When the security camera that watched over the back door at one of Ramsey School District’s schools went offline, techs at Promedia immediately notified the principal to make sure that the entrance was secured. The camera is part of the technology infrastructure that Promedia manages for the New Jersey school district, using Vistara for their IT operations management platform.

School districts face pressure to provide next generation curricula and learning environments, meet changing regulations, keep their students secure, and all the while do more with less. Promedia is a leader in enabling K-12 education customers to solve their biggest challenges through technology. In a rapidly changing technology landscape, New Jersey school districts look to Promedia to provide guidance on how they can keep up with state initiatives to gear up for online testing, secure their schools in the physical and virtual world, and integrate technology with curriculum to bring 21st century classrooms to life.

As a technology solutions provider, Promedia will guide education customers end-to-end. After building technology roadmaps that help school districts select the right technology for their objectives, Promedia supports ERATE applications and grant proposals, installs the solution, serves as the on-site resource for contracted customer, and manages the technology through the lifecycle.

Promedia has seen a shift as schools realize that they need to operate “like a business” to meet their education needs in an efficient and cost-effective way. Promedia has deployed the VSPEX architecture, including EMC VNXe unified storage, Cisco UCS servers and networking, and VMware vSphere virtualization. Redundancy and centralized data center solutions are no longer just for corporate IT. Schools need to be in compliance with new regulations for archiving, and physical security is creating new requirements to store the enormous video files that school security cameras produce.

In the case of Ramsey School District, Promedia deployed a physical surveillance system to supervise all of the entry points into the school premises. With an EMC VNXe storage physical security solution managed on the Vistara platform, Promedia engineers have full knowledge into the status of all of the elements that keep the school secure. The Vistara solution monitors all of the elements that are critical to the physical surveillance system and uses service maps to notify Promedia when there is an incident with any element that would affect the service. The alerts are automatically ticketed and the command center lets engineers control the elements from the Vistara portal regardless of whether it’s an EMC storage device, virtual machine, Cisco switch, or an application. Vistara patch and antivirus management capabilities make sure that their solution stays up to date on a regular basis.

Promedia engineers use Vistara as the platform to manage no only physical security, but any infrastructure component, from wireless deployments to classroom collaboration solutions, for over thirty education customers. Vistara enables Promedia to see, control, automate and optimize the physical, virtual, cloud and application elements to make sure that schools are connected, compliant and secure.

For example, online testing has made wireless capability critical. Students must be connected during standardized test periods. Imagine the impact of an Internet outage when you’re already facing the stress of taking a test! Schools need to know what’s connected where and who is bringing their own device. This requires robust wireless monitoring down to the device level to understand how much data each device is consuming. Vistara alerts Promedia engineers when there is a risk of oversubscription of an access point, which could cause an outage. With the knowledge of which devices are affecting bandwidth, engineers can troubleshoot real time and remotely.

Promedia stays responsive to customer needs by working closely with Vistara and EMC engineers. Kevin O’Connor, Director of Service Delivery at Promedia says, “The Vistara engineering team is very open to suggestions and able to work with us to improve the platform. Even if it’s not in our current wheelhouse, we can develop monitoring tools for new technologies as we find solutions that fit school needs.”

As technology needs in K-12 education continue to evolve, Promedia can rely on partners like Vistara and EMC to provide responsive managed services and build the best-of-breed infrastructure for its customers.

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