Armstrong State University lowered network operating cost while meeting growing demand for bandwidth.
"Technology is a disruptor in the educational market," says Robert Howard, CIO at Armstrong State University.
More students, faculty, and staff want to access coursework, applications, and information from their laptops, tablets, and smartphones—both inside and outside the classroom. As with other universities, the consumption of video, whether for education or recreation, continues to spiral upward.
"Our number one priority is giving the best experience to support student success at the best cost," says Howard. "We look for ways to be economical while giving students the best experience possible, whether it is students who consume IT services on campus or prospective students.”
"Like other IT organizations, we’ve been continually hit with astronomical cost increases for maintenance. Anything we can do to reduce cost is good," says Howard.
Armstrong's network had grown organically over the years, but it had an opportunity to holistically design a network that would support the university’s current and future needs— while reducing cost.
The university decided to replace its incumbent network vendor.
Updated technology now enables multiple interconnected switches to operate and be managed as a single logical device, consolidating switch layers to reduce management overhead. Meanwhile, programmability delivers the flexibility required for the network to quickly respond to changing educational needs.
Their new network enables Armstrong to support the growing use of technology in its academic programs as well as residential life. "It’s a fundamental part of a student’s education to have ubiquitous access to wireless networking and all of the tools that the Internet provides."
The university has also reaped a 30 percent savings on maintenance contracts. "We have even better service at a lower cost," says Howard. With the new network, operations have been simplified. "We've made it easier for our staff to do their jobs," says Howard. "We’ve increased security and reduced complexity—that’s a win for us."