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How SimpleWan’s SD-WAN Enhances School Systems

BY Phillip Tuckwiller

SimpleWAN’s Software-Defined Wide Area Networks (SD-WAN) 2.0 is an upgraded network that provides faster speeds, traffic optimization and unmatched security, no matter how many people are logging onto to your network. It can optimize businesses and enhance school systems’ networks to provide faster speeds, more reliable connections and cost savings.

This isn’t smoke and mirrors either. An Arizona multi-location charter school needed an upgrade. The system had one location acting as the school system’s primary data center and used point to point entries to connect school sites. At the end of the day, the system needed to increase its bandwidth, implement redundancy and disaster recovery, and save money.

SimpleWAN was put to the test and produced a case study on the results. Despite the demands and the strict educational standards, SimpleWAN was able to meet the challenge. It provided the school system with a secure and private network that was easy to manage, had true redundancy to achieve 100% up-time, higher bandwidth, was in budget and was completed within 45 days.

The solution was to overhaul their IT infrastructure with SimpleWAN SmartRoute technology to ensure the system had the highest quality Wide Area Network (WAN) routes available.

At the end of the day, Arizona Charter Schools got 25x faster application delivery to remote sites, true redundancy for disaster recovery, a centralized phone system, and new technology. Additionally, WAN costs were cut in half and telecommunication costs decreased by 18%.

Can SD-WAN Benefit My School?

SD-WAN gives your school system’s IT team the ability to designate priority network availability to optimize connections to critical areas, such as the applications responsible for curriculum and attendance. It can be personalized for your district’s needs so showing a scientific video to your class won’t be interrupted by another classroom researching for essays.

SD-WAN 2.0 is built for Cloud Computing integrations so Google Drive, One Drive, DropBox and other cloud storing methods are speedy and reliable.

The technology isn’t unknown either; Gartner Information Technology predicts that 50% of WAN infrastructure will be upgraded to SD-WAN by 2020.

The best part? Everything can be managed from a single dashboard.

Technology and Education

As “smart” classrooms gain in popularity, make sure your system is not left behind. Modern learning environments that are blended with technology are proven to improve student performance and foster creativity. In this more dynamic environment, educators have flexibility with classroom instruction. Students enjoy it too.

EDUCAUSE found that 78% of students agree that using technology contributes to their success in the classroom and 46% said they were more actively involved in the course if it involved using technology.

The same study found that 82% of students preferred blending traditional learning with technology.

Smart classrooms typically utilize Smart Boards, which are interactive panels used to replace projector screens and whiteboards. Students and teachers can interact with the screen to fill in assignments, show examples of tasks, and more.

Digital student devices such as iPads or Chromebooks are gaining in popularity as well, meaning there can be up to 30 pieces of technology trying to connect to the internet in every classroom.

Many school networks are not updated to handle the load this creates on them. SD-WAN enables them to keep ahead of the curve with faster connection speeds, cloud computing, and tight security.

Simplified Internet Security

The challenge of integrating technology in the classroom is making it a safe experience for the students and your school’s data. More technology in the classroom means there is more risk your school system’s IT team has to manage and, if breached, fix.

SD-WAN Platinum, offered by SimpleWAN, has all-in-one features, including advanced security to keep all of your locations and data protected. SimpleWAN follows the industry’s latest threat intelligence and maps cyber-attacks in real time, ensuring you are getting the best protection possible.

SimpleWAN offers Cloud Firewall Protection, which is cloud managed and monitored. It senses intrusions and malicious activities in real time and notifies you immediately. Because it’s through the cloud, the service is 24 hours a day, seven days a week and runs autonomously.

Conclusion

Arizona Charter Schools found success through using SimpleWAN to upgrade their bandwidth and cut costs, while adding phone lines and disaster relief. The work was completed in 45 days and is a point of pride for the company.

SimpleWAN products can benefit your school system as well by allowing staff to manage their network prioritization. Buffering educational videos and slow programs will be a thing of the past when your school system switches to SD-WAN.

Contact SimpleWAN today to see if SD-WAN can improve your school system’s education experience for the staff and students.