Education Relies on Allied Telesis For Learning Environments

By Giovanni Prinetti

For education providers at every level, there is no more important charge than to provide the broadest and best array of learning opportunities for their students. Increasingly, those opportunities are found online. For some time now, technology has been playing a significant role in today’s education process, and in fact, the paradigm shift is nearly complete. Physical textbooks and whiteboards have become relics of the last century as web-based education applications and iPads and Chromebooks take their place.

Primary and secondary schools, as well as colleges and universities, have ramped up their use of online applications and tools to gain access to cost-effective e-learning apps, promote student collaboration on projects, and increase communication among parents, students and educators.

Cloud services, in particular, are now vital in giving students access to the vast and global “online classroom” that is available anytime and anywhere. Instead of reading a hard copy book passage about Machu Pichu, students pull up videos and study 360-degree, 3D maps of the historical site. Students wanting to learn a foreign language can converse in real-time with people half a world away who speak that language. The opportunities for learning in new and exciting ways seem endless, and this is what sparks students’ passion for learning more.

Needless to say, this new education paradigm puts some heavy demands on the networking infrastructure that must support the varied needs of students, faculty, staff, parents and guests on the system. Depending on the school environment, the network might need to support hundreds, if not thousands, of simultaneous connections, both wired and wireless. Support for mobility is critical as students move from classroom to classroom or building to building, toting their smart devices. The network must support extensive use of video, both for class lessons (“let’s tour Machu Pichu”) and for security surveillance of the physical school properties.

And of course, network and data security is a top priority. Network administrators must ensure that only authorized users and devices have access to the network, and that data and students’ personal information is protected at all times. The network must be monitored for and protected from threats. With so many users and devices continuously coming and going on the network, total security is a very tall order.

As the business of education becomes more digital in nature, the complexity of delivering the right kind of network infrastructure is growing.

Priorities for Education Providers’ Networks

Given the ongoing digital transformation in education and the challenges of the underlying technology platform, network managers across the education sector have a number of requirements for their IT networks. Such networks must:

  • Facilitate access to online applications and resources, yet maintain the security of confidential data
  • Provide secure network access, both wired and wireless, to students, faculty, staff members, parents and guests
  • Protect confidential (and regulated) student data from unauthorized access
  • Be ready to support and easily incorporate new technologies, both now and as they emerge, without breaking the IT budget
  • Support and optimize campus WAN connections
  • Be easy to configure, manage and troubleshoot while minimizing costly administration and downtime
  • Support centralized management for remote sites that don’t have local IT resources, for example, a satellite campus

These and other requirements can be accommodated by focusing on three key elements of an agile and future-proof network:

  • Reliable high-speed wired and wireless access
  • Overall security
  • Easy network management

What Allied Telesis Networking Solutions Offer to Education Providers

Allied Telesis is an industry leader in robust networking solutions. We have been implementing advanced networks for education authorities for many years, all without increasing operational complexity. Our products optimize technology investments by fully integrating with existing systems and applications. As new needs arise, the Allied Telesis network can adapt to build a more efficient and progressive infrastructure.

The Allied Telesis solution for education addresses organizations’ needs with the following capabilities:

  • Unstoppable Network Access – We provide “anytime access” which ensures that the network is up and running, even in the event of a link or equipment failure, without the need for human intervention. What makes the network access unstoppable? Features such as redundant power supply systems, Power over Ethernet-enabled equipment, virtual stacking of switches, ring protection protocols to save the network from link failure, and a redundant configuration for a disaster recovery architecture.
  • A Self-Defending Network – Our smart edge security protects wired and wireless networks from threats by automatically quarantining suspect devices. This creates a safe environment for the multitudes of users who connect to the network daily, as well as for storage of confidential data.
  • Reliable and Easy WAN Management – Allied Telesis Software-Defined WAN (SD-WAN) management simplifies remote site connection management with an autonomous and centralized tool that selects the optimal data transmission path among sites for better performance and lower cost.
  • No Compromise Wi-Fi – Allied Telesis ensures reliable, high-performance Wi-Fi connections everywhere they are needed and provides high device density support for classrooms and common areas such as auditoriums and courtyards. We do this by analyzing and eliminating signal coverage gaps and Wi-Fi access point interference.
  • Network Management Made Easy – We make it possible to automate network management using a single smart tool to add intelligence and security with easy management and to reduce risks and support costs while enabling remote site support.
  • Digital Video Security – Allied Telesis has a dedicated product portfolio to securely and reliably transport video footage – such as that generated by surveillance cameras – across the IP network.

Allied Telesis networking solutions simplify operations while also enhancing performance and security, and that’s a beneficial proposition for educational authorities and the students they serve.