IT Challenges in Education

More than ever, IT departments in educational institutions are confronted with serious challenges. IT infrastructure is becoming increasingly complex to meet emerging requirements. In higher education, robust VDI networks are deployed to bridge departments or multiple campuses to foster more interaction between students and faculty. Digital learning initiatives, such as online education and MOOC (Massive Open Online Course), demand network and system infrastructure with higher than ever availability and reliability. More and more resource intensive enterprise applications are implemented and add additional layers of complexity to the infrastructure. In many K-12 school districts, many students are equipped with tablets or laptops. Wireless access becomes critical in this environment. With applications such as in-class real-time tests and gaming etc. widely used, more pressure is put on network availability and more demand on high quality services. Therefore, visibility into network and application performance becomes mandatory to prevent the abuse of valuable IT resources while ensuring good performance for all mission critical applications and services.

While the demand for IT resources and services is increasing dramatically, IT departments in educational institutions are facing budget constraints. Directly related to tighter budget is under staffing. Many IT departments are having difficulty attracting highly qualified personnel, or struggling to meet the requirements with limited staff.

What Is Needed

It is indeed a daunting challenge for educational institutions to deliver services with limited resources. More advanced, cost-effective, and easier-to-use technologies could help overcome this challenge. In the realm of network, application and business transaction performance or IT Operations Management, IT staffs in education could benefit tremendously from such solutions. Currently deployed point products in education are typically used for component management, and are more than often insufficient to address service related issues in today’s campus networks, which are growing more and more like enterprise networks in terms of complexity. Unfortunately, more advanced enterprise-grade solutions are just too expensive and complicated, requiring a large budget and trained staff, which education organizations cannot afford. What is needed, hence, is a solution that offers comprehensive capabilities to handle enterprise networks with a truly low total cost of ownership—affordable price, ease of use, and low maintenance expense.

Democratize Enterprise-grade IT Operations Management

That is where CrossFlow shines. Our mission is to democratize enterprise-grade network and application service performance solutions in the education sector. CrossFlow’s solutions are truly enterprise-ready, scalable and robust. What differentiates CrossFlow from other vendors is its ability to understand all kinds of network protocols and languages and correlate relevant information across flows: application flow, data flow, network flow, transaction flow, and even workflow. We provide insight into critical application diagnostics and end-to-end service flows without any impact on the production systems, and thus empower IT organizations to efficiently support their users and assure their services.

For the education sector, we have realized that our Network Performance Management (NPM) solution is particularly relevant and useful. Based on packet and flow data, also known as wire data, CrossFlow’s NPM builds service paths from the network traffic. This service-oriented next generation network performance management system can easily establish monitoring views across the entire network including important links, key devices and core services. It generates reliable and valuable performance data to evaluate and score the quality of services. With powerful visualization, IT staff can easily access real time statistics, set up alerts, and drill down to historical data if needed. Last but not the least, with all these capabilities and features, CrossFlow’s software solution costs only a fraction of the comparable solutions.

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