Allegany School District Upgrades Data Communications


Allegany County Public Schools has built a new data network using equipment from Extreme Networks to support voice, video, and data communication across its 22-school district.

In a statement, the district said it considered solutions from multiple network vendors, evaluating availability, interoperability in terms of voice convergence, and bandwidth capacity. The district also examined performance, particularly in regards to supporting IP video for the district's physical security system, consisting of surveillance cameras that provide centralized safety monitoring.

The system chosen by Allegany County consists of about 200 switches, including Extreme's BlackDiamond 8810, Summit X450a, and Summit X450e.

"We were looking at Extreme Networks to help us collapse a lot of old networks into one high performance infrastructure," said Jeff Blank, supervisor of networking with the district. "We were able to gain the converged network we needed, while saving costs and retiring older, unreliable network devices."

Blank said one aspect of the gear that was important to the decision was Extreme's Ethernet Automatic Protection Switching (EAPS) protocol. The company claims that EAPS provides sub-50-millisecond service recovery across the network, allowing for continuous operation, even in the event that a fiber ring is cut or interrupted.

"EAPS was really important to our decision to go with Extreme Networks," Blank said. "When you rely on the infrastructure for everything from VoIP to the schools' public address systems, it has to be resilient. EAPS provides us with that assurance. The network supports voice, video, and data, and we can easily offset the cost of the solution with the collapsing of the three old infrastructures that we no longer need."

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.