Today’s college networks need to be able to support several devices for learning, regulating campus systems and personal use. At Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana, the 32-campus system had a mishmash of networks, with each region running its own network from access points to security.
“It wasn’t very seamless,” says Ryan Blastick, executive director of statewide IT operations, in an EdTech video.
In 2015, Ivy Tech set out to upgrade and standardize its networks at all campuses.
Cisco Systems Hardware Eases Network Troubleshooting
To fully standardize its networks and centralize file and print servers, Blastick says that Ivy Tech needed to buy and put into place 900 pieces of new hardware.
To execute this properly, Blastick and his team used CDW staging facilities to determine the logistics and break the shipment of hardware down by campus so campus IT staff could focus on installation.
Since installing Cisco Systems switches and other hardware, Ivy Tech’s network is more stable and flexible.
Blastick says switches providing central management ensure that if part of the network goes down at a regional campus, the whole network won’t be affected. Standardization also helps with troubleshooting a network problem on any campus.
“Before, we relied heavily on local people because they knew how the regional network was built,” says Blastick in an EdTech article. “Once we standardized, we could take down those regional barriers, and it didn’t matter which network person you called.”
All in all, Ivy Tech’s president Sue Ellspermann believes the network upgrade helped the school to offer the best to its students at very little detriment to the IT staff.
“We have a very reliable system today,” she says in the video. “Two or three years ago we couldn’t say that.”