Infrastructure

Below is an overview of the major components of the technology infrastructure at Athens.  This network and associated parts provide service to all departments including our Information and Technology Learning Center (ITLC).  Many peripheral devices will not be identified since their strategic importance pales to the identified core resources.  Certainly, digital cameras, printers, desktops and other elements of the network are available.

Network infrastructure

The data network of the Athens School District is composed of wired and wireless implementations.  The wiring plant is composed of CAT 5, CAT 5e, CAT 6 and single mode fiber.  The wireless infrastructure is based on 802.11 a/b/g/n.  There are approximately 100 radios saturating the two district buildings, using both the 2.4 and 5.0 spectrum. During the 2015-2016 school year, the Athens School District participated in Category 2 of Erate to improve the wireless infrastructure. The improvements included new Wireless Access Points in the Middle/High School as well as new Cat 6 cable to those WAP’s.   The Middle School/High School building is connected to the elementary building by single mode fiber. The transport speed between the buildings is at 10 Gbs.


A major upgrade was done to the switching infrastructure in 2011.  Most telecom closet switches were updated with new Procurve switches, all capable of 1 Gbs and the two primary switches install with 10 Gbs ports for transport over single mode fiber.  There were major rack improvements in the two major telecom closets to increase efficiencies and management. Included in the 2015-2016 erate project was the replacement of the switch in the third tech closet. The switch was then connected to the main closet by single mode fiber finishing the update on the switches.


Prior "white box" servers were mostly replaced by HP Proliant dl 385 servers.  The district has completed a major server virtualization project using Vmware 5.x.  Physical servers and virtual server have been upgraded to Windows Server 2012 recently.  There a a few 2008r2 servers to upgrade yet. The Vmware hosts have been clustered for disaster recovery and load balancing.  Additionally, approximately 12 TB of shared storage in an HP Storagework 2000 box is available to the virtual servers in the cluster. Acronis Backup Advanced for Windows Server is used for backup, including a 3 TB virtual drive in the cloud.


The district has invested in an enterprise level firewall from Watchguard. The system allows content filtering to meet CIPA requirements and also provides intrusion prevention/detection. It is build as a FireCluster so if their is a failure with one unit, their is an extra unit to continue coverage. The district also has GoGuardian for additional filtering for the Chrome Devices. This system filters the district’s Google Apps For Education accounts whether they are in our buildings or not.  


The district has two internet circuits.  Wiscnet/BCN provides a 23 Mbs link.  Charter provides a  200 Mbs circuit to the district.  The two circuits enter the Athens network through the Watchguard system.


The district has increased its mobile endpoint provisioning in a dramatic fashion.  Our special education department use Ipads, Android tablets, and Chromebooks.  Our Title I program uses Android tablets. We have over 640 chromebooks and boxes in our network.  We continue to use Windows 7 dedicated boxes also in specific high cpu intensive applications such as CAD that will be used in our STEM program and the Adobe Products for our Visual Arts Programs.


All mobile devices can access a Window 7 session through a virtual desktop. The district is using Vmware View Horizon to create and manage the vdi implementation as well as providing the gateway to the virtual desktops. Fundamentally any appropriately authenticated mobile device will be able to access a Windows 7 session for access to legacy applications. The district is planning on rolling out Windows 10 on this format to help train staff on how to use it before implementing throughout the district.


The district also has a decent implementation of Smartboards at all of our school.  Promethean Boards are available at the middle and high school.  This project was done prior to the existing systems administration introduction.  A mobile Promethean was purchased in the spring of 2013 to provide broader availability for these expensive endpoints. We also bought a mobile Smartboard for our Elementary School for broader availability in that building as well. We continue to anticipate using these objects to definitively increase student achievement.  More training will need to occur.

Enterprise Applications

The core network operating systems was described above.  Additionally reference was made to the IOS, Android, Windows, Chrome OS operating systems that are the endpoint platforms.


However, the district has focused on moving many enterprise applications to the "cloud".  This term will be also used for hosted applications accessed through the internet..  The district's library software by Follet is hosted in the cloud.  Our fiscal software, Alio, is hosted through the cloud by CESA 10 and is accessed over the internet through a compliant browser. The district’s Student Information System, Infinite Campus, became cloud hosted in 2013.


An enterprise application that impacted all persons involved with Athens was the introduction of Google Apps for Education.  Introduced in winter of 2012, a full implementation occurred in July 1, 2012.  All staff and students have accounts.  The system of course provided for free through the State of Wisconsin's agreement with Google. All staff have been trained for use of the mail and office applications available through the suite.  Many staff have begun to use "Gapps" as a tool for interacting with students in their academic courses.  Staff and students will continue to be trained as needed. Boost Elearning is also used to provide asynchronous training.  Backupify backs up the Google products of staff to Amazon servers to provide disaster recovery as well as statutory retention of relevant records.


The district has many instructional applications.  This includes in-network local applications for instruction and management.  The Microsoft office suite for instance has continued to be used by the business department and by other instructors for presentation and creation of documents and data.


Distance Learning


The School District of Athens is a member of the CWETN distance learning network.  This is supported and managed through CESA 10.  The district has a distance learning studio.  Additionally there are several mobile Polycom systems at both building to provide access to the network.  The district has provided content on the network as well as consumed content from other schools and sources.  We anticipate 2 additional Polycom systems through a grant partnership with CESA 10/CWETN in the 2015-2016 school year.

Telecom

The district updated its PBX to a new Toshiba box in the summer of 2010.  Frontier is the carrier that provisions this system.  Installation and support of the physical system is through Unitel.

Simple Hardware/Software Inventory

Below is a simple spreadsheet of the existing hardware and software.  It is a growing list and some are subscriptions to cloud applications.  Also note the district has been upgrading to virtualized servers and desktops starting in 2012-2013.

Software/Hardware



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