community outreach."

Sherif Adeyanju, chief executive officer, MEED Networks
"Having understood ABU's requirements MEED built a solution that perfectly solved ABU's issues while also bringing additional services to the campus environment. Our solution was to build a scalable campus network, having each services zoned off as components, while providing a huge backbone infrastructure having increased bandwidth, network convergence, reliability and redundancy as its key focus. The Cisco solution is highly scalable in that, each additional service or expansion that is required can be added as a module without having to affect the entire infrastructure. This indeed is a land breaking project in terms of academic adoption of technology in Africa and we at MEED Networks are proud to have been a part of it."

Said Rechchad, general manager, Cisco Nigeria
"Enhancing and supporting education in Nigeria is one of our Cisco goals so we are honored to be associated with another landmark higher educational project in Nigeria. The Cisco Borderless Network Architecture delivers significant innovations that allowed thousands of our customers to accelerate the transformation to a dynamic networked organization -- connecting anyone, anywhere over any device, and realize substantial business benefit. This is the benefit that our technology solutions will bring to ABU."

Links / URLs:

About Ahmadu Bello University
Ahmadu Bello University began full operation in 1962, on the cites of these educational institutions: the defunct Nigerian College of Arts, Science and Technology, founded in 1955; the Clerical Training Centre, Kongo, founded in 1957; the Samaru Agricultural Research Station, established in 1924, and the Shika Livestock Farm, started in 1928. The University was named after Sir Ahmadu Bello (1901-1966), "the Sardauna of Sakata" and the Premier of Northern Nigeria. The University covers a land area of about 7,000 hectares and encompasses two campuses, twelve Faculties, a Postgraduate School and 82 academic departments. It also has five Institutes, six Specialized Centers, a Division of Agricultural Colleges, a School of Basic and Remedial Studies, a Demonstration Secondary School, a Primary School and a Consultancy Outfit which provides a variety of services to the University and the wider society.

The total student enrolment in the University's degree and sub-degree programmes is about 35,000, drawn from every State of the Federation, Africa and the rest of the world. Currently, the University has about 1,400 academic and research staff and over 6000 non-teaching, senior and junior administrative staff. The University has also nurtured two University Colleges -- the Abdullahi Bayero College (now Bayero University), Kano and the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa College (now Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University of Technology), Bauchi, while 27 institutions made up of Colleges of Education, Polytechnics and Schools of Basic or Preliminary Studies are currently affiliated to it. For further details please visit:

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