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Kinross Wolaroi School taps Brocade for network expansion

Patrick Budmar | May 28, 2013
ASI Solutions implements network upgrade at regional NSW school.

ASI Solutions has deployed a new core network from Brocade at Kinross Wolaroi School (KWS), an independent regional school in New South Wales.

The network upgrade was a response to the introduction of an iPad mobile device initiative at the school, which placed added demands on wireless network.

The school has over 1,000 students from pre-kindergarten to Year 12, and approximately 300 iPads have already been provided to junior school staff and students in grades 5 to 7 as part of the scheme.

KWS director of information services, Darryn Marjoram, said the iPads join a fleet of over 600 existing PCs and laptops, not to mention all of the personal devices used by the 300 boarding students spread between the school's two boarding locations.

"We didn't really have the capacity to scale the core to accommodate more devices and the expected ongoing increase in traffic," he said.

ASI Solutions carried out an assessment of KWS network last year and found that adding more devices would cause management issues, as well as not leave much room for expansion in the future.

"To address bottleneck issues and deliver the network performance required to maximize the benefits of our planned tablet computing program, we needed to put a much more robust core in place," Marjoram said. Brocade A/NZ country manager, Greig Guy, said ASI Solutions was a good choice for this upgrade due to a previous wireless network it carried out.

"We worked closely with ASI Solutions to help [KWS] understand how [the upgrade] would deliver more capabilities, professional training and certification," he said.

Speed boost
As for what the upgrade entailed, Guy said a complete replacement of KWS' core network switching infrastructure took place, along with a one-third reduction in the number of switches and a third of the remainder replaced by new Brocade devices. Marjoram said improvements following the core upgrade were "felt right across the network."

"Performance has improved dramatically with access-to-core switch latency being reduced from around 80+ milliseconds to single digit millisecond," he said.

Daily backup operation, which previously put a heavy load on the network, have been aided by a 10 GbE connection at the core.

"What's more, we're now able to take a proactive approach to network management and focus on optimizing application performance," Marjoram said.

 

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