Redland Green School is a growing community comprehensive school with a specialism in science. With its five-year-old network struggling to adequately meet the needs of students and staff, incoming IT Manager Andrew Morgan worked with ComputerWorld to explore upgrade options. These discussions quickly identified the opportunity to bring wider benefits to Redland Green and a project plan was scoped to deliver:
- A more resilient, better performing infrastructure
- An enhanced learning environment and tools
- BYOD (bring your own device) wireless for everyone
It was vital that the entire project was delivered in time for A-level & GCSE results on 7th August 2015 – a window of just three weeks.
A change for good
Quickly working with this expanded brief, scoping sessions and a predictive site survey were followed with a detailed proof-of-concept and physical site survey of the school, enabling ComputerWorld to propose a solution.
One of the biggest decisions facing Andy and the wider Redland Green team was whether to maintain their existing Cisco mix or move to ComputerWorld’s advocated Dell/Ruckus platforms. The financial and performance benefits offered by the Dell/Ruckus option convinced Andy to make the change and with that key decision made, the project could move forward.
Bring your own device
A key part of the improved Redland system was the ability to enable all visitors (and especially students) to bring their own device and get online without any hiccups. Students have an expectation that their learning environment mirrors what they experience in the wider world, so it was important we delivered in this area.
“Enabling anyone to use their own device is a massive benefit”Andrew Morgan – IT Manager, Redland Green School
The technical solution
- Dell S-Series & N-Series Networking, Dell PowerEdge and Dell EqualLogic
- VMware vSphere platform
- Ruckus ZoneFlex R600 & ZoneFlex T300 Access Points with Ruckus Virtual SmartCell Gateway (vSCG) technology
- Uninterrupted enterprise wireless,
delivering support for future generations
- BYOD for all
- New resilient VMware environment
- Enhanced student experience and reputation
- Scalability for five year growth plan
A solution that works
Great care was taken to ensure all aspects of the solution worked, even if that involved some small changes. “The team were really flexible,” says Andy.
ComputerWorld’s proximity to Redland Green was a real bonus, enabling remaining members of the project team to attend the site within 20 minutes in case of any issue. This ongoing close contact
helped with integration issues, as did a pragmatic approach on site. “You have to use the time efficiently”, says David Hepworth, ComputerWorld’s networking specialist. “There was one instance where we were short-delivered on some parts but you can’t let that get in the way – we were able to switch to another aspect of the installation while we waited. Credit to the sales team for getting the additional switches ordered and delivered in time.”
A great school – supported
All systems were in place and running by the crucial August 7th deadline when staff and students celebrated fantastic results – 87% of students achieved 5A*- C grades. The school looks forward to
another exciting academic year, confident that they have the best systems in place to help achieve their goals.
“Switching from Cisco was a big decision, but it was the right thing to do”Andrew Morgan – IT Manager, Redland Green School