William & Mary Modernizes its Digital Foundation from Campus to Cloud

Historic brick and modern Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)-certified buildings are spread across William & Mary’s leafy green campus, where students study everything from neuroscience to philosophy. Beyond the university’s ivy and prestigious reputation is a campus network that ensures students have access to the most modern digital learning resources, academic research, and life experiences.


Company College of William & Mary
Industry Education
Products used MX960MX240EX2300Wireless (Wi-Fi) AssuranceEX3400EX2300SRX Series
Region Americas
College of William and Mary Image
Customer Success At-a-glance


user and IoT devices connected and prepared for ongoing increases


hours saved in deployment time with automated switch configurations

Supported round-the-clock operations of a university with a robust network infrastructure



A college is like a little town,” says Courtney Carpenter, CIO of The College of William & Mary. “William & Mary has about 6,000 undergraduates, and about 5,000 of them live on campus in resident housing. Classrooms, business offices, and libraries are open during the day, and then at night, students are in their rooms. There’s no downtime. You can’t run a university today without a robust network.” To meet the expectations of round-the-clock operations, along with an explosion of Internet of Things (IoT) devices, William & Mary refreshed its campus network with Juniper Networks solutions.

Keeping up with the digital demands of learning, student and faculty expectations for great connectivity, and the growth of IoT devices demands a robust infrastructure. William & Mary, a Juniper Networks customer for more than a decade, decided to refresh its campus network. “Uptime is critical,” says network engineer Scott Fenstermacher.

“As network people, we like to maintain a quality of life balance. We don’t like to come in nights and weekends. Juniper delivers the reliability we need.”

College of William & Mary Challenge


William & Mary upgraded its campus network to the Juniper Networks EX3400 Ethernet Switch, which is designed for highly demanding data, voice, and video enterprise access environments. A compact switch, the EX3400 offers performance and management that is typical of high-end switches. Beyond speed and reliability, another major appeal was dual power supplies. “Dual power supplies are critical to keeping the systems up and running,” says Fenstermacher.

The university also uses the Juniper Networks MX Series 5G Universal Routing Platforms and the Juniper Networks SRX Series Services Gateways for its core and distribution networks and for firewall services.

The switches, routers, and firewalls all run the same Juniper Networks Junos operating system, which spans the entire Juniper product portfolio. Junos OS provides an operational advantage, while its automation capabilities streamline network operations and ensure operational efficiency. “The Junos operating system initially piqued our interest in Juniper,” says network engineer Clarke Morledge. William & Mary’s network team took advantage of the programmability of Junos OS to simplify the campus refresh.

College of William & Mary Solution


A lot has changed since Thomas Jefferson read law at William & Mary. “Data demands have been growing linearly for the past 10 or 15 years,” says Morledge. William & Mary’s new campus network easily weathers the spike when a new episode of Game of Thrones is released or when students rush to register for classes.

With the access switching upgraded, the team is planning to upgrade from a 10GbE core infrastructure to 40GbE. “We’re planning for the future, and with our EX Series switches, we can easily convert 1 gig uplinks to 10 gig where we see greater demand for bandwidth,” Morledge says. “Our investment is protected.”

“Students and professors come to campus expecting that all of their devices work,” says Carpenter. “They just expect the network to work. And with Juniper, it does.”

College of William & Mary Outcome
Norman Elton Director of IT Infrastructure, William & Mary
"We already had a relationship with Juniper, and we liked how the Juniper and Mist story is lining up. The building blocks are in place, and we’re at the beginning of the Mist secret sauce being integrated into the Juniper ecosystem."
Norman Elton Director of IT Infrastructure, William & Mary

Published February 2019