Illinois School District Manages BYOD Mobile Devices with Enterasys WLAN

By Jessica Binns, Contributing Editor — May 24, 2012

Waukegan School District in Waukegan, Ill., has deployed an Enterasys OneFabric architecture to provide a more secure, reliable and easy-to-manage network in the district. With a district comprised of more than 20,000 students and teachers, Enterasys provides a unified wired and WLAN network solution for Waukegan to deliver a superior learning experience for both students and faculty. Enterasys is a Siemens Enterprise Communications Company.

The Waukegan School District serves 23 unique locations from pre-school to high school. With a small district IT staff, the Enterasys OneFabric solution, consisting of wired, wireless and management products, enables Waukegan to support the district's network while keeping operational costs low. In addition, with Enterasys the district is able to granularly manage security issues and vulnerabilities. Waukegan's vulnerability tolerance is slight; however, with the proliferation of BYOD, the district is carefully monitoring security, and working to mitigate issues including hacked wireless, before they become an issue. Waukegan is currently supporting all teachers' mobile devices, whether private or school-issued, on Enterasys Wireless.

Enterasys Wireless helps support a number of applications in the district, including streaming video, classroom apps, student information systems and financial applications on over 200 access points. The district is also moving to a large-scale deployment of discovery education channel materials and the streamlined network will allow the district to deliver these materials directly to student and teacher desktops. Enterasys Wireless has enabled Waukegan to save money while keeping the network available and secure.

"Our deployment of Enterasys solutions has given us the fully functional, secure, and efficient network we need to support our educational initiatives," said Rich Pattison, executive director of technology for Waukegan School District. "We are an end-to-end Enterasys shop, and we plan on staying that way. We are very pleased with the affordable and reliable Enterasys solutions we have deployed across the district. In addition, the Enterasys Global Technical Assistance Center is always available to provide us with unparalleled support and quick response times."

With eight technicians for around 4,300 computers, the main challenge for Waukegan is the number of people supporting the network and the knowledge base of each technician. Enterasys GTAC fully supports the district, and has enabled the district to become more efficient, freeing up the time of IT staff for larger district initiatives. Waukegan's network has realized zero downtime, and applications have been delivered on time. With the help of Enterasys, the district hasn't had to fight fires that plague other networks.

For its long range plans, Waukegan School District's next large project will be enabling VoIP across the district. Enterasys is helping the district to prepare by providing wireless access points and controllers that work seamlessly together. Waukegan also will be expanding wireless to more buildings in the district over time.

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