Sunday, 13 May 2012

BYOD Issues - do we have the right infrastructure?

The first question for a school considering BYOD is "do we have the right infrastructure?"
A BYOD system will have a range and large number of devices connecting through the school's wireless internet system. We have played the catch-up game and are now reporting good access times with a 30Mbits connection (not quite dedicated but near enough).
So what else do we need?
Here is Fernando, our Sysman's, reply on what we did to prepare and what we have left to do:
"1. Increase our IP range: We migrated from a Network Class "C" (up to 256 nodes) to a Network Class "B" (up to 65,536 nodes) (node = client = PC, iPhone, tablet, iPad...etc). As you can see a network class "B" is a collection of 256 class "C" networks. On our school Network Class "B" we have enabled (are using) 5 of those class "C" collections. We have plenty of IP's available still (71% of the capacity just with those 5 enabled).

2. A couple of years ago we "increased" our Router/Gw capability (Fortigate 310B + Analyzer) in order to prepare and handle the demand generated by point #1. This is a device with highly capable/full featured QoS (Quality of Service) rules and such that prevent the bandwidth (internet) to be overloaded. Obviously this is nothing if you don't have enough Internet Bandwidth available. Big thanks for those 30Mbps!

Next steps:

1. Core Switch / Optical Fiber links: Not only to prepare our way for an IP telephone plant and video CCTV but to reduce the actual Broadcasting and collision domains effect due to the excess of clients per nested switch. This another technical requirement that must be added for providing BYOD in schools. There are several ways to reduce this problem, the must common one is the use of VLANs (Virtual LANs) something that we are already doing."

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