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A Case Study with Arkansas State University Three Rivers

A Case Study with Arkansas State University Three Rivers

TNSR Featured on Intel Network Builders

Arkansas State University Three Rivers (ASUTR) is a public, two-year higher education institution. ASUTR is recognized as Arkansas’ first official technical college and offers over 50 different academic programs. The college employs over 150 professionals who serve over 2,000 students and operates on four physical campuses covering a five county area surrounding Malvern, Arkansas.

Like other institutions of higher education, ASUTR constantly reviews its commitment to reinvent the educational experience it provides to students. The increasing use of digital content, connected classrooms, and distance learning initiatives all creates additional demands for connectivity. As students gain access to smaller, faster devices that cater to the appeal of learning anytime and anywhere, it became increasingly important for ASUTR leadership to deliver real time access to students

When COVID arrived, the demands for connectivity escalated. ASUTR’s IT department developed the following initiatives to offer a greater educational experience:

  1. Migrate to 10Gbps WAN/LAN connectivity with the ultimate goal of growing to 100Gbps,
  2. Effectively serve collaborative educational initiatives requiring video and audio conferencing,
  3. Support a new enterprise resource planning (ERP) system utilizing site-to-site IPsec VPN connections.

In a time of unprecedented pandemic-driven uncertainty, the IT department at ASUTR found itself challenged to do more with less. An EDUCAUSE report from October of 2020 concluded that “Many higher education IT budgets have been reduced, just as institutions are more dependent on IT than ever before, contributing to a growing institutional digital divide.”

ASUTR staff considered three possible solutions:

  1. Utilize a network-as-a-service model from the ASUTR internet service provider (ISP). This could offload some workload from the IT team, but at a cost. Estimates ranged from 5x-10x the cost of the least expensive option.
  2. Commit to additional purchases of name brand hardware and software licenses from well known vendors. Aspects of this solution would feel familiar, but the costs would be even higher (possibly 10x higher) than the ISP network-as-a-service option,
  3. Leverage the high-performance software router TNSR® from Netgate® at a fraction of the cost of other options. TNSR would allow institutions like ASUTR to manage edge and cloud networking needs at speeds from 10Gbps to 100Gbps!

Read the Intel® Network Builder case study to see how ASUTR successfully navigated increased uncertainty and provided greater connectivity for students and staff at an exceptional price/performance ratio.

This case study is available in the Netgate Resources Library as a TNSR Solutions Brief. The Resource Library is available at no charge to the public - please explore all the content Netgate has to offer.

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