Fujitsu strengthens Illinois' state-run education network with SD-WAN

April 15, 2021
SD-WAN deployment enables the Illinois Century Network (ICN) to leverage legacy fiber transport infrastructure to meet demands for greater internet speed, security and scalability.
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Fujitsu Network Communications, Inc. announced that it is collaborating with the Illinois Department of Innovation & Technology (DoIT) to strengthen its Illinois Century Network (ICN), the largest state-run education network in the U.S.

With an upgrade to software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) technology, legacy fiber transport infrastructure is being leveraged by ICN to interconnect more K-12 schools, libraries, students, government offices and other users with applications and educational resources quickly, securely and efficiently.

As access to high-speed connectivity is a lifeline in today’s 21st century economy -- particularly with the necessary emphasis on remote work and online distance learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic -- Fujitsu recommended SD-WAN technology powered by Silver Peak, recently acquired by Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, to update the ICN network.

With the ability to establish secure connections over public internet using software instead of hardware, Fujitsu says the SD-WAN upgrade enables reduced costs, improved bandwidth efficiency, dynamic scalability, simplified operations and a seamless evolution to the cloud for ICN, without sacrificing security, data privacy or end-user quality of experience.

“We are pleased to help Illinois DoIT integrate and support their SD-WAN solution so they can ensure a superior online learning experience for thousands of students and faculty across the state,” said Greg Manganello, SVP and head of wireless and service solutions, Fujitsu Network Communications, Inc. “SD-WAN not only secures connectivity through encryption, it also improves network scalability and resiliency all within the long-term affordability envelope that ICN requires.”

The planned five-year ICN SD-WAN deployment began in July 2019, and grew to more than 100 locations turned up in the first four months -- a quick and simple process due to zero-touch provisioning and technical support from Fujitsu.

Fujitsu notes the deployed solution as powered by Silver Peak offers consistent network and application performance, with a high quality of experience, centralized orchestration and management with granular visibility, and an intuitive management interface that provides ease of use and complete observability of the SD-WAN.

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