Ashford School is an independent school in East hill, Ashford, Kent. Historically the school has been all girls but in 2006 boys were admitted in some year groups. The school now offers boarding and day facilities for both sexes from the age of 3 to 18.
Ashford School was in the process of deploying a 1 to 1 iPad scheme throughout the prep and senior schools. Speaking from experience, Duncan Ricks, the school’s IT manager was concerned about the security of the iPads on the network that the school had in place. With plans confirmed for such a comprehensive deployment, the school decided to invest in a new network as part of the preparation.
The ACS solution
ACS completed an initial wireless survey to see what condition the existing infrastructure was in. They also analyse what needed to be done to ensure it would stand up to a full rollout of 1 to 1 devices.
After assessing the situation, ACS segmented the network into VLANs. The network needed to be more organised; according to Duncan the existing structure was quite flat. As a result, new core switch was installed into the server room. The fibre links and connections were also upgraded and the school are now using 10 Gig links. Each of the primary network cabinets were changed and new header PoE switches were fitted.
On top of the cabling and links of the network, ACS implemented the latest Ruckus wireless system throughout the school. From a management perspective, the school use Airwatch and find that other than the obvious security features it helps monitor the overall iPad usage. Duncan said, “to a degree the project has made the network more complicated”. However, the success of the iPads is significant as they continue to be deployed into different age groups at the school.
“We had a big project to rollout 1to1 iPads at the School. Therefore, we needed to upgrade the entire network infrastructure and we selected ACS for this. It has been the biggest ICT project the school has undertaken for some time. ACS managed the whole project with my in-house team from design and installation right through to testing. No big project is without hiccups but at every incident ACS found a solution that would work. As a result, we upgraded the whole network within a very tight schedule on time, I am very pleased with the results!” – Duncan Ricks, IT Manager