State-of-the-art IT solution with Aruba Edge Services Platform (ESP), and FortiGate firewalls.

About Rhodes House

Rhodes House is a historic building located in Oxford, England. It serves as the headquarters of the Rhodes Trust, an international scholarship program established in 1902. It is situated in a beautiful setting on South Parks Road, near the University of Oxford’s Science Area.

The building itself is an architectural masterpiece, designed by Sir Herbert Baker in the early 20th century. It combines elements of neoclassical and Georgian styles, featuring intricate stonework, grand halls, and beautiful gardens.

The primary purpose of Rhodes House is to provide a gathering place for Rhodes Scholars, who are exceptional students from around the world selected to pursue postgraduate studies at the University of Oxford.


Rhodes House recently undertook a significant refurbishment and now provides one of the most prestigious conferencing and meeting spaces in Oxfordshire. The house serves as a hub for intellectual exchange, networking and collaboration among the Rhodes Scholars. It offers various amenities, including study spaces, a library, common rooms, and administrative offices, it also hosts lectures, conferences, and social events.


European Electronique (EE) was honoured to be awarded the contract in November 2021 to architect and deliver a LAN solution including wired and wireless infrastructure and firewalls. The Trust required IT systems and infrastructure to consider the architectural design, overall heritage and aesthetics of the building. This presented a number of challenges around the installation of wireless access points and overall aesthetics of our IT solution.

Leveraging our Aruba Platinum and Fortinet Expert Integrator partnerships, EE proposed, designed, and implemented a state-of-the-art solution based upon the Aruba Edge Services Platform (ESP), augmented by FortiGate firewalls.

Deploying our highly skilled in-house resources, EE provided an end-to-end implementation and support services, fitting with the Trust’s heritage and commitment to delivering academic excellence.

To facilitate a smooth transition from the legacy systems, EE’s implementation engineers built the new wired network to run in parallel until completion.

Key integrations were performed alongside the parallel core installation, including Active Directory and several other work packages. Additional core services were established based on the detailed design scope of works, allowing the existing network to continue service whilst establishing a platform to build a pilot site.

Network Access Control, management and monitoring services were deployed in unison to establish a working core environment and distribution switching, and wireless services were also deployed to accommodate all core connectivity.

With the core capable of providing services, EE established a pilot site allowing distribution and access deployment, including User and System Acceptance Testing. Prior to go-live, all services in the core underwent rigorous acceptance testing.

Once all the services were migrated, remaining legacy redundant configuration, such as legacy network management VLANs, were removed from the new solution.

Following the migration of each distribution site the legacy distribution switching was decommissioned after a period of stable running.

EE’s certified Ekahau Survey team undertook a comprehensive site survey to determine the quantity and location of Aruba Wireless Access Points (APs), ensuring adequate coverage and capacity. As Rhodes House is a Grade II listed building it was essential that the mounting of the AP’s was sympathetic to this status.

Rhodes House



Wireless Infrastructure

Components: Aruba AP-515 (Internal)
Specification: Aruba AP-510 Series

Components: Aruba AP-535 (High Density)
Specification: Aruba AP-530 Series

Components: Aruba AP-575 (External)
Specification: Aruba AP-570 Series

EE undertook a detailed virtual and physical Ekahau Wireless survey to determine the number and location of Wireless Access Points (AP). Due to the building listing, the hanging of the Aps were undertaken by the builder. EE provided several different access points based on the requirement.
AP-515 for general indoor usage.
AP-575 for general outdoor usage.
AP-535 for high-density and very high-density usage

Core Infrastructure

Components: Aruba CX 8325
Specification: Aruba CX 8325 Series

EE’s solution was designed with the Aruba CX 8325 Series switches in the core infrastructure. This Aruba Switch Series is a modern, flexible, and intelligent family of high availability switches designed for high scalability in aggregation, core, top of rack (ToR) and end of rack (EoR) deployments. These compact switches provide wire speed 10/25/40/100 GbE connectivity and include front-to-back cooling, with six fan modules and two power supplies providing N+1 resilience per physical switch.

Distribution & Edge

Components: Aruba CX 6300M
Specification: Aruba CX 8325 Series

The Core, Distribution and Edge switching are based on the requirements of each location, EE provided a multi-switch stack consisting of 6300M switches, supporting strict stacking technologies using dedicated stacking, 50 Gbps direct access cables providing a 100 Gbps between switch members. In each case, the switches will act as one logical switch allowing us to benefit from fully utilised, redundant uplinks to the core switch. All switches have been selected to provide a minimum of IEEE 802.3bt High Power Class 6 PoE across all ports, where each port provides up to 5 GbE per port using Smart Rate technology.

Network Management

Components: Aruba Central
Specification: Aruba Central Datasheet
Components: Aruba ClearPass
Specification: Aruba ClearPass Datasheet

EE provided Rhodes House with a comprehensive network management solution comprised of 2 main components, Aruba Central and Aruba ClearPass. Aruba Central is a cloud-based platform, with the capability to manage large, complex wired, and wireless estates. Central caters for the management for Aruba OS-CX wired devices and Aruba InstantOS wireless devices whilst providing AI insights and REST APIs for integration and creation of advanced, customised configuration workflows. ClearPass is separate to Central as a localised management platform, for the application of policy using a publisher/subscriber model providing a single pane of glass to Network Access Control.


Components: 2 x FortiGate FG-600E
Specification: FortiGate 600E Series

EE’s firewall solution consisted of 2 x FortiGate FG-600E units in a HA cluster. Each FG-600E was fitted with dual hot-swappable PSUs and this was augmented by FortiManager (Management Appliance) and FortiAnalyzer (Logging and Analytics Server). The FortiGate FG-600E is a feature-rich enterprise-grade firewall.