Founded in 1939 in Beverly Massachusetts, Endicott College is one of the most scenic higher education institutions in America. Every day, Endicott’s 235-acre oceanfront campus buzzes with the activity of over 2500 students pursuing one its dozens of undergraduate and graduate degrees.
A Growing Student Body Strains an Aging Campus Network.
Over the last 25 years, Endicott College’s enrollment has grown quickly, as has its faculty and administration. With this influx of students and employees – and the increased demand for ultra-reliable network connectivity and speed – came the need for a load balancing and failover solution.
In the past, Rob Klopotoski, Endicott’s Network Manager, tried offerings from other vendors, but couldn’t find the right mix of dependability, features, and ease-of-use. Some solutions required expensive and time-consuming architecture changes, something Klopotoski wanted to avoid. For Endicott, the best-case scenario was a solution that provided rock-solid load balancing and failover, drop-in deployment, and LAN bypass.
When Klopotoski discovered Peplink and the Balance series of Multi-WAN routers, he knew he’d found the solution he’d been looking for – plus some benefits he hadn’t expected.
Beginning with Best-in-Class Load Balancing.
Klopotoski began his network upgrade with the Balance 710.
“The primary driver to purchase a load-balancer for our Internet lines was the ability to get into our campus from offsite in the event of a failover, and so that our most important servers would still be accessible,” said Klopotoski. “Since the provider we had in the past had intermittent issues with providing service, it was important to have a backup plan.”
But the Balance 710 quickly became more than a backup plan, assuming DNS server, inbound and outbound NAT mapping, and outbound policy duties.
Boosting Speed and Capacity with the Balance 1350.
Klopotoski was so pleased with the 710’s one-box solution – and its performance and stability – that when Endicott’s primary connection was boosted from 150Mb to 500Mb about 18 months ago, he upgraded to the Balance 1350.
“My experience with this device over the last year-and-a-half has been very positive,” notes Klopotoski. “We have nearly 2500 students using the Internet at night, and this box has easily handled the load.”
Keeping Students and Staff Connected at All Times.
Now, Endicott can accommodate more than 5000 simultaneous users with a maximum throughput of 1500Mbps. To handle the occasional connection failure and keep students and staff online at all times, Klopotoski added two inexpensive 100Mb cable lines.
“Because this system handles our website traffic, mail server, staff and student portal, online course activities, and registration, we cannot afford any downtime,” said Klopotoski. “In the event we’ve had a line go down, the Peplink has made those failures nearly invisible to our users.”
Peplink Earns an A+ for Easy, Affordable, and Capable Campus Networking.
In the 18 months he’s been using the Balance 1350, Klopotoski has been especially impressed with how easy it is to configure and manage. “Anything I want to set up is simple, without resorting to the command line. The simplicity is one of the strongest features,” he said. “It just works. I’m extremely happy with it.”
And then there’s cost, both initial and continuing. According to Klopotoski, the Balance delivers on both fronts, featuring a very reasonable price point, few support issues, and the ongoing savings of being able to use low-cost links for backup and failover.
Today, Klopotoski couldn’t be happier he chose the Balance to serve as the cornerstone for Endicott College’s campus network. According to this network manager, the Balance more than earns its high grades at Endicott: “I’ve gotten pretty much everything I’ve needed out of it,” Klopotoski said. “I really can’t think of anything else I’d want it to do.”