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Tackling Three Misconceptions About IT Infrastructure in Education

by Teddi Strassburger on February 26, 2019

AdobeStock_101658084(Teddi: This blog post from Vertiv explores the challenges school systems face when determining their ideal IT infrastructure solution. I especially like the case studies in this post - it's always helpful to see how solutions can be installed, so you can see what's possible for your own building.)

School systems are under pressure to keep up with the evolving demands of technology in the classroom. At the same time, budget cuts are a reality and aging buildings are the norm. With these pressures, how can IT managers at the K-12 level bring their data centers into the 21st century?

We’re going back to school to dispel three common misconceptions about data center solutions in the K-12 education environment.

Misconception #1 – IT equipment requires a lot of physical space.

Today, there are fully-integrated rack-, row- and aisle-based solutions that align power, cooling, monitoring, and racks with business needs and constraints, and they provide the perfect fix for when space is limited. The compact, integrated design allows installation in any space.

Placer County Unified School District in California was able to open up space for a new conference room and office area by optimizing its old data center space. The district installed a Vertiv SmartRow system that reduced the number of needed cabinets by 50 percent and freed up square footage for additional workspaces.

Misconception #2 – The process will be long and disruptive.

These integrated solutions – such as SmartRow and SmartAisle, also from Vertiv – allow you to condense your IT footprint without major renovations. In Placer County, the SmartRow installation gave the school district vitally-needed IT resources quickly and opened up space without disrupting vital applications for staff and students. Vertiv minimized downtime and productivity loss during installation and made sure systems were up and running as quickly as possible.

Henrico County Public Schools recently partnered with Henrico County (Va.) on a shared data center using SmartAisle systems. The parties completed the project and transition over the school’s summer break to avoid any disruptions for the district and its more than 50,000 students.

Misconception #3 – We won’t see significant cost savings.

Integrated solutions not only save room and time to deployment, but they also typically reduce energy consumption significantly. SmartRow, for example, can reduce the energy used by IT resources by up to 27 percent compared to a conventional data center design. In fact, Placer County reduced its overall operational costs after the SmartRow installation, and the Henrico County collaboration generated cost savings for both the school system and the local government.

“The modular design makes it easy for us to add components as we need them, so we can grow in the space and add capacity without a huge overhaul kind of event,” said Brian Viscuso, IT manager II, systems engineering, for Henrico County. “That was critical for us and for the schools, and it was an important factor in choosing to work with Vertiv. They are the gold standard in the industry, so we know that we are getting a solution not just for today, but for whatever tomorrow might bring.”

That last point is important, because deployment is just the beginning. Equipment monitoring, maintenance and service ensure these sites are always available and operating as efficiently as possible. The Vertiv Power Assurance Package delivers convenient and cost-effective support for power delivery to IT sites to ensure business-critical continuity throughout the life cycle of the IT infrastructure. 

Click here to contact your local Accu-Tech representative and determine your ideal Vertiv solution.

Topics: vertiv Education it infrastructure

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