Located in the south of Brandenburg, Lauchhammer is famous for the iron bells and sculptures cast in the city’s foundry. Children from the city and its surrounding area spend their schooldays at one of the four municipal schools, including three primary and one secondary school, Am Wehlenteich. With its Wir sind medienfit campaign launched in 2019, the city embarked on a journey to promote media literacy among its pupils, educating them about the many benefits, but also the risks associated with smartphones, tablets, etc. Today, children and teachers all use computers and digital whiteboards to connect to the schools’ wired and wireless networks, which is managed from the townhall through a 10 Gb line. Lauchhammer had already used HPE Aruba switches in its IT infrastructure.

We wanted to expand the schools’ existing network with HPE devices to create a forward-facing and centrally managed Wi-Fi infrastructure, and that’s just what Bechtle did with a new fleet of HPE Aruba switches, controllers and access points. Bechtle is a highly skilled IT partner who helped us implement the envisioned solution, from fleshing out a detailed concept to deploying and configuring our new setup. And they’re still on hand to offer support if any questions or issues arise.

Mirko Buhr, Mayor of Lauchhammer

When it came time to modernise and future-proof the network, the city was looking for a way to create a high-availability system and also enable compliance with the latest data protection regulations—with a solution that works seamlessly with the existing components. Other important criteria included simple management, automated monitoring, and a low TCO. Multi-tenant capabilities were also essential in order to allow all of the schools to connect to the network. The city wanted a network that can easily scale up or down at any time, with components that can be managed on-premise and in the cloud—including the option to switch between the two at a later time. The Am Wehlenteich secondary school was chosen to pilot the new components before they would eventually be implemented at the three primary schools. In its RFP, the city also called for a provider who would deliver and configure the switches, WLAN controllers and access points, along with any related accessories, maintenance and other services. In the end, Lauchhammer chose Bechtle to provide the solution.


Together with the city’s IT staff, Bechtle set out to conceptualise and detail the desired solution, analysing the existing network infrastructure from the data centre to the access points at the secondary school. The results of this analysis, along with the requirements formulated by the city, then informed Bechtle’s target solution and the steps to implement the necessary hardware and software that would make up the schools’ new WLAN infrastructure, always keeping in mind that this must integrate with the existing HPE Aruba components. The city’s IT department received tailored training from Bechtle to ensure everything would run smoothly. Once the required and fully managed edge switches from HPE Aruba arrived on site, Bechtle configured them for the deployment. The HPE Aruba HPE Aruba 2930F 48G switches are 100% compatible with the city’s existing switches and the HPE Aruba Central Foundation management solution that was also implemented by Bechtle. A cloud-based management console gives the city’s IT staff control over the entire HPE Aruba network infrastructure, and also allows them to manage attached local components. The AI-powered solution enables the unified management and operation of the network infrastructure for simplified network administration, better network agility, and reduced costs. HPE Aruba Central Foundation offers a single pane of glass for full transparency into the LAN, WAN and WLAN infrastructure across the schools and the data centre. No less than 130 HPE Aruba AP-515 wireless access points have been deployed at the schools, connecting smartboards and tablets with up to 4.8 Gb/s and AI-powered network performance optimisation to keep data flowing with rapid speeds. At the data centre, Bechtle deployed an HPE Aruba Wireless Controller 7205 to manage the access points.

Business Benefits.

Working with Bechtle, the city of Lauchhammer onboarded an HPE Platinum partner who was able to source and deliver all the required HPE Aruba components despite supply shortages straining the market. After configuring and implementing the new setup, Bechtle continues to be available to support the city with a monthly contingency of service hours and the city is now providing its schools with a fast, high-availability wireless network that makes it easy to connect new smartboards, laptops and mobile devices, while offering streamlined and centralised management through HPE Aruba Central Foundation.