In more developed schools ApplianSys has found that dedicated network appliances can offer greater simplicity and better value for money than multi-function solutions. But schools at the start of their internet journey have very different needs.
Same multiple needs, different value levels
Education authorities rolling out internet are not well served by dedicated appliances. When starting out a school typically needs to handle much smaller volumes of traffic and fewer user devices. However, this still requires the same core network services as more advanced schools with far greater traffic.
Network vendors prefer to focus their products at the higher level of demand because they can sell more units at a higher price, but this means:
- Even the smallest models in a dedicated range are generally over-specced and thus overpriced for schools starting out
- Where suitably specced and priced appliances for each service can be found, integrating them is complicated, time-consuming and will cost a lot more to deploy
- Their advanced complexity requires expensive on-site technical expertise or engineer visits, something wholly unsuitable for smaller or remote schools
Authorities wanting to get online learning up and running will gain higher Return on Investment with EDUGATEBOX. Choosing dedicated appliances for each of the functions it can provide will involve significantly higher costs and greater complexity.
Dedicated appliances offer best value for mature networks
When a school’s need has grown, or is already well developed, a more advanced solution will be a better fit. Appliances such as CACHEBOX focus on doing just one job and doing it really well. Dedicated functionality brings specific benefits:
- No unnecessary functionality that might be included in multi-function appliances
- No unnecessary hardware which should keep production costs lower
- A dedicated appliance can be deployed, configured and managed independently
- There can be less to learn, so gaining appliance know-how can be quicker
For more developed schools in cities and urban districts with much higher internet traffic and bandwidth demands, the need for high performance caching arises. With firewalls, filtering and DNS/DHCP already in place to deliver large-scale online content in the classroom, these schools can benefit enormously from cutting bandwidth costs and speeding up web access with a dedicated CACHEBOX solution.