School district gets an HP SDN makeover to address wireless growth, security problems

Software Defined Networking is enabling South Washington County Schools to roll out new capabilities in a fraction of the time at a fraction of the cost

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Faced with exponential growth in wireless devices and an increasingly digital curriculum, Jeff Dietsche, systems and infrastructure manager for the South Washington County Schools in Minnesota, decided his only hope was to deal with a single vendor and use SDN to streamline operations. Dietsche tells the tale to Network World Editor in Chief John Dix.

Let’s start with a little background on your environment and any recent changes that have come down the pike.

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Jeff Dietsche, systems and infrastructure manager for the South Washington County Schools in Minnesota

I’ve been with the district since 1991 and have seen a lot of growth and a lot of changes in that time, but I’ve never seen anything like the wireless revolution in the last four or five years.  In 2009 we had 1,000 wireless users, and in 2010 we had 2,000, and I thought -- "That’s a really, really big jump." Everybody was bringing in their own devices and it wasn’t clear how we were going to handle the growth, what policies we needed, etc.

At the time we maybe had a hundred access points and just enough bandwidth to support workstations plugged into wires, and all of a sudden our access points are filling up and we are running out of capacity. So I started to think, "How am I going to manage this given I’m the only guy here in this large school district with 18,000 students and 31 sites?"

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