Mycom deploys new Brocade-based network for Melbourne school

Mycom deploys new Brocade-based network for Melbourne school

New network will help meet bandwidth and reliability demand as the school embarks on BYOD policy

Networking vendor, Brocade along with its partner, Mycom, have deployed a new core IT network for Melbourne-based Ruyton Girls School.

The school also wanted to implement a bring your own device (BYOD) policy and program as it moves towards eBooks, but required a network to support this shift to multiple types of devices.

The IT team wanted greater transparency into networked devices so that they were not tasked with supporting unknown or unplanned devices.

With up to 600 laptops on the network and with students using smartphones, tablets and other devices, there is an average of 1000 devices per day connected across the network.

Ruyton Girls School IT manager, Chris Karopoulos, said it was experiencing increased demand on its network bandwidth, reliability and resilience as more media-rich materials such as video and voice were being created and shared.

“Previously this was not a network issue, as material was stored on the local drives of each device whereas now most of our online course material is delivered with a 1 Gigabit Ethernet link into Australia’s Academic and Research Network,” Karopoulos said.

A key area of focus was the network core, which depended on a single switch that was identified as a bottleneck and a potential single point of failure.

To address this issue and increase bandwidth across the network, the school deployed Brocade ICX 6610 switches, which are linked together using four full-duplex 40 Gbps stacking ports that provide 320 Gbps of backplane bandwidth with full redundancy. This approach eliminates inter-switch bottlenecks while delivering wire-speed, non-blocking performance across all 1 GbE and 10 GbE switch ports.

Mycom also provided Brocade ICX 6450 and 6430 switches for network access.

The use of Brocade Network Advisor software to centralise and streamline network management saves the school approximately half a day per week in network administration, according to Karopoulos.

With the new network in place and the school’s wireless infrastructure up and running, Ruyton has also completed a digital device review.

This will see the introduction of a 1-to-1 iPad program for students from Kinder to year 6; the use of MacBook Air devices for years 7-9 and iPads in year 7, with the transition of these two devices (iPad and MacBook Air) to other levels in following years.

As part of this digital device initiative Ruyton will be launching its BYOD program for years 10–12. This will make network reliability even more crucial as the school transitions from paper textbooks to eBooks.

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