A Cloud Solution Drives District Savings
In Mississippi, Vicksburg Warren School District’s recent cloud migration helps to demonstrate the point.
“We took our whole network infrastructure and migrated it to Cisco’s Meraki cloud solution,” says Wade Grant, the district’s director of educational technology. “It has all the management of the network in the cloud. You open up a web interface, and whether you’re in Timbuktu or Kalamazoo, you’re sitting there managing the network remotely.”
Vicksburg Warren’s investment in the flexible cloud network comes with a reduction in ongoing operational costs that will drive significant net savings in the long run.
“It saves a ton of money over time, because you’re able to also manage a lot of infrastructure more effectively. Your access points, your camera systems — so many of these things can be controlled over the cloud network infrastructure,” he says. “That means you’re actually able to shut things down at the end of the day, and those savings add up over time.”
To help layer on even more savings, Grant turned to E-rate funding to cover about 75 percent of the cost of the project.
The school also invested in Chromebooks, another move that has led to significant cost savings. In a local server environment, “you have all the Active Directory management overhead that you have to pay somebody to manage,” Grant says. But with Chromebooks’ cloud-based administration, “I’ve got a part-timer doing that for me on a contractual basis. We upgraded to the enterprise version of the Google Workspace environment to do that, but that’s pennies to the dollar compared with what I was spending on managing and utilizing Active Directory.”