Exeter moves up to firewall that can keep up
Higher use of technology in classrooms change district needs
The Exeter school district made the decision to upgrade a firewall used by the school for the last 10 years.
Ernest Raney, Exeter superintendent, said in 2008, the school installed a Cisco ASA5500 firewall to its systems.
“It served us well over the years and it has been very reliable,” he said. “But, as we develop more into the one-to-one programs with each student having access to a Chromebook, the use of our network has exploded.”
Technology in the classroom has certainly changed the way day to day education is being received, and that, in turn, creates new dynamics for other areas of the campus.
“The network just has greater needs than it did in 2008,” Raney said. “The firewall has shown many times over the last year moments where it is delayed or just not where it needs to be for our use.”
An end of life notice was sent out for the firewall in February 2017, and the last date to order new parts or updates for the Cisco ASA5500 firewall was August 2018.
“It is time to move forward,” Raney said. “It was working well until this year, so when the end of life notice was received in 2017, there wasn’t a sense of urgency to replace at that time.”
The need to replace also offers an opportunity to upgrade.
“Each year tech is used more and more, and more and more tech becomes available,” Raney said. “Our needs are greater and it is time to upgrade to a different one.”
Exeter school district is a member of the Missouri Research and Education Network through the University of Missouri.
“They provide the initial support for us,” Raney said. “As a small school, we need that level of support when we have questions or concerns, they provide us with that.”
Exeter school district will do a further review of the network through out the year to determine new plans of action as needed.
“We will determine the network size and speeds based on what our needs are now, and what we can project in the next few years,” he said. “We will look into options and let the Missouri Research and Education Network help us to develop those plans.”
The district has decided to move forward with a DFG 100E FortiGate at this time.
“I can talk to experts and they have given us insight on the decisions we need to make that are best for us,” Raney said. “We are confident in this decision.”