Education Case Study
A Southern Arizona school district with over 4,600 students and nearly 350 teachers, comprising six K-12 schools throughout three geographically diverse locations was steadily growing. The IT infrastructure supporting the district's activities included a large 802.1D layer 2 network spanning its six sites, interconnected using a variety of technologies (Fiber, Ethernet, RF Licensed and Unlicensed Wireless Links, as well as Legacy Fractionalized T-1). Realizing that their existing network topology was not going to support the growth of the district and commitment of excellence to its student population, district IT personnel determined that it was necessary to segment their network into a number of logical sub-networks to increase efficiency and simplify management of network assets. A network overhaul was required to allow the district to make better use of its existing technologies and help ready it for future state-of-the-art information technology.
Simply Bits Enterprise Services was selected to design and implement a logically reorganized Wide Area Network (WAN) that simplified the management of the district’s already extensive voice and data networks. By logically dividing the network into a series of sub-networks, traffic more efficiently. This efficiency would give the district IT personnel better diagnostic capabilities, improved performance and an overall richer end-user experience while connected to the LAN/WAN infrastructure designed by Simply Bits.
Once underway, Simply Bits’ engineering staff worked with district personnel to design a WAN that would truly meet the needs of the district’s staff and students both today and into the future. Bringing years of experience as Southern Arizona’s largest private voice and data network operator, Simply Bits designed a high speed VoIP-enabled network that interconnected each of the district’s geographically disparate sites. Overall network performance improved drastically and allowed network administrators to take full advantage of the technology and infrastructure already in place. Throughout the project, Simply Bits engineers provided training and tips to district personnel on the techniques and tools necessary to operate a network of this magnitude. This “on-the-job training” covered Network Monitoring, Windows Server Services configuration, Individual Network Node configuration, and WAN Management, as well as many other tasks that came up as the project progressed. Minimal hardware acquisition was an operating goal of this project, so Simply Bits was proud to announce that the entire project was completed primarily using the existing network infrastructure owned by the district. With limited fiscal resources available, Simply Bits was able to provide emerging technologies that improve the student learning environment without expending unnecessary resources.
Each site is now assigned various identification attributes that correlate to the IP Addressing Plan and Virtual Local Area Network (VLAN) scheme designed by Simply Bits. This allows for expedient deployment of network resources and simplifies the management tasks required to maintain a large high-speed network. Taking into consideration the existing topology of the network, including the high-speed fiber WAN at the main campus, the network design will allow the district to grow in the future while making use of its already robust physical infrastructure. The district now has a network that reflects its commitment to its administrative staff, educators, students and community. The LAN/WAN infrastructure is stable and ready for 21st century education, pairing students and educators with the technology necessary to inspire young minds.