SAFETY IS FIRST PRIORITY
At Herlufsholm School and Estate a new and stronger network solution has been implemented. The old system was outdated and the demands for operational and data security plays a significant role when you’re one of the most acknowledged schools, visited by Royals and high-ranking businesspeople. Installing a new network in old, protected monastery buildings presents its challenges. But once again the HPE Aruba has proved worthy of serving the demands from a quality demanding customer.
Herlufsholm is an old Danish institution with international presence. The school was founded in 1565 as a school for noble sons and for centuries Herlufsholm has been one of Denmark’s most respected schools for families to whom education and formation is equally important. The life at Herlufsholm is built upon years of traditions creating a very unique fellowship among the students. A fellowship that attracts students and guests from all over the world every year.
The old school exudes history and walking through the corridors you can easily forget that you’re in the year 2021. However, behind the Harry Potter-like look and feel of the buildings, Herlufsholm School and Estate is a private educational institution with modern sports facilities, their own esports team and up to 800 daily users on the network. The internet plays an important role in teaching and proper Wi-Fi is necessary anywhere on the large school area.
IT Manager Pierre Damgaard Rømer has been working at Herlufsholm since 2004. Back then everything was hosted on a server in the basement – even the website. Too many visitors on the website would cause a Wi-Fi-connection breakdown. Fortunately, IT technology has evolved since then, which also means that users are demanding a higher level of availability and data management.
Together with the IT team Pierre Damgaard Rømer has implemented a brand new HPE Aruba solution, replacing an outdated solution which could no longer be serviced, creating a range of problems at exams and more.
”Our old system simply wasn’t reliable anymore and our access points broke down. To prevent congestion of the system, when holding exams, we used duct tape to divide the room into smaller areas, to make sure that each user would stay connected to their specific network”, says Pierre Damgaard Rømer. “As an educational institution we have high standards in network, security and data management. Aruba accommodates this very well”, he explains.
Herlufsholm School is characterized by being a modern company that cherishes the old traditions – and the old buildings. Several buildings are protected and must not be disturbed in any way. This presented some challenges and a bit of manual work when installing and placing the access points.
“Aruba actually supports that you can load digital blueprints of your buildings into the system, which then generates an overview of where you should aim to place your access points to get the best signal. Only problem is that Herlufsholm was build several hundred years before digital blueprints were invented, so this would have to be done manually”, says Pierre Damgaard Rømer.
Inside the buildings are decorated with beautifully, preserved wall and ceiling paintings and the original woodwork is painted with gold, making it inadmissible to mount any access points no matter how suitable the spot might be. Added to the complexity is the thickness of the walls.
The network solution is both operated and serviced by Herlufsholm’s own IT department. Danoffice IT has delivered the functional Aruba solution and their involvement is only necessary when larger updated are required. The Herlufsholm IT Manager has spent most of this career in the IT business. Still, he is surprised about the reliability of the new solution. “We’ve never before experienced a solution that works so well before,” he says.
Apart from supplying a powerful network Aruba comes with a small bonus for handling guest users. Herlufsholm is the second largest private company in the city Næstved and there is a lot of activity every day.
”We have many visitors during the week. Teachers and parents, suppliers and craftsmen all need to access our network. The new Aruba solution makes it possible to secure individual access to our guest network with text message verification. This has made it both easier and more secure for guests to access our network”, Pierre Damgaard Rømer explains.
Herlufsholm is both an education site, a workplace and private home to the boarding school students. Herlufsholm hosts prominent visitors on several occasions. Royals and respected businesspeople often visit Herlufsholm and it is crucial that they can access the school’s network with utmost security of data management.
The new network solution came to trial during spring 2020 when teachers and students were suddenly faced with a new reality that required much more online activity. With the shutdown of Denmark teachers immediately needed to prepare for virtual teaching. Using Microsoft Teams and PowerPoint screen sharing the teachers can create a virtual classroom and communicate with the students online. They can even teach some students in the psychical classroom and have other students participating online from home.
Every year the students at Herlufsholm attend a company visit as part of their education. As this was not psychically possible 100 students participated on video and it worked perfectly.
The Aruba solution holds more surprises. The solution can be expanded with a range of applications. The most recent being the Aruba User Experience Insight that reveals any operational issues with the users on the network.
”With Aruba we can provide more positive user experiences in the future. We consider IT to be a service and with the latest application we can be proactive in assisting our users to a more efficient workday. We must think ahead and now that we spend less time trouble shooting our network, more time has been released to invent new strategic actions for students and teachers. The future looks very bright at Herlufsholm”, says Pierre Damgaard Rømer.
The solution at Herlufsholm School and Estate consists of:
Complete new network for WLAN and LAN including firewalls:
Danoffice IT consultants have implemented the solution and conducted education of local personnel.
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