How a School Achieved a 600% Increase in Bandwidth
St. Joseph’s Academy is a private, all-girls high school. Through a program called “one-to-one,” St. Joseph’s Academy provides a laptop for each student, enabling them to easily communicate, collaborate, design and learn in a 21st century environment.
Over the past few years, the Academy’s need for bandwidth increased by a multiple of six, prompting them to expand from one fiber link and two cable links to three broadband cable links and a much larger fiber connection.
In addition to VPN access for teachers and students to access email and web services, hosted services have been added, including Blackbaud® student information, Symphony® library cataloging, Google applications for education, cloud storage and streaming media from Netflix, Discovery Education and YouTube in the classroom.
“When you have five or six teachers trying to stream Netflix at one time, it’s really a bandwidth hog. It’s a good thing when you can focus more on education than on waiting,” said Travis Rogers, Director of Technology at St. Joseph’s Academy.
To accommodate this high demand for online services, the IT department leveraged cable links that were originally designated for standby “failover” use, upgraded their existing Ecessa unit to accommodate the expanded bandwidth and combined all the links into one active network on a single firewall.
“When hundreds of students need to download 100 MB files, you want to leverage all your available bandwidth, instead of having backup lines just sitting there idle,” said Rogers.
WAN link load balancing ensures high-availability and improved performance for their online and hosted applications, such as online registration, email, cloud storage, streaming media and more.
Efficient disaster recovery mechanism for email and hosted services ensures uptime in the event of an outage on their primary fiber connection.
Redundant inbound and outbound Internet connectivity ensures that communications are not interrupted. This solution automatically identifies WAN link outages and routes traffic from any failed line to the remaining active links with zero disruption to users.
Authoritative DNS and port forwarding put them in complete control to manage changes themselves without reliance on a third party.
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