As technology continues to play an integral role in the classroom, schools today are also increasingly reliant on functioning and strong performing IT infrastructure.
In particular, the growth of e-learning tools such as interactive whiteboards is revolutionising the education space, whilst non-IT systems like laboratory technology are also being integrated into the central IT system.
With such widespread use of technology, a single malfunction may result in serious consequences for educators. On top of pressure to avoid costs of downtime, IT managers working within the education sector also face some specific challenges:
Some of these challenges are as follows:
Distributed IT landscapes due to structural or legacy reasons:
Increased challenges for IT to maintain constant availability of functional devices and applications across multiple locations.
Demand for virtual learning environments with 24/7 access:
Shift or standby duty is often required of IT to achieve this, which can be costly and time-consuming. As such, smaller schools often cannot afford this – leading to learning disruptions when an IT failure occurs.
Heterogeneous infrastructure caused by merging of legacy and new systems:
IT environments are often not updated regularly as a result, creating a challenge to network management. In turn, verification of the functionality of all devices, systems and services becomes time-consuming and prone to error.
Increasingly centralised IT:
More devices and systems that were not originally allocated to IT are becoming increasingly integrated with central systems. While this allows merging of responsibility in a concerted infrastructure management framework, it also requires much broader control capabilities.
So how do you keep IT up and running? The answer lies in network monitoring.
Overcoming the IT challenges: the benefits of unified monitoring
A key benefit of network monitoring within educational institutions is the ability to provide a holistic overview of IT to ensure infrastructure is available on demand. Importantly, network monitoring has three main functions: alerting on concrete malfunctions, notification of impending problems and serving as a database for long-term IT optimisation.
In choosing the right solution, key decisions-makers should evaluate criteria relating to the school’s specific needs and challenges.
Ultimately, in order to alleviate related IT challenges, it is critical for schools to have a unified monitoring tool in place – which is a vendor agnostic solution that enables the monitoring of hardware, software and virtual environments within a single platform.
Andrew Timms is the Senior Sales Manager APAC at Paessler AG, a leading network monitoring company.
For more information, please visit Paessler AG’s website here