Networking & Wireless | News

Alaska School District Upgrades Wireless for BYOD

Mat-Su Borough School District in Alaska is upgrading its network to provide improved wireless access to support bring-your-own-device (BYOD) initiatives and enable the small team of network administrators to centralize management for the large district.

The school district covers 25,000 square miles,with 44 schools and three administrative offices. The seven-person network team manages 100 servers, 50 virtual servers, and more than 8,000 computers. The district currently uses ad hoc wireless, and the network team has to manage devices separately for each of the schools and offices. To improve wireless service and centralize management, administrators decided that an upgrade was in order.

"Our large and distributed district needs to be supported by a small IT staff, so centralized management of both the wired and wireless network was key to providing our students and faculty with improved access, while maintaining security and manageability," said Justin Michaud, CIO at Mat-Su School District in a prepared statement.

After evaluating a number of potential networking solutions, the district selected Enterasys OneFabric BYOD architecture from Enterasys Networks. The district had used the company's products in the past and determined that its OneFabric architecture provided the technology, security, and centralized management they were looking for.

"We felt like Enterasys truly understood our needs and provided us with the solutions for our unique challenges," said Michaud. "In addition to the centralized management, Enterasys solutions also allow for us to ensure a secure environment, with the Mobile IAM and wireless solutions providing granular control and separate guest access to the network through multiple SSIDs, with the ability to securely provision BYOD throughout the district."

The Enterasys OneFabric architecture will improve both the wired and wireless network in the district, providing BYOD capabilities and enabling teachers to implement new tools for teaching and interacting with their students, according to a news release from the company.

In the future, Mat-Su school district plans to implement Enterasys isaac, which stands for Intelligent Socially Aware Automated Communications, a tool that enables network administrators to respond to problems in real time through social media.

Mat-Su (short for Matanuska-Susitna) Borough School District serves more than17,000 K-12 students. It is located north of Anchorage, AK.

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at leilameyer@gmail.com.

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