One of the most prestigious private schools in Victoria recently reached out to Peak for guidance to enhance their network infrastructure. The school was looking to implement a solution that met key requirements of enhanced security, greater visibility and reduced IT management overhead. A solution capable of supporting always-connected mobile devices, data-intensive applications, and “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD) student and faculty policies.
To meet these requirements, and after working with the client onsite for a number of days, Peak Insight proposed a solution based on Cisco Meraki Switching, Wireless and Cisco Identity Services Engine (ISE) for policy-based network access.
An interesting challenge for the School was the use of Apple TVs across hundreds of classrooms that enabled capabilities such as screen sharing. Apple Airplay is a service that enables automatic discovery of Apple TV devices (in combination with Bonjour, mDNS and DNS Service Discovery), however the Airplay service does not have a mechanism to filter device discovery. This becomes a challenge if there are hundreds of devices on each campus. The school had faced similar challenges in their existing environment, where difficulties were encountered in restricting the Airplay discovery to only the devices within a classroom (or nearby). Bluetooth was considered, however it was not an option for the School due to challenges with the unreliability of sharing content.
Peak Insight was able to leverage the capabilities of Cisco Meraki and Cisco ISE to provide a solution that enabled a user to only discover nearby devices, such as within a classroom or floor.
The solution consisted of grouping Cisco Meraki access points geographically, and then creating policies so when an end-user device associates to the network, Cisco ISE enables the policies and restrictions to be applied for that geographical area.
This approach is dynamic, and enables an end-user to roam between different geographical areas and be dynamically reassigned to a new grouping during the roaming process. After roaming, the user will no longer discover devices from the former geographical area.
By using this approach, Peak was not only able to provide a solution that restricted the Apple TV discovery based on user location but was flexible enough to be implemented on a granular basis across each campus for the School whilst also providing centralised visibility.
Key Challenges for IT Teams in Education
- Attracting and retaining students: Because of technology, students have more choices now than ever on how and where to get their education.
- Meeting student expectations: With students today bringing up to 12 devices onto campus, they expect seamless connectivity, with no dead zones, and no bandwidth limitations.
- Keeping campuses secure: Whether protecting student data on the network, making sure there are no trespassers or suspicious behaviour on campus, and assisting to identify bullying – security is a top priority.
Why Peak Insight and Cisco for Education
- Robust Wireless: High performing wireless without the high maintenance, designed for high-density in lecture halls and seamless student roaming
- Safety and Security: Keep students and faculty safe with options ranging from endpoint, network, and physical campus security
- Data Driven Decisions: Easy to use, out-of-the-box analytics and tools deliver best-in-class IT and inform for key business decisions
- Powerful APIs: With APIs, make creating improved student experiences, custom solutions, and smart security a reality
Interested to learn more? Let’s talk – schedule a call with our team, or call 1300 026 033 (option 1).