Blog AI & ML

Smart School Networking Begins with the Smart OmniEdge

Bob Nilsson Director, Vertical Solutions Marketing Published 19 Jun 2018

“Our teachers and students are not at all forgiving if the Wi-Fi slows down or, heaven forbid, goes down completely. The school is dependent on it for the curriculum, which makes full use of digital media, video, and now augmented and virtual reality. But our IT staff is severely limited. We need a totally-reliable network. We just don’t have time to make adjustments, like tuning Wi-Fi access points as room occupancies and loadings change, often unexpectedly.” — IT manager of a mid-sized K-12 school district

Many higher education colleges and K-12 school districts have severely resource-constrained IT staffs. This is especially true for smaller, private colleges and charter primary and secondary schools; but more and more it applies even to larger schools. Despite the limitations, these schools must deliver uninterrupted, high performance Wi-Fi connectivity to all users and all EdTech devices throughout their classrooms, offices, and public spaces. The connected spaces range from small conference rooms to science labs, large auditoriums, and gymnasiums. Occupancy of the larger spaces can vary from a few people to thousands; each of whom demands high bandwidth to their personal mobile device.

In the face of these diverse rooms and environments with demanding occupants, how can schools flawlessly manage BYOD and 1-1 computing programs, and provide adequate bandwidth for emerging styles of learning that include video, AR/VR, and robotics? Extreme Networks Smart OmniEdge has the answer.

Enter the Smart OmniEdge for Education

The new Extreme Networks Smart OmniEdge networking solution begins with a secure, highly-reliable unified wired and wireless infrastructure that can be managed by means of one simplified pane of glass, either on-premises or through the cloud with ExtremeCloud. Add to that AI and machine learning Wi-Fi optimization with ExtremeAI and you have a network that automatically adjusts as classroom and campus conditions change. This means your IT staff has more time to focus on enhancing education, rather than trouble-shooting the network.

Smart OmniEdge autonomously optimizes Wi-Fi for environments with RF characteristics that are difficult to manage or change dynamically, like gymnasiums, auditoriums, and cafeterias, where occupancy may be in the thousands during events, but nearly empty most of the time. ExtremeAI adaptively learns to tune connections in all situations, reducing the need for resource-intensive hands-on network management by a technically expert staff.

In addition to ExtremeCloud and ExtremeAI, the Smart OmniEdge introduces Extended Edge Switching, a more versatile managed infrastructure that seamlessly extends advanced network services to the edge. Extended Edge Switching provides a centralized, single point of control for reduced complexity and operational expense. Extended Edge Switching is based on the 802.1BR standard and is scalable to thousands of extended remote ports.

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Today’s school networks must handle BYOD, 1-1 computing, Internet of Things for facility management, and a wide range of demanding EdTech including video, augmented reality, virtual reality, and robotics. At the same time the network must insure the security and privacy of all student and health-related data. The Smart OmniEdge solution makes this possible by providing an intelligent, adaptive, and secure network infrastructure managed through a simple single pane of glass.

The Intelligent, Adaptive, and Secure Smart School

The intelligence of ExtremeAI with its built-in machine learning capabilities, combined with the adaptive capabilities of ExtremeCloud and the security of policy-based network access control and application analytics enables a educational network infrastructure that can easily manage higher performance connectivity, BYOD, 1-1 computing, and new styles of learning. The network embraces the growing adoption of IoT on campus with simplified onboarding and enhanced security.

For distributed campuses and school districts, Smart OmniEdge offers the option of combining cloud with on-premises network management to adapt easily to changing school and campus environments. To maximize school flexibility, the new management and applications including ExtremeCloud and ExtremeAI are available either as services or appliances.

Caption: ExtremeAI provides KPIs to display and validate your performance gains

For more on how the Smart OmniEdge can help improve education and extend your IT resources, visit these additional resources:

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