03/03/2014 – Network Switches

Network Switches

Rationale
The purpose of this recommendation is for the replacement of DCSD’s core, head-end, and school MDF switches that have currently reached end of life and have not been replaced for approximately 10 years.

Details
DCSD issued network switches RFP #15-474 to request proposals to provide infrastructure upgrades for all DCSD locations. The RFP and Executive Summary details are attached. (After July 1, 2014 this project is slated to begin pending approval)

Financial Impact
Capital Improvements Plan Fund – $6.8 million



Board Discussion
Brantley (Chief Information Officer)
Executive summary is included.  Some switches have reached end of life and are 10 years old.  These are the switches sitting at the end of our fiber network.  Our fiber network has a lifespan of about 25 years, so it’s in good shape.  Most of the equipment has reached end of sale, so they’re not selling it anymore.  End of life means they’re not supporting it anymore.

Last year you approved workstations and wireless, so now we’re asking for equipment on the network to make it run as efficiently as possible.

Mayfield
Can the controllers at the schoolhouse handle all the access points?

Brantley
The controllers I’m talking about are for the standard desktop PCs, labs, etc… Although they are on the same network, they have different controllers.

Mayfield
This is more for the stakeholders understanding.  Do you have a classroom network performance assessment?

Brantley
It’s impacting from the standpoint of slowness.  Not necessarily that the computer is slow, but a part of the network is slow.  What we have found is that when you start placing new computers on old networks, you find that lag.  So, it’s not as fast as they’re used to seeing.  Old equipment runs faster sometimes.  This affects the classroom sometimes.

Mayfield
How does this equipment fit into the district’s It strategy?

Brantley
The district is moving to cloud based, internet hosted applications.  We’re trying to free up our technical team to provide more services in the classroom.

Orson
A lot of people don’t realize that we’ve had a dedicated fiber network for our system that was installed a decade ago.

Brantley
We’re one of a few people that one their own network.  That’s a big advantage and cost savings.