Hello Staff, Students, & Parents,
This summer many changes have taken place in regards to technology at HAST. These changes have been part of a bigger overall plan over the last three years to update the infrastructure within the building.
In the summer of 2015, all of our servers received massive OSX updates. Servers were running OS 10.6.5 and were upgraded to 10.10.5. These updates were necessary to allow upgrades to our Mobile Device Manager, which also took place in 2015. Since then we have been able to update our original Apple X Servers to OSX 10.11.6, which is also the highest they are able to upgrade. We also began the process of updating iPads by purchasing new iPad Airs for the incoming 6th grade class.
In the summer of 2016, we began the process of upgrading staff devices with the purchase of 10 MacBook Airs. We also piloted an iPad Pro program for staff with 10 staff members as well as purchasing 10 new Apple TVs for staff to try out. Additionally, we purchased two Mac Pros to use as server replacements for the aging X Servers. Two Mac Pros are powerful enough to handle all of the services the previous five servers performed. Our Open Directory, DNS, DHCP, and Mobile Device Management(MDM) services were all moved to these servers. The old servers were repurposed to perform services such as Caching, Media backups, and MDM backup. We also continued the purchasing of new iPads for the incoming 6th grade class with the purchase of iPad Air 2s.
This summer we have begun to complete the biggest part of our three year technology plan. The first week of June we removed all of our aging Ruckus access points (7 years old) in the building. We replaced them with brand new Aerohive Wave 1 (AP 230) and Wave 2 (AP 550) access points. In order to accommodate these new access points and some of the placement throughout the building, we needed to rewire some of the building. These new access points not only cover more area, but they also transmit in the latest wifi signals to improve speeds and performance for devices on our network. While our current internet speeds are 100 Mbps, web filtering and other services significantly slow down speeds. On our Ruckus access points we were averaging around 20-25 Mbps during peak and non peak hours. This number jumped to 45-50 Mbps on several devices tried.
In addition to the new access points, we are upgrading our Internet service from 100 Mbps to 500 Mbps. This transition is scheduled to take place on July 7 in the morning. Once complete, our service throughout the building should be much faster and much more reliable.
Internet security has been something talked about a lot lately with schools, business, banks, etc. getting hacked. We replaced our Dell Sonic Wall firewall with a new PF Sense firewall. The new firewall will provide much better protection against threats from the outside that seek entrance into our school. It is also automatically updated whenever there are new threats and is much easier to configure.
All teacher devices have been updated in the building with new laptops (MacBook Pro or MacBook Air), new iPad Pros, and new Apple TVs.
Finally, we purchased 500 new iPads. With the exception of the iPad Air 2s we purchased for 6th grade last year, all other iPads are being replaced. The new iPads have already arrived and we are awaiting cases. Cases should arrive by the first week of August.
While we are proud of the upgrades and updates we have implemented, technology is ever evolving and the process of upgrading is never done. With that said, we should be in good shape for several years with the changes we have made.