University of Basel: Increased efficiency in network operations

A university network contains a large number of devices and users with different needs and dynamic requirements. Research and education depend on the operations department working quickly and efficiently. At the University of Basel, the integration and automation of processes via Infoblox and Extreme Networks XMC as well as Cisco WLC increased efficiency and user-friendliness. A self-service web portal tailored to user needs and an API make work much easier.

Automated network device onboarding process
The integration of Infoblox with Extreme Management Center (XMC) enables a simplified onboarding process of new devices within the network landscape. Host-specific information (VLAN, MAC, certificates, etc.) is synchronized between the surrounding systems and Extreme XMC for network access control. This eliminates the need for manual comparison as well as silos between network and security tools. Devices can be identified and automatically connected to the network services to which they are allowed access. This is independent of where and when they connect within the network.

Self-service wireless access for IoT devices
Door signs, panels, tablets, home automation systems, etc. are increasingly connected to the network via wireless. If these devices connect to the same SSID, ususally a general Preshared Key (PSK) is used. For security reasons, this key should be changed regularly as well as after an incident, which entails operating costs.

By integrating Infoblox with the Cisco Wireless Controller (Cisco WLC), an individual PSK can be generated for each client in connection with the MAC address of the device. The individual PSK is stored in Infoblox. Based on this individual key and the MAC address, the device is automatically assigned its own VLAN and a corresponding security profile. This enables the clients with different VLANs and profiles to be in the same SSID and the general Preshared Key is no longer required.

DNS and DHCP via self-service
The customer-specific self-service portal for managing DNS and DHCP entries allows simplified management of the above records and options. Various functions and systems are combined under a single interface. The portal is web-based and allows multi-tenancy.