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U.S. Public School District Improves Student Experience Through Network Visibility

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
CUSTOMER TYPE: K-12 Public School District
INDUSTRY: Education

BUSINESS CHALLENGES

  • Mandate to adopt SaaS for test taking and online teaching
  • Lacks a private data center which limits ability to customize hardware or software
  • Insufficient student experience data to clearly identify issues
  • Slow student productivity due to low-quality network performance

SOLUTION

  • Leveraged LiveNX’s Network Performance Management to gain better network visibility and prioritize test traffic with Quality of Service (QoS)
  • Utilized LiveUX to gain visibility and deeper insights into student experience

BUSINESS RESULTS

  • Improved student success
  • Achieved network reliability during test days
  • Increased IT productivity
  • Simplified overall administrative operations


CHALLENGE

The department of education described here comprises 255 schools and educates 175,000+ students in grades K-12. About 12,000 teachers and another 13,000 support staff are charged with educating and caring for their state’s students.

For educational institutions like this, network performance has a significant, and growing, impact on student success. This institution regularly administers Common Core testing across K-12 students via a computer-based assessment system. However, this initiative was being impacted by the inability to assure network performance under high usage periods. The educational institution’s IT and network teams needed to pinpoint network issues and identify their sources before test days to reduce the possibility of network downtime. They sought a solution to tackle the problems impeding the success of this transition to online testing and cloud-based digital education.

SOLUTION

The institution needed a tool that would help its IT and network teams monitor specifically what was occurring across the individual schools and district network. To solve these challenges they began testing the use of LiveAction’s solution, LiveNX, for network performance monitoring, and LiveUX for user experience monitoring. LiveNX provides Quality of Service (QoS) control, which is used to prioritize student test traffic—and by utilizing LiveUX, IT and network teams gained insight into the public network’s impact on their cloud and SaaS-based applications.

Leveraging LiveUX, the educational institution deployed LiveUX private agents across every high school to generate synthetic traffic in order to gain detailed insights into student experience of the applications. The institution was able to run load tests to ensure network readiness and use LiveUX to see what the impact of these traffic loads would be on the end user. While the load tests were conducted, the LiveUX agents acted as synthetic users to test the response time and availability of the applications from the students’ perspective.

RESULTS

With LiveNX, which provides Application-aware Network Performance Management (AANPM) capabilities, IT and network teams at the educational institution can visualize and optimize the traffic within the schools. Additionally, by equipping their IT and network teams with LiveUX, they added valuable insight into the end-user experience. Now, they can quickly isolate and resolve perceived slow-downs in the network to ensure the success of over 175,000 students. Pinpointing the location, scale and scope of user experience issues has significantly reduced potential downtime and lost productivity.

Ultimately, through the integration of LiveNX and LiveUX, IT and network teams throughout this district are able to simplify overall operations and instill confidence across all schools within their district. Knowing their IT staff can better manage the network and user experience, the institution is always prepared when test days hit. They will continue to improve Common Core testing results, and provide the support and infrastructure its students need to succeed.

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