St Peter's Catholic School

Case Study

Situation

St Peter’s Catholic School is a large secondary school providing education to 1100 students and employing over 140 staff.

The school was facing a number of IT challenges and issues that were impacting on student education and teaching staff efficiency. The IT infrastructure was proving inadequate to support over 600 devices and enable expansion to mobile devices.  The school required a future proof solution to improve the performance and overall experience associated with the IT systems.

OrbitTech Support

OrbitTech initially completed an IT systems review of the school. The report detailed key issues with a range of solutions and recommendations. This enabled the school to make informed decisions. The following decisions where taken:

Windows XP upgraded to Windows 7

85% of the workstations were running the no longer supported Windows XP operating system. The school was gradually upgrading to Windows 7 one machine at a time. OrbitTech designed and implemented a multiple computer deployment system that enabled the upgrading from a central location significantly reducing implementation time and improving IT personnel efficiency.

Windows Server 2003 migrated to Windows Server 2012

OrbitTech redesigned and converted the infrastructure from a dual legacy system to a single network system. All users, data shares and software were also migrated from Windows 2003 to Windows 2012 servers and centralised management enabled. A detailed network topography schematic was created and provided. The result was a considerably simplified system with lower and more focussed maintenance efforts.

Exchange Server 2003 migrated to Exchange Server 2013

OrbitTech installed and commissioned Exchange Server 2013 to replace a decade old mail system that was constantly unreliable and no longer supported by Microsoft. This involved migrating more than 1250 mailboxes, contacts and groups.  New rules and security rights were configured and remote accessing capability provided to staff and students.

Network Infrastructure Upgraded

St Peter’s legacy network infrastructure comprised many different undocumented network cables and switch varieties, complicating maintenance by IT personnel. Additionally OrbitTech identified recently installed fibre optic cabling, either not commissioned or incorrectly commissioned, and bottlenecks in the network that were preventing the cabling from being fully utilised.  OrbitTech implemented the following solution.

 

  • Replaced all edge and homestyle switches with a standardised HP 2900 Switches
  • Installed and commissioned a HP 5406R zl2 Core Switch
  • Installed new standard CAT6 network points across the school
  • Installed new fibre optics to edge switches to provide a 10gig backbone from the core switch.
  • Extended network fibre connectively to an out-building by channelling underground.
  • Installed additional secure cabinets for equipment.
  • Organised and introduced cabinet cable management.
  • Improved cabinet housekeeping by labelling of switches, cabinets and network cables
  • Provided a topology map of the network for improved maintenance

Wireless Infrastructure Upgrade

St Peter’s Wireless network infrastructure was patchy, slow and underutilised. To address this the school had commissioned an extensive and costly coverage survey with a view to upgrading the system. Based on experience gained from other locations OrbitTech advised the expected total number of wireless units that would be necessary and was engaged to maximise reuse of the existing equipment and upgrade the wireless capability.  OrbitTech did not reference the survey and implemented the following solutions

 

  • Identified optimal locations for wireless transmitters
  • Installed 54 Indoor Wireless Units across the site
  • Installed 3 Outdoor Units to suit school requirements
  • Configured all units to enable seamless user transfer between units.
  • Implemented VLAN’s on the switches to provide appropriate security for BYOD (Bring your own device)
  • Created a web-based central management system for IT Personnel
  • Developed Wireless Guest Logins via voucher codes
  • Ensured the on-site Web Filtering is enabled for Wireless devices

OrbitTech delivered on everything they said they would!  Alex and his team were professional throughout and have enabled our school to deliver a modern, future proof IT system that ultimately impacts positively on students and staff.  Communication throughout each project was timely, comprehensive and jargon free.  Many thanks.

Tody Miller

Head Teacher, St Peter's Catholic School