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09.01.2009 17:58 Age: 9 yrs
Category: News

Software can play key role in helping education cut costs and make more effective use of their assets

Ahead of BETT 2009, Cyclone Technology, publisher of the netPrefect network management system, is urging schools to focus attention on maximising value from their existing infrastructure and suggesting LEAs set themselves up as Managed Service Providers.


Ahead of BETT 2009, Cyclone Technology, publisher of the netPrefectnetwork management system, is urging schools to focus attention on maximising value from their existing infrastructure and suggesting LEAs set themselves up as managed services providers.

Cyclone Technology, developer of the netPrefect™ infrastructure management software system, is predicting that network and infrastructure management systems will play an increasingly important role in the education sectorin 2009 and beyond as schools, colleges and LEAs look to clamp down on budgets and take control of their assets.

The company also suggests that it is time for LEAs to start looking at the potential for centralising management of networks across schools in their area to ensure that optimum use is being made of all equipment, bandwidth and systems.

Most schools and colleges have now become almost entirely dependent on their networks, using it both as a way to access learning resources, for student research and for internal communications, and administrative applications. Later this month, thousands of teaching professionals and dedicated IT personnel from the education sector will flock to BETT Show in London to see how the latest solutions and technologies can help them improve student experiences and enhance learning.

Cost-reduction will also be high on the agenda and Maria Baxter, Managing Director of Cyclone Technology, says that while many educational establishments have extensive networks and infrastructure, too few will be focusing on the management of systems and driving maximum value from current assets.

It's not uncommon now even for primary schools to have quite extensive networks and in secondary and higher education, IT is central to the whole learning process now. We suspect, however, that few schools and colleges know that much about how effective their network infrastructure is today and how they could get more from what they already have. Making the most of what you've got is going to become more important over the next 12 months.

While the current global financial crisis has not hit education with any real force as yet, it will have an impact at some point. LEAs will certainly be looking at ways in which they can squeeze budgets and reduce costs next year so investing wisely now will make sense and rather than blowing the budget on refreshing the PC estate, we'd urge schools and colleges to look at ways in which they can streamline the performance of what they already have in place. We think they might be surprised at what they find.

Baxter suggests that most school networks have probably been built up piecemeal without any real attention being paid to optimizing performance. Using netPrefect™, IT administrators could quickly identify bottle-necks and weak spots in the network and make appropriate changes to ensure that performance is optimised. The netPrefect™ system is ideal for use in networks that use a variety of equipment from different manufacturers as it supports all major protocols and provides full in-band and out-of-band traffic monitoring and reporting in a single self-contained and fully secure solution.

She also suggests that LEAs should start looking at the potential for setting themselves up as managed services providers (MSPs) so that they can offer remote network management to the schools and colleagues in their area. It would make sense for LEAs to operate a remote managed service as this would cut cost further still and provide all schools with access to a central expert resource rather than trying to manage it all internally. Teachers, after all, have other priorities.

With its full remote control capabilities, netPrefect™ is ideal for use in an MSP model. It also has features that enable the use of pay-as-you-go billing, so schools could be charged only for the time and managed services that they use. It provides in-depth control of all devices from a single point of access, comprehensive threshold monitoring and conditional and event-based alert generation, network node discovery, graphical presentation of network data and a full time-stamped audit trail and centralised log. A wide range of key network protocols are supported by the system including TCP/IP, SMTP, SSL, SSH, SYSLOG and Telnet.

For more information contact:

Maria Baxter, Managing Director, Cyclone Technology
Tel: +44 (0) 1584 819946.
Email:
maria.baxter(at)cyclone-technology.com

Press contact: Neville Street, Stella Six - 78 White Hart Reabrook Shrewsbury Shropshire UK SY3 7TE
Tel: +44 (0) 1743 236017 or +44 (0) 7967 717259.
Email nev@stellasix.com