Case Study

Mt.Pleasant Indy School District case study

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Cumulus Networks ® Case Study Mount Pleasant ISD + Cumulus ® Linux ® Mount Pleasant Independent School District Uses Cumulus Linux to Create a Flexible, Open and Reliable Data Center INDUSTRY: Education BUSINESS OBJECTIVE: Improve Availability, Openness and Flexibility for IT infrastructure PARTNERS: Penguin Computing, Dell, Red Hat, Midokura "We simply cannot have our systems go down, because it is the students that will pay the price for our failure." — Noe Arzate, Director of Technology for the Mount Pleasant ISD Overview Mount Pleasant Independent School District (ISD) is an award-winning, fully accredited K-12 school district that also offers active early childhood, Early Head Start, Head Start and pre-K programs. The district serves more than 5500 students on eight campuses, including a Child Development Center, four kindergarten through third grade campuses, a middle school campus (fifth and sixth grade), a junior high campus (seventh and eighth grade) and a high school (ninth through 12th grade). The district is also a full partner with the Northeast Texas Community College and the Mount Pleasant Economic Foundation in the Industry Technology Training Center. The ISD's IT department is relatively small, consisting of a network specialist, sysadmin and several network and computer technicians, all of whom are led by Director of Technology Noe Arzate. Despite its small size, the group is quite advanced in terms of the technology it employs, having been an early adopter of virtualization, software-defined networking, containers and other advanced infrastructure trends. Data center team administer needs high availability, particularly when district-wide testing is underway, and teachers demand 24x7 connectivity, since they connect at all hours from home. The IT staff values flexibility; part of their philosophy is to avoid vendor lock-in at all costs. They also want the ability to deploy new services at will. Finally, ease-of-use and leveraging the skill set already in-house are key factors in evaluating any new system. Challenges When the time came to replace their aging network infrastructure, the team used three guiding principals — reliability, flexibility and ease of use — as evaluation criteria for selecting a new design. IT team was dealing with significant reliability demands and the decision regarding the new solution and design had to be made with network uptime in mind. A great support infrastructure was critical to ensure a successful deployment. They needed to be able to reach the support team rapidly and address any issues without affect students and teachers productivity. Team also wanted the ability to easily scale their network and continue using their tools without any vendor lock-in. Ability to deliver new services rapidly was also critical. Finally, for quick deployment, the team wanted to leverage their existing in-house skill set. ©2016 Cumulus Networks. All rights reserved. | cumulusnetworks.com

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