Dawson County Schools

High-achieving Georgia school district addresses rapidly evolving curriculum demands with Aruba CX, Central and UXI

  • お客様プロフィール

    Dawson County Schools serves the communities of Dawsonville, Juno and parts of Big Canoe, Georgia. A high-achieving district with a 95% graduation rate, Dawson County serves its student population by focusing on readiness for college, career, and life. As a charter school system, Dawson County is expected to demonstrate increased accountability for student performance; greater emphasis on school-based leadership and governance; and greater emphasis on innovation.
    • Vertical: Primary Education
    • Location: Dawsonville, Georgia, United States
    • Customer size: Over 3,700 students and 500 staff

    Use Case

    Support new STEM, VR and other curriculum initiatives that engage and excite students to achieve their goals by refreshing the wired and wireless network to gain a future-ready, streamlined and AI-driven automated platform for delivering next-generation classroom, operational and administrative experiences.

    Requirements

    • Update, simplify and streamline wired and wireless infrastructure
    • Save time, energy and resources with next-gen enterprise solutions
    • Deploy high-performance, reliable, self-healing, future-ready networks

    Outcomes

    • Reduced wireless deployment and configuration times from days to minutes
    • Improved user experiences by cutting troubleshooting time from hours to seconds
    • Support curriculum, athletic, administrative and community connectivity needs
    • Obtained AI-driven, intelligent, secure, enterprise connectivity for IoT, collaboration and other cloud-enabled technologies
    • Gained a flexible, scalable platform for future additions such as unified, risk-mitigation network access control

    With expansions to its STEM program, increasing use of AR/VR in classrooms and a new tech-enabled Agriculture Center, Dawson County Schools needed to modernize its wired and wireless technology to deliver on its objectives and goals.

    “Our core network was aging and our existing wireless lacked enterprise capabilities,” explains Roman Gaddis, Executive Director of Technology for the Dawsonville, Georgia school system. “Our legacy solutions also required excessive IT resources for our lean IT staff.”

    AI-enabled Wired and Wireless Network with a Unified Approach

    As a high-achieving charter school with a 95% graduation rate serving over 3,700 students with seven schools and five administrative facilities, Dawson County is expected to demonstrate high student performance, advanced school-based leadership and governance, and an increased innovation emphasis.

    “To meet state mandates and fulfill our mission we needed infrastructure that supported our 1:1 technology strategy, modern curriculum demands and administrative needs,” says Gaddis.

    Already a wired switching customer of Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, Dawson County evaluated options for updating its core and replacing its legacy Ubiquity Wi-Fi network.

    “We determined Aruba’s next-generation CX switching platform supplied us with the future-readiness we required for core networking,” Gaddis says. “We also decided that Aruba’s Wi-Fi solution offered the best seamless mobility while also enabling streamlined, unified management of our wired and wireless infrastructure.

    Gaining Intelligent, Reliable, Self-Healing Infrastructure

    Dawson County selected multiple products for its new Aruba ESP-based network. For wireless, the district chose a mix of 300 Series outdoor access points (APs) and Aruba’s Wi-Fi 6 indoor APs including the 500 Series, 510 Series and 550 Series. For its wired networking core, the district adopted the CX 6400 Switch Series.

    The new infrastructure also includes Aruba Central, for cloud-based network management built on a cloud-native microservices architecture, and Aruba User Experience Insight (UXI) sensors, for continuously monitoring and testing the network from a user perspective.

    ArubaOS-CX for automated, streamlined, and proactive management

    Like many organizations with constrained IT resources, Dawson County is expected to supply a reliable network for escalating computing demands. That’s why the district appreciates the intelligence and high-availability capabilities of its new CX 6400 core switch.

    This includes the fully-programmable ArubaOS-CX operating system, for network automation and simplicity, as well as intuitive configuration tools and the built in Aruba Network Analytics Engine (NAE). These capabilities, and more, supply real-time monitoring and troubleshooting that enables proactive network management for detecting and resolving issues before operations and users are impacted.

    Delivering on network performance expectations

    Dawson County’s IT staff is also excited to explore the CX 6400’s scalability for providing speeds up to 100GbE. “We’re planning to replace our 10GbE connections between all of our locations with 40GbE,” Gaddis says.

    In addition to handling the accelerating classroom connectivity expectations, upgrading to 40GbE will also facilitate a planned update to Dawson County’s security camera system.

    “Our new switching infrastructure will help enable us to centralize security camera video streams, which provides multiple advantages over storing recorded data on site,” adds Gaddis.

    A student using a tablet in a classroom

    Aruba Central and AIOps Modernize Operations

    To provide full-service AI insights, security and unified infrastructure management from a single pane of glass, the district is utilizing Central’s wide range of capabilities.

