But at the same time, so does the need for the adoption of a solid and secure infrastructure that supports location independent learning in educational establishments. The Cloud has made it possible for many schools, academies and colleges to afford enterprise-class applications, computing and storage without the cost, complexity and constraints of traditional IT networks. In this article we take a look at cloud networking and how it can be used to support your institution and the way data is stored and shared.
So, what exactly is cloud networking?
According to one of the leading providers of cloud-based technologies, cloud networking not only maximises data security within an institution, but also optimises the delivery of applications and other services to provide a great user experience no matter where staff and students work, what device they use or what network they use to connect(1).
It’s also easy to manage and offers faster deployment, simplified admin and richer visibility compared to older cloudbased methods. It’s ideal for all educational establishments from small independent schools to large multi-site institutions.
It provides performance and manageability at a fraction of the cost and without the complexity of older, more traditional solutions.
In short, cloud networking helps your institution to achieve maximum performance whilst protecting your network, school/student data and apps, streamlining management, increasing reliability and ensuring an unparalleled user experience.
Built for BYOD
Providing excellent guest management and BYOD
functionality, cloud networking helps to deliver quality performance in wireless environments because it’s cloud-based with no local controllers. This means staff and students are free to connect and work from anywhere – whether it’s at school or at home, using their own devices and all without the bottlenecks caused by hardware controllers.
A Complete Portfolio
Cloud networking is available across wireless, switching and security appliances – providing you with a complete portfolio and enhanced security for your estate.
Allowing you to centrally manage and control an array of devices around your institution, including iOS, Android and Windows PCs in a secure dashboard. This feature means you can enforce restrictions on your network through
content filtering and settings so that students can’t access restricted sites or search for inappropriate material. Cloudbased centralised mobile management also allows for remote deployment of software, content and applications(2).
Entire Network under a single pane of glass
Powerful and intuitive management through the Cloud, which also reduces the cost and complexity of local onsite controllers. Multiple sites or campuses can be run under a single pane of glass making it easier for IT staff to maintain. This is particularly useful for multi-site institutions such as local authorities or secondary schools and colleges because you can run and manage every building from one place. It takes everything off-site and stores it in a secure data centre in the Cloud. It also allows you to track your institution’s wireless assets and location to find out where they are and when.
One access point, one license
Cloud networking is a one-for-one relationship meaning that you don’t have to buy access points in bulk. The first access point will cost the same as the 26th, 50th or 73rd. It’s all about quantity breaks so if you just need one then you only have to buy one.
Seven layer filtering
Enables you to see exactly how your wireless network is being used at an application level. It allows you to see exactly what is using the bandwidth to download and transfer data (for example downloading updates from iTunes).
Safe and secure learning environment
With cloud networking solutions from vendors such as Meraki, you’ll know your environment and users are protected with features such as: content filtering with cloud-based signature updates, identity based security and application control and single-click search engine SafeSearch integration.
Automatic updates apply new features or upgrades to current devices and help to increase the value of your investments and longevity of IT equipment.
So how do you know if it’s right for you?
Cloud networking is the way forward and many educational establishments are adopting this within
their institutions. If you’re still unsure, don’t worry we’re here to help! Why not pop along to Stand C102 and speak to one of our Infrastructure Service Specialists about your cloud requirements or concerns.