York Region District School Board

Topic : eLearning
2500+ Employees
Networking

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Benefits

Increased Productivity
Network Scalability

YORK REGION DISTRICT SCHOOL BOARD IMPLEMENTS STATE-OF-THE-ART NETWORKING SOLUTION WITH AVAYA FABRIC CONNECT

Third-largest school board in Ontario turns to Avaya to help students plug in and learn on their own terms

Challenge

With over 200 schools, 20 satellite locations and four community centres spanning nine municipalities, York Region District School Board is the third largest board in Ontario. The Board is responsible for the education of more than 125,000 students, which is no small task, with students, their parents, teachers and staff now having high expectations for modern and effective support services. And with the fundamental nature of education changing through the widespread adoption of mobile technology, York Region District School Board recognized that it needed a network infrastructure that could reliably support the new ways its students wanted to engage with their educational studies.

“Quite simply, students want to be learning on their own terms,” said Paulla Bennett, CIO, York Region District School Board.

“When the kids go home, they have to be able to access their course work. Consequently, we needed to be securing this remote access and the existing network simply wasn’t able to handle this new demand.”

Paulla Bennett, CIO, York Region District School Board

Solution

As a long-term customer, York Region District School Board turned to Avaya to provide it with a resilient, flexible network solution that would be easy to deploy and simple to maintain.

“The implementation of our new network went very smoothly,” said Andy Bischoff, Manager, Network Services for York Region District School Board.

“The Avaya team and I brainstormed and did a fair amount of white boarding during the design stage. We did all the implementation in-house with minimal staff – it was an easy installation, as our IT department has a high familiarity with and confidence in Avaya products.”

Andy Bischoff, Manager of Network Services, York Region District School Board

York Region District School Board

Fundamental to the Board’s next-generation network solution was the opening of a second Data Centre location. Deploying the Avaya Ethernet Routing Switch 8800 into both Data Centres enabled the Board to implement end-to-end network virtualization; the Avaya VENA Fabric Connect technology seamlessly creates one unified, logical network that spans both sites. Fabric Connect allows for a great deal of flexibility when building, deploying and managing Ethernet networks, and the proven ERS 8800 platform meets the demanding enterprise-class requirements for scalability and simplification while maximizing application uptime and value. The Board reduced network design complexity by simplifying the network architecture and increasing per-port value with advanced features deployed on highly efficient hardware.

“What we have now is our own private Ethernet cloud,” Bischoff noted. “It’s very simple and fast to add new services to it – it ties our Data Centres together seamlessly.”

Benefits

BUSINESS CONTINUITY

The Avaya solution is highly resilient, drastically reducing the risk of failure. Staff and students can go about their days (and nights) without any major service interruptions.

“The new solution has allowed us to achieve 99.999% network service availability. Downtime on the network is at an absolute minimum, which means everyone accessing it can go about their business uninhibited.”

Andy Bischoff, Manager of Network Services, York Region District School Board

SCALABILITY

The new network solution is also completely scalable, so it can grow with York Region District School Board’s ever-changing needs.

“Education is dynamic; consequently, the way our students and staff learn and work will always be in a state of flux,” said Bennett. “The new network has allowed us to access applications such as Moodle, an open-source PHP web application for producing modular internet-based courses, Google applications designed for education and our new online report card platform for teachers – however, it is also future-proof, which will allow us to easily implement other new applications down the line.”

SIMPLICITY

Avaya VENA Fabric Connect, based on an extended implementation of the Shortest Path Bridging standard, transformed the Board’s network to be more agile and easier to configure and manage. Moves, additions and changes can now be completed within minutes, through Edge-only, provisioning and all services are now delivered with a single simplified technology. Crucially, changes no longer involve re-configuring the Core, enhancing agility and time-to-service, and removing the risk of change-induced outages.

“One of the biggest benefits is that the network needs very little maintenance, which means minimizing the risk of potential errors – we just implement it and forget about it,” explains Bischoff. “This is a big bonus for my small team, which doesn’t have time to be constantly tinkering with the network.”

“What we have now is our own private Ethernet cloud. It’s very simple and fast to add new services to it – it ties our Data Centres together seamlessly.”

Andy Bischoff, Manager of Network Services, York Region District School Board

York Region District School Board
CUSTOMER PROFILE
York Region District School Board
  • Headquarters:

  • Canada

  • # Employees:

  • 11000

York Region District School Board is the third-largest school district in Ontario with over 121,000 students in 171 elementary schools and 31 secondary schools. Its students consistently perform above average in provincial testing and the Board is one of the top achievers in Ontario.

What our Customers are saying
“We did all the implementation in-house with minimal staff – it was an easy installation, as our IT department has a high familiarity with and confidence in Avaya products.”

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  • Andy Bischoff

  • York Region District School Board

AVAYA SOLUTIONS DELIVERED