The epitome of success for a college is preparing students to join the workforce. For Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana to do that for its students — many of whom are studying IT fields such as database management — its network needed a major upgrade.
“We wouldn’t want students learning IT if we don’t have an environment that’s conducive to learning IT,” says Matthew Etchison, the vice president for IT in Ivy Tech’s Workforce Alignment Office, in an EdTech video.
After upgrading 900 pieces of hardware in 100 locations, Ivy Tech can give students the future-ready education that will prepare them for their careers.
“Technology like this certainly extends our ability to work with our students on their own terms,” says Sue Ellspermann, Ivy Tech’s president.
A Centrally Located Network Powers Up Learning
Students at Ivy Tech study at 32 campuses in more than a dozen regions in Indiana, EdTech reports.
Before the upgrade, Ivy Tech campuses had 14 networks, each with its own management and security protocols. And none of them worked that well.
“There were issues in multiple campuses where the network was going down, whether that was related to power issues and not having the proper battery backups or uninterruptible power sources to supply the power, or if it was just that we had this old hardware that was failing,” says Ryan Blastick, executive director of statewide IT operations.
Also, most Ivy Tech campuses could provide only a 100Mbps connection to desktops, which wasn’t good enough to support engineering and drafting software that many students needed to use.
Now, thanks to Cisco Systems hardware — such as Cisco Catalyst 2960 Series switches and Cisco 2921 Integrated Services Routers — Ivy Tech has boosted its backbone to 10Gbps. This high-speed service mimics what IT students would find in their future workplaces, says Etchison, which helps to better prepare them.