Stantonbury Campus - Phased Wireless With 10G Backbone

Stantonbury Campus is a forward-thinking mixed secondary school and sixth form with around 2,500 students and staff.

Challenge

With up to 30 laptops being simultaneously used in a lesson or 60 within a building, Jane Hyson, the school’s Network Manager, knew that the existing IT infrastructure was running out of bandwidth across the school. Although this Cisco and HP based solution had served the students well and had been upgraded on numerous occasions, it has become too slow to support lessons into the future.

“We are always thinking ahead. We anticipated giving the students new classroom hardware and had already started a small-scale BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) scheme which was set to expand.

“Delivering a wireless service along with a replacement infrastructure to accommodate upcoming technological developments was essential. The school needed a higher spec network with a 10G backbone so we could deliver the capacity needed now and in the future,” explained Jane.

Although on a limited budget, Jane and her colleagues wanted the students’ experiences with new technology to be as positive as possible, to optimise their lesson engagement.

“There’s no point giving students laptops or asking them to bring their own device if you don’t have the infrastructure in place to support it. They’d quickly become frustrated,” she commented.

However, the available funds were limited when the Stantonbury Campus invited suppliers to tender.

Besides the more obvious variables, such as the size of the warehouse and the number of users, there are more underlying complex issues to consider when implementing Wi-Fi in such a large working area.

Solution

The school did not have enough budget to roll out a replacement across the whole site in a single project so Lynx Networks designed a solution that would fit within the available budget but could be built on.

“Lynx Networks’ approach was by far the most practical and cost-effective. They broke their proposal down so we could divide the installation into phases which aligned with budget availability dates. It gave me the information I needed to be confident that we could afford to replace the entire backbone and the rest of our infrastructure within four years,” explained Jane.

The new solution was based on the HP 7506 and included HP 2910 Power over Ethernet facilities and Meru wireless technology.

 

Results

Even within the first phase of the replacement plan, students and staff noticed an immediate performance improvement.

 

“It’s done what we wanted it to do and the Lynx team have been extraordinarily helpful. When they come on-site they work well, helping us to minimise downtime.

 

“They’re very proactive in their suggestions. The way they’ve installed it has provided additional resilience. The old backbone is still in place and connected. If anything were to happen to our new system, the old infrastructure automatically kicks in, acting as a contingency facility. This was a great idea that we hadn’t previously considered,”

– Jane Hyson, IT Manager, Stantonbury Campus

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