BOE approves network infrastructure upgrade

SIDNEY — The Sidney City Schools network infrastructure will be receiving an upgrade over the summer. The Board of Education, during its Monday night meeting, awarded a contract to PERRY pro TECH for the upgrade. The contract is for $403,263.42.

The network, said John Michalos, the district’s network engineer, was first installed during the 1998-99 school year. Fiber was installed throughout the district while provided wired connectivity to the classrooms. The district had three file servers, 90 phones on its phone system and handled the district’s curriculum program.

In 2004, he said, there was a core upgrade, which included a new core switch at the BOE office. The district had 15 servers and a 350 phone system.

The present network includes the district-wide phone system, student grade system, staff communication (email), fiscal services, transportation, food services, student/staff file server access, state online testing, teacher multimedia in classrooms, wireless devices (iPad/Chromebooks), student Internet access and district security camera system.

“When the network goes down, it affects the learning in the district,” said Michalos of some of the problems with the current system. “It brings learning to a stop.”

Michalos said some of the equipment being used today is some of the original equipment installed in 1998-99.

“When the switches are overloaded, they reboot and that takes the system down,” said Michalos. “That happens throughout the day and it takes 2 minutes to reboot.”

Replacement parts for some of the equipment, he said, can’t be obtained because it is no longer available.

The proposed network, which is the one presented by PERRY pro TECH, will allow the district to have future growth as technology changes.

The upgrade will provide redundancy/reliability, he said.

“The stack switch network will allow the system to route around the problem,” said Michalos.

The upgrade will also provide an increased bandwidth and performance, single mode of switch throughout the access layer of the network and power over Ethernet on all data ports.

“There are eight strands of fiber to each building,” said Michalos. “All eight will be used to the high school, middle school and Northwood. Four will be used to each of the smaller schools.”

The three larger schools will each have 4 GB of data available for use while the four smaller schools will have 2 GB available.