Bainbridge Island School District Keeps School In Session With Ecostruxure IT

Schneider Electric helps the school district monitor and manage access to information systems distributed across 11 buildings, nine schools, one central data center, and 38 data closets.

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The Bainbridge Island School District, located on a beautiful island in Puget Sound, is a 35-minute ferry ride from downtown Seattle, WA. Bainbridge schools are highly-regarded and provide a world-class education to 4,000 children in grades K through 12. In order to help the school district to achieve its goal of preparing its students for the global workplace, access to information systems distributed across 11 buildings, 9 different schools, one central data center, and 38 different data closets must be monitored and managed in a modern way. The technology needs to be smart enough to self-identify when a problem is imminent, so that any disruption to the classroom and its students and teachers is minimized.Schneider Electric

“The ‘traditional classroom’ is quickly becoming a ‘digital classroom,’” according to the school district’s Network Supervisor, Alan Silcott. “Teachers rely on web-based teaching tools. Students use chrome books and iPads on a daily basis. School staff members depend on IP phones for basic communication. The demand for high bandwidth internet access continues to increase in education environments. This is a national trend,” he said.

For Silcott, downtime disrupts the learning of the students as many of the tools they use are interconnected. However, his network’s system uptime is often challenged by the inclement weather that often passes over the island.

Schneider Electric“In this area, we experience many storms with winds that reach 40 to 50+ miles per hour. When that happens, we are almost guaranteed a power outage. Our island is very wooded, so power lines are at risk when trees and branches fall. We have about 10-15 storms per year and these usually generate about 12 power outages a year,” he said.

Flickering power levels (brownouts) are frequent and these also disrupt the uptime of the critical computer assets.

Peace of mind and avoidance of “nuisance” alarms

With such a widespread and distributed network to manage, and with limited human resources, Silcott also needed a simple and reliable way to remotely monitor system issues. In order to keep the schools running smoothly, Silcott needed aggregated system performance information automatically channeled to him and his staff. And he needed the system to be smart enough to identify those situations that present a potential threat to uptime.Schneider Electric

Since the majority of his equipment was Schneider Electric products, Silcott decided to consult with Schneider Electric to see if the company offered any solutions that would help him to remedy the situation.

“I like the convenience of doing business with Schneider Electric. Their line of products have the best reputation out there for reliability,” he said.

“Schneider Electric recommended their new EcoStruxure™ IT Expert Mobile Insights app that uses cloud-based software to pull all device data, irrespective of vendor, and make it available from one central smartphone app. Now my staff and I simply look at our phones for easy access to all the devices on our network. Alarms are consolidated according to relevance, enabling us to focus on the devices that are truly affected – and getting to the crux of the problem immediately. From a dashboard, we can dive right into any device or alarm to start troubleshooting on the go,” he said.

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