Classroom 2000 (C2k) is an ambitious project to connect all Northern Ireland’s schools, both Primary and Secondary, with a dedicated and safe private data network, classroom PCs, email for teaching staff, and a set of engaging learning applications for the pupils.
The C2K network is a large hierarchical IP network. Secondary Schools and large Primary schools act as aggregator hubs, with the smaller Primary schools served mainly by 2Mb or slower links (down to 128k). The combination of constrained bandwidth, contention through aggregation, and high latency meant that pupil and teacher experience was not going to be acceptable and some form of WAN optimization solution was required.
HP selected a traditional hardware-based WAN optimization solution before becoming aware of alternative software-based approaches such as Replify Accelerator. Their choice was acceptable for the Secondary schools but it was not suitable for the 900 Primary Schools for two reasons:
- Cost – it was simply not affordable to put expensive hardware devices into each Primary school
- Maintainability – it was decided that it would not be-cost-effective to support a population of 900 WAN appliances; many of which would be in small, remote, schools with no IT expertise on hand.
HP then became aware of Replify’s capability and evaluated our Accelerator Client. They concluded that it offered the same levels of WAN Acceleration and used the same optimization techniques as the chosen hardware vendor, but a fraction of the cost, and with the option of deploying solely onto the remote PCs with no need for a site appliance in each school.