news Networking solutions firm Brocade has announced that it has rolled out a comprehensive campus LAN upgrade, including a New IP networking solution, for Mazenod College in Lesmurdie, Western Australia.
The firm said that the move makes Mazenod one of the first high schools in Australia to embrace New IP networking – a state-of-the-art, virtualized IP technology.
Brocade’s networking solution now means the Catholic secondary college for boys is able to guarantee that all 850 students have access up to 100 Mbps of bandwidth on the network at all times. It also frees the school up to maximise the use of locally hosted high-definition video, multimedia and other content utilised in enhanced teaching and learning activities.
Last year, the college found itself limited by the capabilities of its existing network infrastructure, said Brocade, with a legacy wired and wireless campus network that was struggling to cope with increased demand for access to multimedia, which was stored on central IP SAN and NAS arrays.
Brocade has now deployed its ICX 7250 campus network switches throughout the college, providing 1 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) ports for wired devices with each of the school’s new Fortinet 802.11ac wireless access points.
The campus network core is provided by Brocade VDX 6740 data centre switches. Brocade VCS Fabric technology creates a “self-forming, self-healing” Ethernet fabric with 10 GbE optical links to the school’s servers and the campus access switches, the firm said.
“Fast wired and wireless network access is an absolute must for us to deliver high-quality computing experience for every department, as well as for all students, teachers, and parents,” said Hugo van Niekerk, ICT director at Mazenod College. “We also required a smart, agile network that could support changes on the fly, such as a last-minute classroom shift, with the technology automatically ‘moving’ with the teacher.”
“[The Brocade solution] has enabled us to establish an advanced campus ‘nervous system’ that has already delivered tremendous improvements and created the foundation for us to provide some exciting innovations,” he added.
According to Brocade, with the new network in place, students can now receive Microsoft OneNote class updates from teachers in their work folders in just 20 seconds – a process that previously took up to 15 minutes.
With its increased network capacity, Mazenod College is currently testing a system based on Microsoft SharePoint that will enable each lesson to be captured in real time. This will enable students to replay classes in high definition, on demand.
As a result of the changes, Brocade said, the school has been able to implement a “strong” disaster recovery solution for the first time, employing a 100TB storage array housed in a concrete bunker.
The Brocade infrastructure is covered under a five-year, 24×7 maintenance contract.
“We supported Mazenod College through a very successful proof-of-concept test prior to the deployment of our solution, in time for the start of the school year,” said Adam Judd, Brocade’s Vice President for Asia Pacific Japan.
“Schools want networks that simply work and meet their needs without a lot of administrative effort,” he said. “The new Mazenod campus network is a great example of just how simple this can be. With built-in intelligence to automate what were previously manual tasks, teachers can now save time and put more focus on their students.”