    It starts with deployments. “Installing APs in classrooms only takes minutes with Aruba’s zero-touch provisioning,” Gaddis says. “We just plug in an AP and Central downloads all of the configurations. It saves a lot of time for our IT staff and allows more time for supporting instruction.”

    Further, with Central’s AIOps, Dawson County can not only diagnose and fix problems fast, but also preempt issues before disruptions occur. To build a baseline across all sites, Central collects data from every Aruba wireless access point and switch deployed at the district. When problems arise, insights built from the Dawson County’s specific network can pinpoint causes.

    In addition, the district can leverage Aruba’s unique peer comparisons feature within Central’s AIOps. It takes “like” sites into consideration and recommends changes to Dawson County’s configurations, or its entire deployment, for optimizing the network and enhancing user experiences.

    Enhancing User Experiences District-wide with UXI

    For quickly and easily identifying sources of sub-par user experiences, another Dawson County IT project is expanding its UXI deployment.

    “We started with two UXI sensors, which we temporarily mount at a site when users report issues we can’t otherwise locate,” says Gaddis. This tactic has reduced the district’s site-based troubleshooting time from hours to seconds.

    “Due to the dramatic impact UXI has on our capability to resolve user issues and reduce our management overhead, we’re planning to use sensors at each of our facilities,” he adds.

    Leading-edge access for IoT, cloud and beyond

    Across the district, Dawson County’s users are experiencing multiple benefits from the new networking infrastructure. Whether in classrooms, on the playing field, at maintenance facilities or in the community, the district is delivering leading-edge access for IoT, cloud and other connectivity needs.

    Ag, STEM, VR and video-enabled classroom collaborations

    Classroom support includes a new middle school engineering lab, to advance the district’s STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) efforts, and an Agriculture Center.

    There’s also a large new VR (virtual reality) lab at the high school and smaller VR efforts in the lower grades. “At the high school level, students are taking virtual company tours to learn about various industries, like manufacturing,” Gaddis says. “In the lower grades, kids are taking virtual field trips with Google Expeditions.”

    Such virtual tours have been particularly vital during COVID-19 restrictions, when students are unable to travel for on-site experiential learning. “Our Aruba infrastructure is ensuring we’ve plenty of high-performance bandwidth to handle the VR traffic load,” he says. “It’s also addressing the overall increased curricular utilization of Google Meets and Zoom we’re seeing than prior to the pandemic.”

    Outdoor Wi-Fi enhances transportation safety

    Student transportation safety is another function improved by Dawson County’s new network. For instance, the outdoor APs installed at the district’s bus facility permits security video to be uploaded immediately for swift incident response.

    “Previously, an incident required us to remove the hard drive from a bus’s onboard camera and physically take it to a laptop or other computer loaded with the security system’s proprietary software,” says Gaddis.

    “Using our new Wi-Fi, the onboard video will automatically upload to the cloud, where our administrators can access it from anywhere,” he explains.

    A student using a tablet in a classroom

    Athletics, Arts and Community Connectivity

    According to Gaddis, athletics and the Arts are also getting a boost from the new network. This, in turn, benefits the community at large.

    “We’re building a new multi-purpose indoor athletics facility that will be used for physical education during the school day and athletic competitions after hours,” Gaddis says. Wi-Fi access will be available to teachers, coaches and community members in the athletics facility.

    “As for the Arts, we’ve a Performing Arts Center on our high school campus that’s heavily utilized by the community as well as the district,” says Gaddis. “Whether it’s concerts, talent shows or fundraisers, community members really appreciate access to the facility and the network.”

    Future-ready Network Supplies Big Advantages

    Moving forward, Dawson County plans to continue building out its future-ready wired and wireless network. This includes replacing legacy switches at every facility with Aruba CX models.

    To boost network access security, the district will also evaluate adding Aruba ClearPass, which has received the coveted Cyber Catalyst by MarshSM designation. The program makes ClearPass adopters eligible for enhanced terms and conditions on cyber insurance policies from participating insurers, helping to stretch operating budgets while reducing cybersecurity risks.

    Dawson County is also in the process of rolling out a badge-based physical security emergency alert system with an integrated crisis management platform from ALERTPOINT. “The badges are wireless and the balance of the system requires a robust wired network,” says Gaddis. “Today we have both.”

    Overall, deploying Aruba has helped move Dawson County to the head of the class. “Despite being a smaller district with a small IT team, we now have one of the best K-12 networks in our state,” Gaddis says. Plus, our Aruba solution saves us time, energy and resources. We absolutely love it.”

