Weighing cost and benefit comparisons, Cuesta College invested in a technology makeover from ALE and uncovered greater performance and improved user experience.

  • Country: United States Of America
  • Industry: Education
  • Solution: Data Center, Digital Age Networking

Network distribution at Cuesta College reached a pivotal point in serving its geographically diverse campuses. The IT team had to choose to keep the existing network on a maintenance program or invest in a technology makeover. When comparisons were weighed, it was clear, greater benefits would come from a fresh network using Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise switches, and the new opportunities revealed even better performance.

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Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise switches provide flexibility and consistency; with these solutions in place, we have more options for growth.

Jesse Dabill, Supervisor Technology Services, Cuesta College


  • Cuesta College, located in rural Central California, hosts over ten thousand students, staff and faculty across its two campuses. The increasing wireless needs of students and faculty, and an evolving technology transformation prompted Cuesta to explore options with ALE. The results addressed these concerns while delivering enriched network performance.
  • Connectivity issues were affecting storage replication, video conferencing an WiFi as these services were competing over the same network with slow speeds.
  • Cuesta was also looking to replace a restrictive, outdated and costly fiber channel network for its server communications and back end storage migration with a fresh approach. Additionally, the existing switches didn’t offer sufficient Power over Ethernet capabilities, which was getting in the way of the growing WLAN.

Products & Solutions


  • The Alcatel-Lucent OmniSwitch products provided Cuesta better access layer capabilities with 10-40 times improved access speeds, and 10-40 times increase in uplink speeds.
  • The hardened OmniSwitch 6865 provided deployment flexibility, as it offers the same capabilities as the standard access switches with the added ability to withstand climate challenged environments as on Cuesta’s North County Campus.
  • Cuesta’s IT team found managing the network far easier with the consistency of the AOS. It simplified IT operations and reduced the need to have personnel physically in front of a switch across the vast campus area. The IT team can remotely and securely access switches using SSH to run shell scripts in order to execute moves, adds and changes.


  • Replacing the data center switches with the OS6900 enabled Cuesta to move away from expensive fiber channel technology and use iSCSI instead. The OS6900 is used for both the servers and the storage networking, improves performance and does not require expensive licensing like the previous solution. These cost savings allowed Cuesta to invest in more access switches and broader distribution across the campuses, increasing speed and user satisfaction. Additionally, failovers and migrations are unnoticeable to the user with 10G links across the network.


  • The staff, faculty and students are achieving more with greater speeds and bandwidth. The new network opened broader access to the student ERP, improving the user experience. Finally, Cuesta is looking to deliver more cloudbased resources, like Office 365 and the G suite.
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