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Region 9 Education Service Center

Region 9 Education Service Center

Highlights

  • Region 9 ESC deploys Meraki Security Appliances to 25 school districts
  • Content filtering and bandwidth shaping keep school networks student-friendly
  • Remote troubleshooting made easy through the cloud-based dashboard

Region 9 Education Service Center provides technical support to 38 school districts – including 40,000 students and 8,000 staff – in Wichita Falls, Texas and the surrounding area. With a need to simplify management across a geographically distributed network, Meraki cloud managed access points and security appliances were the perfect solution to support Region 9 ESC’s technology learning platforms.              


Original Networking Challenges


  • Needed a solution that could effectively distribute Internet traffic across multiple districts, as well as provide firewall protection, content filtering, and Active Directory integration
  • Two-person IT team required a simple, feature-rich solution that could provide  visibility into network usage and simple troubleshooting capabilities
  • Required content filtering and bandwidth shaping at each district for CIPA compliance, without additional hardware                             


Why Cisco Meraki


  • Plug-and-play security appliances deployed at districts automatically sync configurations, set by Region 9 ESC, from the cloud
  • Network management requires no additional training or advanced knowledge, allowing districts to monitor their own networks with ease
  • Automatic alerts notify Region 9 ESC when there is a potential problem with the network or one of the remote sites, including network loops or a connectivity issue
  • CIPA compliant solution, using advanced Layers 3 and 7 content filtering, Internet SafeSearch filters, and more


The Deployment 

  

  • MR APs, MX Security Appliances, and MS Switches deployed at Region 9 ESC headquarters; MX Security Appliances deployed to over 25 districts   
  • Active Directory group policies enable separate teacher and student access to web content
  • Traffic to certain sites prioritized to accommodate students taking online classes and tests     
“With Meraki we’re able to ensure that our network connectivity is the best that it can be.” -Clint Close, Network Administrator

Results           

  • Reliable connectivity supports a highly dispersed network
  • Bandwidth consumption is transparent and traffic-shaping allows efficient bandwidth allocation
  • MX security appliances ensure a safe, CIPA-compliant learning environment, centrally controlled, without additional appliances or complex configurations
  • New features are continually released and network devices are automatically updated with changes