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The New Age of Wireless is Completely Managed, WiFi Partners Say

By Doug Barney

WiFi is far easier to install and expand than wired networks. But anyone who just has a home router knows these nets aren’t always so simple to manage. So imagine you are a school system with hundreds of users and dozens of routers. Is the math teacher going to keep all this going when he or she should be talking about quadratic equations?

The best route is a managed wireless infrastructure service such as that offered by new partners Aerohive Networks and MSP Education Network of America (ENA). Here Aerohive provides the hardware in the form of controller-less WiFi and other mobile networking gear, while ENA builds this all into a managed WiFi service.

Customers are reportedly lining up, as ENA just landed a contract to support all the public high schools in Idaho. Idaho is spending some $2.25 million in this effort.

“Today, schools are facing a paradigm shift when it comes to education—mobile devices have penetrated classrooms and educational institutions need to learn how to effectively integrate these devices for student success,” said Lisa Bradford, supervisor of technology, Milan Special School District. “But finding the infrastructure to support these devices often means significant resource constraints and pain points for school IT staff. The ENA Air solution, coupled with Aerohive’s innovative Wi-Fi technology, allows us to focus on instruction rather than infrastructure.”

 

The public school market is undergoing radical change as computers and tablets are increasing augmenting humans as teaching tools, and in some cases replacing them altogether. And distance learning, a hot issue for colleges, will be transforming smarter school districts. Meanwhile more teachers and administrators are using their machines so BYOD is of increasing importance.

ENA believes it now has a strong weapon in the fight for more school business. “ENA chose Aerohive for a number of reasons, but top amongst them were Aerohive’s industry-leading controller-less WLAN technology and its unique HiveOS architecture and operating system,” said Michael McKerley, ENA senior director of technology and innovation. “As a service provider, ENA wants to create solutions that are feature-rich, highly scalable and extremely reliable. Working with Aerohive, we feel we can create a service that meets all three of these criteria.”

ENA Expansion

MSP ENA was founded in 1996, and today has managed services and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) aimed at the K-12 educational market, plus libraries and governments.

The company boasts more than 500 school districts using ENA’s fully-managed converged network. In total, ENA embraces some 2.5 million students and 3.6 million library users. 




Edited by Cassandra Tucker

MSPToday Editor at Large

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