Extreme Solution Components

Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School Meets New Tech Demands with Next-gen Infrastructure

Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School in Massachusetts is the oldest agricultural school in the country, serving 600 students from over 60 communities. Its campus includes 11 separate buildings, including an 1824 Dairy Barn with educational workshops, a multi-sport venue, and a cutting-edge press box. Fiber lines are used to deliver network connectivity to each building.

“We wouldn’t be able to do 99% of what we do in the classrooms or shops without
the Extreme devices. The ROI is indescribable.”

Josh Shearer, Director of Technology, Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School

Technology Needs

Supporting the vast range of devices and applications requires consistent, reliable, high-speed connectivity. The school has many older buildings where wiring would be challenging, Wi-Fi is the only option. Smith has a very small IT department to manage its network and other technology needs, making simplicity and flexibility of deployment, management, and troubleshooting a top priority. The school installed Wi-Fi access points in every classroom, as well as the barn and the press box in its athletic venue to enable student, staff, and guest connectivity, and to enable its approximately 100 video security cameras across campus. IT plans on adding more APs to further expand outdoor coverage and replacing its existing Aerohive switches with new Extreme hardware in the coming months to further support existing needs and future growth.

The Results

Improved Network Performance and Access

  • Extreme Wi-Fi access points in every classroom and other locations enable consistent, reliable access for all devices to support the learning process.
  • With new APs and switches, the school doesn’t need to worry about limiting the number of devices connecting to the network, ensuring a high-quality network experience for all users.
  • Wireless connectivity eliminated wiring challenges in older buildings with concrete walls and existing, older wiring.

Increased IT Efficiency

  • ExtremeCloud IQ enables efficient remote network management and troubleshooting from anywhere.
  • The IT team is able to manage the entire network and connected devices from a single interface with a single pane of glass view of the entire network.
  • Installation of 41 new Wi-Fi 6 APs and relocating existing ones was a simple process that took only minutes. If any questions arose, they were resolved quickly through support services or readily accessible online documentation.

Driving Topline Revenue

  • Extreme’s solutions enable continuity of a tech-driven learning experience from the classroom, other campus locations, or from home.
  • Extreme network components enable the use of high-bandwidth applications, like AR/VR for multiple classes and shops.
  • Simple device boarding allowed Electrical Shop students to assist in network upgrades, delivering first-hand experience with network infrastructure to enhance classroom learning..

“We chose Extreme Networks over other solutions we evaluated, including Juniper, Aruba, and Cisco, because Extreme enabled the same flexible remote management model we had when we started with Aerohive years ago.”

Josh Shearer
Director of Technology, Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School

“One of our biggest goals was to have flexible network management and troubleshooting capabilities. ExtremeCloud IQ enables that and makes my life much easier and makes the teaching and learning environment much more effective.”

Josh Shearer
Director of Technology, Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School

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