Leading Co-Educational Independent School Introduces Mobile Device Initiative and Upgrades Network Infrastructure to Increase Reliability, Mobility and Scalability
As Australian educators address the revolution in mobile communications within the classroom, the importance of a robust core IT network has become paramount. For Kinross Wolaroi School (KWS), the introduction of an iPad mobile device initiative needed the support of additional network devices, richer media applications and increased mobility across its sprawling campuses for day students, boarders and staff. To achieve this KWS has deployed a new core network from Brocade (NASDAQ: BRCD).
With over 1,000 students from pre-kindergarten to Year 12 (4- to 18-year-olds), KWS is one of the leading regional independent schools in New South Wales. In keeping with its commitment to providing students with high-quality co-educational opportunities, KWS is continually looking at ways to leverage information and communications technology in teaching and learning.
One of its latest initiatives has been the introduction of nearly 300 iPads to junior school staff and students in grades 5 to 7. This is in addition to the fleet of over 600 PCs and laptops the school already provides and personal devices owned by the 300 students who board at the school’s two physically separate boarding locations.
“Together with ASI Solutions, we assessed our network last year and whilst it met current demands, it was clear that adding more devices would create management issues and wouldn’t cope with the expansion that we were looking for in the future. We didn’t really have the capacity to scale the core to accommodate more devices and the expected ongoing increase in traffic,” said Darryn Marjoram, Kinross Wolaroi School’s Director of Information Services. “To address bottleneck issues and deliver the network performance required to maximize the benefits of our planned tablet computing program, we needed to put a much more robust core in place.”
Brocade partner, ASI Solutions, had already implemented a previous wireless network and, as a trusted partner, was asked to evaluate the school’s legacy network as a whole before proposing a suitable upgrade to the core infrastructure and any additional enhancements within a fixed budget. What it found confirmed Marjoram’s analysis that lack of capacity in the campus core was leading to slow overall network performance.
“We worked closely with ASI Solutions to help them understand the Brocade® solution and how it would deliver more capabilities, professional training and certification for KWS,” said Greig Guy, Country Manager, Australia and New Zealand for Brocade. “The fact that Brocade switching technology is used in the most demanding, transaction-heavy environments also provided the school with a sound level of confidence.”
The solution deployed at KWS involved the complete replacement of its core network switching infrastructure and a one-third reduction in the number of switches, with about a third of the remainder also being replaced by new Brocade devices.
At the campus core KWS is now running an enterprise-class Brocade FastIron® SX1600 Switch, designed for non-stop networking. Configured with redundant power supplies and switching fabric modules, the 16-slot switch has enabled KWS to eliminate aging access switches from its network by providing 192 1 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) ports within the chassis. It also supports 24 1 GbE fiber ports to link access switches in remote areas of the campus and eight 10 GbE ports for connecting high-bandwidth devices such as the school’s storage and backup servers. KWS has also deployed a Brocade FastIron SX800 chassis switch as a secondary core connected to the primary by two 10 GbE links.
In addition to implementing the new core network infrastructure at KWS, ASI Solutions also provided the school with Brocade ICX® 6450 switches to provide network access at its new state of the art Science Complex, which opened inMarch 2013. The Brocade ICX 6450 is an enterprise-class stackable switch with an entry-level price that provides KWS with redundant 10 GbE uplink/stacking ports, hitless stacking failover and configurable power redundancy to ensure that it can accommodate future demands and technologies.
“The impact of the core upgrade has been felt right across the network,” said Marjoram. “Performance has improved dramatically with access-to-core switch latency being reduced from around 80+ milliseconds to single digit millisecond. Having 10 GbE at the core has greatly helped with our daily backup operation, which previously put a heavy load on the network. What’s more, we’re now able to take a proactive approach to network management and focus on optimizing application performance.”
With the new core network in place and the school’s wireless infrastructure also upgraded, KWS is planning on replacing its remaining legacy access switches. With Brocade HyperEdge™ Architecture supported on Brocade ICX switches, the school now has the ability to implement highly automated, single-point network lifecycle management for its campus network—including initialization, maintenance, troubleshooting and upgrades.
This network platform is supported by Brocade’s world-class support infrastructure. With multiple Brocade Technical Assistance Centers and more than 170 parts depots in over 40 countries, Brocade is capable of delivering reliable support whenever and wherever it is needed.
About ASI Solutions
Founded in 1985, ASI Solutions (ASI) is a leading Australian privately owned ICT company. Headquartered in Sydney, ASI has over 170 staff providing sales and service support throughout Australia, including branches in the Australian Capital Territory, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia. Service contract options are also available in New Zealand. The company is has been a contracted supplier on a variety of Federal, State and Local Government Panels for more than two decades. The company takes a solution-oriented approach to each vertical and works to deliver ROI to each client.
Brocade (Nasdaq: BRCD) networking solutions help the world’s leading organizations transition smoothly to a world where applications and information reside anywhere. (www.brocade.com)
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