CACHEBOX a sweetheart in Florida
ApplianSys is pleased to announce that St Johns County School District – one of the largest public school districts in Florida, USA – has purchased a CACHEBOX solution to provide faster access to online education for students.
The district caters for over 35,000 students across 44 K-12 school sites. Each school connects to the district’s Wide Area Network via a 50 to 100 Mbps internet connection.
Two years ago the district piloted a 1:1 student-to-iPad scheme in one of its elementary schools as part of its independent learning program. By providing each student with a device, teachers can prepare lessons using tools that adapt educational content to a students’ own learning pace using real-time testing data.
Despite initially deploying only a few dozen iPads, when students accessed large video files or the devices downloaded software update files, the internet connection quickly saturated. This made browsing extremely slow for students.
Assistant Director for Network Services, Justin Forfar, knew that as more devices were distributed to students, the district would face issues with bandwidth congestion.
He contacted ApplianSys and tested a CACHEBOX210 appliance at one school. Once deployed, CACHEBOX was saving 61% of bandwidth just by caching software updates and specific educational sites.
On top of this, objects served from the cache were delivered to students over 90 times faster (7 Kbps to 645 Kbps). “During peak times, such as at the start of lessons, the district was receiving 200Mpbs speeds from a 40Mpbs connection,” says CACHEBOX Sales Executive, Sophie Clark.
“Without CACHEBOX, the internet connection was permanently maxed out. With it, the school rarely uses its entire capacity. The biggest savings were from Apple updates, as well as the popular educational site, ‘Reading Eggs’.”
Extremely pleased with the results, Justin decided to purchase a CACHEBOX to handle student traffic for its South Woods Elementary School.
Since then, the district has deployed a further six CACHEBOXes as the 1:1 scheme is phased out to other schools, including 2 elementary schools, one middle school, one technical school and 2 academies.
“By dealing with the biggest bandwidth hogs, CACHEBOX improves internet usage, allowing teachers and students to get the most out of independent learning. Crucially for those schools disadvantaged with smaller links, it makes the internet useable,” says Sophie.
Established in 1869, St. Johns County School District (SJCSD) is a large district on the Northeast coast of Florida, just south of the city of Jacksonville. The county has a population of 220,000 and is known as “America’s First Romantic Destination” on account of its attractive coastline. Between 2000 and 2007, the number of its academic high schools tripled. The school district is the largest employer in the county, with 4,388 full-time and part-time employees.