    詳細はこちら

    Despite being a small district with a small IT team, we now have one of the best K-12 networks in our state, plus our Aruba solution saves us time, energy and resources. We absolutely love it.
    Roman Gaddis, Executive Director of Technology
  • お客様プロフィール

    Dawson County Schools serves the communities of Dawsonville, Juno and parts of Big Canoe, Georgia. A high-achieving district with a 95% graduation rate, Dawson County serves its student population by focusing on readiness for college, career, and life. As a charter school system, Dawson County is expected to demonstrate increased accountability for student performance; greater emphasis on school-based leadership and governance; and greater emphasis on innovation.
    • Vertical: Primary Education
    • Location: Dawsonville, Georgia, United States
    • Customer size: Over 3,700 students and 500 staff

    Use Case

    Support new STEM, VR and other curriculum initiatives that engage and excite students to achieve their goals by refreshing the wired and wireless network to gain a future-ready, streamlined and AI-driven automated platform for delivering next-generation classroom, operational and administrative experiences.

    Requirements

    • Update, simplify and streamline wired and wireless infrastructure
    • Save time, energy and resources with next-gen enterprise solutions
    • Deploy high-performance, reliable, self-healing, future-ready networks

    Outcomes

    • Reduced wireless deployment and configuration times from days to minutes
    • Improved user experiences by cutting troubleshooting time from hours to seconds
    • Support curriculum, athletic, administrative and community connectivity needs
    • Obtained AI-driven, intelligent, secure, enterprise connectivity for IoT, collaboration and other cloud-enabled technologies
    • Gained a flexible, scalable platform for future additions such as unified, risk-mitigation network access control

    With expansions to its STEM program, increasing use of AR/VR in classrooms and a new tech-enabled Agriculture Center, Dawson County Schools needed to modernize its wired and wireless technology to deliver on its objectives and goals.

    “Our core network was aging and our existing wireless lacked enterprise capabilities,” explains Roman Gaddis, Executive Director of Technology for the Dawsonville, Georgia school system. “Our legacy solutions also required excessive IT resources for our lean IT staff.”

    AI-enabled Wired and Wireless Network with a Unified Approach

    As a high-achieving charter school with a 95% graduation rate serving over 3,700 students with seven schools and five administrative facilities, Dawson County is expected to demonstrate high student performance, advanced school-based leadership and governance, and an increased innovation emphasis.

    “To meet state mandates and fulfill our mission we needed infrastructure that supported our 1:1 technology strategy, modern curriculum demands and administrative needs,” says Gaddis.

    Already a wired switching customer of Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, Dawson County evaluated options for updating its core and replacing its legacy Ubiquity Wi-Fi network.

    “We determined Aruba’s next-generation CX switching platform supplied us with the future-readiness we required for core networking,” Gaddis says. “We also decided that Aruba’s Wi-Fi solution offered the best seamless mobility while also enabling streamlined, unified management of our wired and wireless infrastructure.

    Gaining Intelligent, Reliable, Self-Healing Infrastructure

    Dawson County selected multiple products for its new Aruba ESP-based network. For wireless, the district chose a mix of 300 Series outdoor access points (APs) and Aruba’s Wi-Fi 6 indoor APs including the 500 Series, 510 Series and 550 Series. For its wired networking core, the district adopted the CX 6400 Switch Series.

    The new infrastructure also includes Aruba Central, for cloud-based network management built on a cloud-native microservices architecture, and Aruba User Experience Insight (UXI) sensors, for continuously monitoring and testing the network from a user perspective.

    ArubaOS-CX for automated, streamlined, and proactive management

    Like many organizations with constrained IT resources, Dawson County is expected to supply a reliable network for escalating computing demands. That’s why the district appreciates the intelligence and high-availability capabilities of its new CX 6400 core switch.

    This includes the fully-programmable ArubaOS-CX operating system, for network automation and simplicity, as well as intuitive configuration tools and the built in Aruba Network Analytics Engine (NAE). These capabilities, and more, supply real-time monitoring and troubleshooting that enables proactive network management for detecting and resolving issues before operations and users are impacted.

    Delivering on network performance expectations

    Dawson County’s IT staff is also excited to explore the CX 6400’s scalability for providing speeds up to 100GbE. “We’re planning to replace our 10GbE connections between all of our locations with 40GbE,” Gaddis says.

    In addition to handling the accelerating classroom connectivity expectations, upgrading to 40GbE will also facilitate a planned update to Dawson County’s security camera system.

    “Our new switching infrastructure will help enable us to centralize security camera video streams, which provides multiple advantages over storing recorded data on site,” adds Gaddis.

    A student using a tablet in a classroom

    Aruba Central and AIOps Modernize Operations

    To provide full-service AI insights, security and unified infrastructure management from a single pane of glass, the district is utilizing Central’s wide range of capabilities.

