Upcoming Network Infrastructure Upgrades

While I’ve written about this a bit before in a broader sense, I wanted to share some information about the network infrastructure and core upgrades that we’ll be implementing in the coming months.

Currently, our district operates a fiber network that connects all of our buildings to our Educational Service Center (ESC), which houses all of our servers and our district internet connection.  Each of those connections currently operates at a 1Gb/s capacity, which was a standard in the early 2000s but has since been replaced by higher capacity standards.  

This spring and summer, we’ll be upgrading the connections from all of our aggregate sites to the ESC to 40Gb/s capacity.  Our aggregate sites include each of our junior high buildings and our physical plant building, and are themselves connected to our edge sites (other school buildings).  The connections between the aggregate sites and the edge sites will be upgraded to 10Gb/s.   These upgrades are long overdue, as our aggregate sites support over 4,000 networked devices.  If you think of our current scenario in terms of your home, that would be equivalent to trying to connect 48 computers through a typical 12Mb home DSL connection.  

In practical terms, this substantially limits our ability to offer high-speed and reliable internet access, deploy software updates and computer policies, deliver streaming audio and video, or delivery virtualized applications.  Once our network has been upgraded, access and speed should no longer be a limiting factor for teachers and students who are relying upon network technology in our classrooms.