Not all networks are exactly alike, and for good reason. At a basic level, the network you need for your house has different requirements than the network you need for your school, but it gets more complicated than that. Not even all schools need the exact same network, and this applies to schools in the same district just as much as to schools in different states or countries.
It’s important to define your network needs before installing a network. Adjustments can be made afterwards, but you don’t want to have to completely start over. Determine how many people will use the network, how that number could change over the next three to five years, and the services you want the network to support. Examples include:
- Peer-to-peer communication between devices
- Streaming to Smart Boards or TVs
- Streaming video content from the Internet
- The number of devices per classroom – this is different than the number of people per classroom
- WiFi phones for staff
- IoT devices such as security systems, cameras, lighting, thermostats, and vending machines
Your answers will define the number of SSIDs you use, the density of the Access Points (APs) in the school, the size of the IP subnets, and the security policies used. It’s important to understand what you want and need to support before you design and deploy your network, or network optimization will be much more of a challenge.
If you need help defining your needs, and translating those needs to a network design, contact us today.