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Telelearning and Data Centers

According to an October 2020 survey conducted by the National Parents Union, 45% of 1,000 surveyed parents of K-12 students would opt to keep their children fully online given the chance, and 22% would choose a hybrid learning model. Telelearning is officially here to stay.

Though virtual learning is not without its drawbacks, parents and students appreciate online learning’s potential for personalized instruction and flexible scheduling that accommodates personal lives and part-time jobs. IT departments (probably including yours) see telelearning as a costly investment, with 2020 demonstrating increased costs resulting from missing devices, as well as average incremental increases of $500 per student in distance learning costs over the course of the year.

School districts across the nation understand that, in preparing for the 2021-22 school year, they will have to strategize for digital learning and the optimization of data centers to lower costs and increase reliability. This article is here to help.

The #1 Key Data Center Optimization Task to Support Telelearning

With the high interest in continuing telelearning options, your district needs to ensure that students, parents, teachers, and administrators can access their materials for digital schooling and digital record keeping at the times that are most convenient for them.

To support this evolution, IT leaders will need to focus their attention on building robust IT resources and future-ready data centers.

The #1 tip our data center experts have during this process is: remember to plan for your data center infrastructure!

Fortunately, resources exist to help schools with this stage, including the FCC tech-funding program E-Rate, so take advantage of those resources so you can start planning for:

  • Design – Ensure you have enough floor space to grow your data center as your needs change and evolve over time, and also try to create enough space to provide for the highly efficient “hot aisle / cold aisle” approach. This setup can maximize data center power for education needs, reduce your energy costs significantly, and increase your equipment longevity.
  • Cooling – Get the right cooling systems for server equipment. Comfort cooling, the typical HVAC system you already have in your buildings, can leave too much humidity in the air for sensitive electronic equipment. It can also drive up energy costs because it does not direct cooling power precisely where it needs to be in the data center. The better choice is precision cooling, which is built for data center needs.
  • Disaster mitigation – In a telelearning environment, IT downtime is guaranteed to adversely impact student outcomes. Not only should your district ensure that you are following software business continuity best practices that help you spin up a new instance quickly after a disaster, you should also have the insight to prevent disaster-related downtime. This can be done by implementing sensors in your data center that monitor dust, smoke, leaks, vibrations, and other disaster warning signs.

It is important to plan each of these factors in advance; do not leave these considerations as an afterthought. Certainly avoid making the same mistake that a school district in California did when they decided to place their data center in a decommissioned restroom – with predictable consequences.

Optimize Your Data Center for Energy Efficiency to Save Big

Planning carefully for design, cooling, and disaster mitigation can help you get the most out of your telelearning programs and data center equipment for years to come, and the data center experts at Donwil can help you identify all the ways you can optimize your data center.

By tapping into our no-strings-attached Professional Assessment, you’ll get a full, detailed report explaining all the areas you can optimize in your data center, plus suggested improvements that include expected efficiency gains. Our performance assessment is meant to help you choose the optimization paths that make the most sense for your district’s needs.

Schedule Your Professional Assessment with Donwil.

Since 1965, Donwil has been the team to trust for sales backed by responsive and reliable service for enterprises that want to get the most from their critical business process power and cooling solutions. As the exclusive provider of Vertiv, Liebert, Starline, and Hitachi, Donwil delivers a range of critical services and solutions to keep organizations across Western Pennsylvania, Western Virginia, and Eastern Ohio always running.

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