February 19, 2013

How the Enterasys Network Improves Education at Jackson Local Schools

When Jackson Local Schools suffered a network security breach a few years back, they knew in no uncertain terms that they needed a serious network upgrade across all six of their school buildings. The demand was growing for higher bandwidth and greater coverage of their million square feet, including within their gymnasiums and auditoriums. They wanted to move to a centralized network management system that could tell them exactly who is on the network with what devices. What they didn’t know was if they would be able to manage such a network with their limited IT staff of five.

The challenges grew as Jackson Local began implementing their BYOD program. In addition to determining who was on the network they and also needed to manage what sites the students could access. By selecting Enterasys for their network upgrade, they were able to move away from the difficult-to-manage VLAN approach to security and instead use network policy as the means to control security. Jackson Local Technology Director Janet Thompson and Network Manager Keith Obermeier describe the benefits they have experienced by implementing the upgrade with Enterasys in a new video.

The Enterasys secure WiFi network has enabled students in Chris Yohn’s science class to go beyond the text books and get data directly from the on-line human genome project, as well as other on-line-only data sources, so that they can analyze genes in class. Throughout the district schools students are beginning to make heavy use of digital content, such as digital text books and video. The network gives priority to district-owned devices, but provides safe access for student and faculty-owned devices.

Jackson Local uses Enterasys Netsight, including OneView and Mobile IAM, to get a bird’s-eye view of all users and devices.  Keith notes that they typically see about 2,000 registered student devices, over 100 staff BYOD devices, and over 500 district-owned wireless devices on their network. Once a device is registered, Keith can see what type of device it is, which OS it’s running, where it is physically in the district, and to whom it is registered.  The dashboard gives executive brief information with easy-to-understand chart summaries of  exactly what is active on the network.

Keith can troubleshoot connectivity problems remotely, even from his mobile device.  With the Enterasys ISAAC application, Keith has the network call him when help is needed, using social media.  He sets alerts to notify him if a key service, whether Enterasys or non-Enterasys-related, goes down.  He even has it let him know if a missing device appears on the network.

As members of the Jackson Local staff sum up in the video, the Enterasys network provides centralized and simplified network management, dependable security, easy on-boarding of new users and devices, and an optimal way to implement both BYOD and 1:1 computing programs.

 

About The Contributor:
Bob NilssonDirector of Vertical Solutions Marketing

Bob Nilsson is the director of vertical solutions marketing at Extreme Networks. In this role, Mr. Nilsson leads the Extreme Networks strategy and programs for vertical markets including Healthcare, Higher Education, K-12 Education, Federal Government, and Hospitality. He has over 30 years of experience in marketing IT systems to Global 1000 companies worldwide. Before joining Extreme Networks Bob was VP Marketing at Clear Methods. Prior to that Bob held senior marketing positions at Digital Equipment and HP. Bob holds an SB degree in EE from MIT and MBA from Columbia Business School.

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