    It starts with deployments. “Installing APs in classrooms only takes minutes with Aruba’s zero-touch provisioning,” Gaddis says. “We just plug in an AP and Central downloads all of the configurations. It saves a lot of time for our IT staff and allows more time for supporting instruction.”

    Further, with Central’s AIOps, Dawson County can not only diagnose and fix problems fast, but also preempt issues before disruptions occur. To build a baseline across all sites, Central collects data from every Aruba wireless access point and switch deployed at the district. When problems arise, insights built from the Dawson County’s specific network can pinpoint causes.

    In addition, the district can leverage Aruba’s unique peer comparisons feature within Central’s AIOps. It takes “like” sites into consideration and recommends changes to Dawson County’s configurations, or its entire deployment, for optimizing the network and enhancing user experiences.

    Enhancing User Experiences District-wide with UXI

    For quickly and easily identifying sources of sub-par user experiences, another Dawson County IT project is expanding its UXI deployment.

    “We started with two UXI sensors, which we temporarily mount at a site when users report issues we can’t otherwise locate,” says Gaddis. This tactic has reduced the district’s site-based troubleshooting time from hours to seconds.

    “Due to the dramatic impact UXI has on our capability to resolve user issues and reduce our management overhead, we’re planning to use sensors at each of our facilities,” he adds.

    Leading-edge access for IoT, cloud and beyond

    Across the district, Dawson County’s users are experiencing multiple benefits from the new networking infrastructure. Whether in classrooms, on the playing field, at maintenance facilities or in the community, the district is delivering leading-edge access for IoT, cloud and other connectivity needs.

    Ag, STEM, VR and video-enabled classroom collaborations

    Classroom support includes a new middle school engineering lab, to advance the district’s STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) efforts, and an Agriculture Center.

    There’s also a large new VR (virtual reality) lab at the high school and smaller VR efforts in the lower grades. “At the high school level, students are taking virtual company tours to learn about various industries, like manufacturing,” Gaddis says. “In the lower grades, kids are taking virtual field trips with Google Expeditions.”

    Such virtual tours have been particularly vital during COVID-19 restrictions, when students are unable to travel for on-site experiential learning. “Our Aruba infrastructure is ensuring we’ve plenty of high-performance bandwidth to handle the VR traffic load,” he says. “It’s also addressing the overall increased curricular utilization of Google Meets and Zoom we’re seeing than prior to the pandemic.”

    Outdoor Wi-Fi enhances transportation safety

    Student transportation safety is another function improved by Dawson County’s new network. For instance, the outdoor APs installed at the district’s bus facility permits security video to be uploaded immediately for swift incident response.

    “Previously, an incident required us to remove the hard drive from a bus’s onboard camera and physically take it to a laptop or other computer loaded with the security system’s proprietary software,” says Gaddis.

    “Using our new Wi-Fi, the onboard video will automatically upload to the cloud, where our administrators can access it from anywhere,” he explains.

    A student using a tablet in a classroom

    Athletics, Arts and Community Connectivity

    According to Gaddis, athletics and the Arts are also getting a boost from the new network. This, in turn, benefits the community at large.

    “We’re building a new multi-purpose indoor athletics facility that will be used for physical education during the school day and athletic competitions after hours,” Gaddis says. Wi-Fi access will be available to teachers, coaches and community members in the athletics facility.

    “As for the Arts, we’ve a Performing Arts Center on our high school campus that’s heavily utilized by the community as well as the district,” says Gaddis. “Whether it’s concerts, talent shows or fundraisers, community members really appreciate access to the facility and the network.”

    Future-ready Network Supplies Big Advantages

    Moving forward, Dawson County plans to continue building out its future-ready wired and wireless network. This includes replacing legacy switches at every facility with Aruba CX models.

    To boost network access security, the district will also evaluate adding Aruba ClearPass, which has received the coveted Cyber Catalyst by MarshSM designation. The program makes ClearPass adopters eligible for enhanced terms and conditions on cyber insurance policies from participating insurers, helping to stretch operating budgets while reducing cybersecurity risks.

    Dawson County is also in the process of rolling out a badge-based physical security emergency alert system with an integrated crisis management platform from ALERTPOINT. “The badges are wireless and the balance of the system requires a robust wired network,” says Gaddis. “Today we have both.”

    Overall, deploying Aruba has helped move Dawson County to the head of the class. “Despite being a smaller district with a small IT team, we now have one of the best K-12 networks in our state,” Gaddis says. Plus, our Aruba solution saves us time, energy and resources. We absolutely love it.”

    Despite being a small district with a small IT team, we now have one of the best K-12 networks in our state, plus our Aruba solution saves us time, energy and resources. We absolutely love it.
    Roman Gaddis, Executive Director of Technology