One of the largest public school systems in Nebraska, Millard Public Schools consistently earns national recognition for its innovative programs and the world-class educational opportunities it oers students. The increasing importance of technology in learning and curriculum required Millard Public Schools to evaluate existing systems and networks to identify necessary improvements that would address immediate needs and accommodate future growth and technologies. A savvy internal IT department performed due diligence, opening the project up for bid knowing what they wanted and challenging national and local providers to compete based on performance, price, ease of use and manageability. The initial 17 vendors were narrowed to six finalists. Ultimately, Prime Communications was selected as the result of its ability to best meet the criteria – along with its cost-effective solution for Layer 2 multicast delivery.
At the core of Millard Public School’s technology infrastructure was the need to implement the one-to-many communications technology of multicast to connect multiple high schools with a central location, and also broadcast bandwidth-hungry video and data. At the same time, the solution needed to enhance network performance for other functions at all locations. At the center of the solution was a standardized infrastructure that included 460/440 switch stacks at each location, topped by a high-performance, Extreme Networks Summit X460 series switch with 10 Gigabit Ethernet connectivity for intelligent switching and routing within each school and between schools. For the central administration location, an Extreme Networks 650 series switch carried the load for multicast routing, providing high-density Layer 2/3 switching. Also, the operating system was standardized throughout the school system to increase manageability and ease of use. As a result, Millard’s technology team was able to quickly learn how to deploy switches in just a day, easing deployment of the solution.
By partnering with Prime Communications, Millard Public Schools was able to meet the demands of today’s technology-driven educational environment, delivering real-time information to large numbers of users, while reducing bandwidth usage and increasing network performance. In fact, the solution increased overall network speed tenfold. It also, offered the cost-efficiencies, ease of use and manageability that the requirements of the engagement required. Finally, because these switches support POE+ (Power Over Ethernet plus), Millard Public Schools is well positioned for new security and wireless systems that are planned in the near future.