It’s 11:59 a.m. – Do you know where your bandwidth is?

Now more than ever, network performance is critical to schools. More critical that it is to companies.

May 08, 2017 by Heather J

Now more than ever, network performance is critical to schools. More critical that it is to companies.


Just look around: School servers, services, and data are migrated to the cloud. Digital curriculum (most of it cloud-based) is replacing textbooks and supplements. The number of mobile devices is skyrocketing. The result: a school’s internal network must be optimized for performance and efficiency. All Day, Every Day.


When there are performance hiccups, network managers hear about it. It's a big deal when teachers and students can’t use the devices and software that the administration paid so much money for to their full potential. And when things fail completely, it's a disaster.


But often, the problems seem intermittent. Or the system “feels” slow at certain times of the day. Which makes it difficult to track down the cause.


Sometimes the logical answer seems to be replacing the whole network—commonly known as the “Forklift Upgrade.” Or buying a more expensive connection to the outside world—the infamous “Bigger Pipe.” Sometimes those upgrades work. More often they these are just guesses implemented in the hope that the problems will go away.


More often they are much more expensive than the alternative:


Almost always, these brute force fixes cost a lot more than the All Covered Alternative: A measured diagnosis leading to a real understanding of the issues and a targeted fix. All Covered now offers network performance mapping, port-by-port and connection-by-connection. We benchmark the performance of the school’s devices over the course of a week. We gather detailed metrics, by device. We map data flows, identifying misconfigurations and identify traffic patterns. We can show you how the traffic patterns and flows change throughout the day.

Why is this important? School networks were often installed in waves and the vendors who install these networks usually document their “wave,” but not the whole network. Sometimes the IT department only knows that part of the network seems unresponsive without the metrics to know how unresponsive, or it it’s a all-day phenomenon.


Without performance metrics and knowledge of traffic flows school administrators are just guessing at the problems. Which means they are guessing at the solutions. Schools are doing forklift upgrades without knowing the root cause of the problems and end up replacing everything, even the items that don’t need to be replaced. Schools may buy more bandwidth, and have that be band-aid that makes the real problems more prominent.


Without having the right information at the right time, schools can’t make intelligent decisions about network improvements.  With All Covered’s Network Benchmarking, schools know what they are dealing with. Almost always, we find out things that the IT department did not know about how their networks. And almost always, we save the school more money than the engagement cost.


Talk to your All Covered ITSC or email to find out more about our Network Performance Benchmarking service.