Network Support Projects

Hope School is a large SEN school and college based in Wigan, North West England. They cater for students aged 2 -30 with a diverse range of needs. Currently based at one site in Wigan, they are looking to branch out to a second site during the 2018 academic year.In April 2016 we began planning for the upgrade to the switch infrastructure, which had been until this point managed by the local authority.

The HP switch environment was 6 years old, running on 100 megabit equipment. In order to improve the network speed and allow us to utilise new technologies, we procured Aruba switch equipment at a competitive price. Replacing the aged equipment would also allow us to create additional capacity to cater for the school’s continual growth.

The large site consists of 8 remote switch cabinets, and a core switch located in the main school building. Some of the cabinets in external buildings were linked via gigabit fibre, but the majority were running over a single gigabit ethernet connection. In some locations, there could be up to 100 devices sharing this single link. As a result, we installed additional cabling to cater for network trunk ports. We now run at least a 5gb trunk to each remote cabinet, which links directly back to the core network infrastructure. Since completing this work we have seen incredible speed increases around school.

Each switch is implemented with a standard configuration and can be remotely managed from anywhere on site. We also have several VLANs to help isolate traffic and create security layers for guest access. By configuring network throttling, we can prioritise bandwith for the school’s Mitel VOIP system when the network is under heavy load.

Installing the new switch environment has also given us the change to do away with the untidy cabling. Every port is now colour coded, and we have a full network map to help with any troubleshooting.

 

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