Why Aerohive Was Selected
- Partnership from Dell and Aerohive offers unparalleled support
- Ability for unified wired and wireless network management through HiveManager NG
- Ease of management and intuitive interface assists agile IT team
- Aerohive Wi-Fi allows layer of redundancy and secure wireless solution
Queen Margaret’s School Aims to Unify Cloud-Based Networking with Dell and Aerohive
About Queen Margaret’s School
Established in 1921 and nestled on a 27-acre campus on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Queen Margaret’s School (QMS) offers comprehensive scholastic and extra-curricular programs to 340 students from preschool to grade12. QMS offers a co-ed Early Childhood Education program and Junior School for children aged 3-12, and university preparatory Senior School for girls in grades 8-12. It also houses a girls’ boarding program for grades 6-12.
In recent years, QMS has expanded the use of technology in its classrooms tremendously. The school established a Bring Your Own Laptop policy for grades 7-12, increased the number of projectors and Apple TVs in each classroom, and began relying on digital instruction and transitioning its infrastructure to cloud-based technology. As a boarding school with residence facilities, QMS has great demand on the network during weekends and after school hours, when students wish to access the network from multiple devices and stream content, making personal use just as critical as classroom use.
Originally, QMS had primarily used Cisco for wireless networking, but the need to sync to active directory, improve management and monitor the network drove a need for change, so Aerohive access points were purchased and deployed. Two years ago, the Head of School decided to focus on upgrading the IT infrastructure. This initiative coincided with the hiring of a new IT manager and Systems Analyst. Although the new IT team had experience with HP and Cisco networking in the past, they saw the potential of the Aerohive wireless network. As the IT team describes, “It was the best thing we inherited and the only technology we sought to keep.” The IT team was also exploring working with Dell to refresh servers and workstations, so the partnership between Dell and Aerohive solidified the direction of the network infrastructure solution going forward.
Queen Margaret’s School deployed Aerohive AP121, AP230, and AP330 access points throughout its campus and classrooms. Students and faculty can now access cloud based applications such as Office 365, Edmodo, Schoology and MyEducation BC, the provincial Ministry of Education’s student information system. The IT team also introduced a secure web-based print system for students and staff. The ability to access these resources from almost any school or personal device has been very popular for students, staff and guests.
One of the unique ways QMS is taking advantage of its robust Wi-Fi is through use of iPads in the gymnasium, recording video footage of sporting events and streaming to Apple TVs for coaching instruction. This summer, the school is planning to add access points in the indoor riding arena, allowing instructors to use iPads across the entire equestrian program for improved instruction.
QMS is also in the process of evaluating the extended HiveManager NG, which would provide centralized cloud-based management of the unified wired and wireless network, managing both Aerohive wireless infrastructure and Dell network switches. The school is now also using the free Bonjour Gateway from Aerohive to allow faculty and students to wireless project onto Apple TVs, no matter what device or network they are on. This capability was not previously possible, but will greatly enhance teaching in the classroom.
On its current network, the school leverages Aerohive QoS features to boost Skype call quality and distribute bandwidth more effectively. The guest network is simplified to provide a rotating Private Pre-Shared Key that expires after a month, freeing the IT team from the need to distribute passwords on a daily basis. While QMS does not yet have any outdoor access points, it is powering its outdoor digital signage at the school entrance by utilizing Aerohive’s mesh connectivity function.