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Why The Time Has Arrived For Cloud-Managed Networks

EdgeK-12 IT Managers Looking For A Flexible Cloud-Based Solution


The Cloud is nothing new to K-12. Between 81% and 93% of schools are already using at least one major cloud application. In fact, according to CDW, “K-12 schools deliver more IT services totally or partially through the cloud than enterprises in general. But up to this point, network management hasn’t been a major part of the migration to the cloud. Storage makes up the bulk of K-12 cloud services at 41%. Computing services account for another 33% and applications like email, LMS, SIS make up most of the remainder at 26 percent.

The reason given most often by K-12 IT managers for moving to the cloud is “easy access from anywhere.” Additional reasons include cost benefits, subscription pricing model, and flexibility. Recently-designed cloud user interfaces are friendlier and easier to use than ever before. Because of these ease-of-access, ease-of-use, and budgeting benefits, cloud usage continues to grow.

K-12 IT Has Been Cautiously Moving Resources To The Cloud

Up to this point, K-12 IT has been judicious in migrating IT resources to the cloud, taking it one step at a time. In education, there is a heightened concern for student privacy and security due to FERPA, HIPAA, CIPA, COPPA, and other laws. IT managers also need to maintain flexibility and agility to combine solutions from multiple vendors and to be able to move back and forth to the cloud as business requirements change.

What is Cloud-Managed Wi-Fi?

With Cloud-managed Wi-Fi, the network management function is securely shifted to the cloud and accessed with a standard web browser. An on-site controller is no longer necessary. Adding Wi-Fi networking using ExtremeCloud is as easy as purchasing access points, adding the cloud subscription, and installing the access points (APs). The APs automatically locate the ExtremeCloud via the Internet and come up running with zero-touch provisioning. You can now manage, gather statistics, and troubleshoot the APs through the easy-to-use cloud management tool. The latest 802.11ac Wave 2 access points are now cloud-ready.

Cloud-managed solutions enable schools to start small, purchasing only as much network capacity as needed on a monthly basis, and expanding when requirements change. Budgeting shifts from capital expense (capex) to operating expense (opex). Should the time come when a school decides to shift to an on-premises solution, all the network hardware will still function perfectly with on-site controllers. There is no rip-and-replace of network gear required. 

Flexibility To Provide The Best Of All Worlds

The Extreme Networks approach is one of no compromise and no holes, whether you want on-premise or cloud-based network management. Depending on your IT needs and resources, Extreme can meet your requirements with Wi-Fi access points fully-compatible with both Cloud-based and on-site network management.

The Three Major Benefits of the ExtremeCloud Network Management Solution

With ExtremeCloud, you get full, enterprise-scale network management capabilities with the ease-of-use available through of the cloud. There’s no longer a trade-off between usability and network management features. And you have the flexibility to move to a fully-compatible on-premise solution without replacing any of your on-site access points.

  • Ease of use – comes with an intuitive user interface and zero-touch provisioning. So you can efficiently manage your network with constrained IT resources. Because it is located in the cloud, you can access ExtremeCloud from anywhere.
  • Financial capex advantage – ExtremeCloud is subscription-based and needs no on-premise controller
  • Low risk, easy growth – start small and grow smoothly, even to an on-premises solution without rip-and-replace.

The ExtremeCloud servers provide full security through multi-tenancy, which allows the network to expand and contract based on demand, with no overlap between isolated instances. Customer data is never sent to the cloud. Management and control traffic is secured via HTTPS/SSL using TCP port 443. High-availability on the cloud side is provided by redundant datacenters. For even higher availability redundant access points can be deployed on-site. All APs will continue full operation in the unlikely event that connectivity to ExtremeCloud is lost.


Learn more about the ExtremeCloud Cloud-Managed Wi-Fi solution:

This blog was originally authored by Robert Nilsson, Director of Vertical Solutions Marketing.

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