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Case Study: Montana State University

A secure approach to networking and research

Montana State University (MSU) is a leading public research university, ranking in the top 3 percent nationwide and investing more than $130 million annually. The university's commitment to learning, discovery, and engagement extends to IT. MSU uses Cisco Digital Network Architecture (DNA) with Software-Defined Access (SD-Access) and collaboration solutions to help push the boundaries of research.



  • Operating, managing, refreshing, and upgrading two parallel networks was costly and time-consuming.
  • Antiquated networks could not support the high bandwidth needed to collaborate across research projects.
  • Data transfers were failing; researchers were receiving denial-of-service network errors; security and speed were compromised.


  • User-defined roles allow researchers to get the network performance they need regardless of where they log in on campus.
  • Multiple physical architectures converged into one, so the university can work more efficiently within an existing footprint and staffing allowances.
  • A single point of network control provides end-to-end visibility, regardless of segmentation and user roles.

Expanding collaboration with Cisco Webex

At Gallatin College MSU, Cisco Webex, including Webex Board and Webex Teams, facilitates student learning on and off campus.

What they're saying

If you think about the network as a functional bridge, it becomes the thing that connects all of our different areas of business. At the same time, it makes it easier and more efficient.

Jerry Sheehan, VP, Chief Information Officer, Montana State University