Columbia Grammar and Preparatory School Solves Mac-Windows Conflict

The Columbia Grammar and Preparatory School has installed GroupLogic’s ExtremeZ-IP solution to reduce server crashes and increase connection speeds to the school’s just-implemented Windows-based network.

Columbia Grammar and Preparatory School selected GroupLogic’s ExtremeZ-IP to solve a problem that was derailing technology for students and teachers. The school is the oldest continuously-operating, non-sectarian school in the United States. To better meet the enterprise-level requirements for efficiently maintaining the school’s network, Columbia Prep’s technology department replaced its Apple Xserve® system with Windows-based servers in July 2011. Prior to making the server change and introducing ExtremeZ-IP, students and staff using the school’s 450 Mac desktops and laptops had faced ongoing server crashes; after the change, server crashes dramatically reduced, and performance issues were resolved.

“Previously, we were limited to 50 to 75 concurrent users per server and performance would slow as more users connected to the system,” says Adam Gerson, co-director of technology for Columbia Grammar and Preparatory School. “ExtremeZ-IP can handle significantly more users connected to the network at once, with faster connections for each user. It’s not only reliable; it works better for both our Mac and Windows users than our previous system.”

Integrating a Windows-based server into a largely-Mac-based user environment can pose a number of challenges, including problems accessing, sharing, storing, editing and printing files. By allowing Mac users to connect to the network through Apple File Protocol (AFP), which is preferred for a smoother Mac user experience, ExtremeZ-IP effectively circumvents typical Mac-to-Windows problems, and maintains the same seamless, efficient user experience both Mac and Windows users have come to expect.

“GroupLogic has been working with educational institutions and enterprises for over two decades to address the integration issues associated with a Mac and Windows mixed environment,” says Brian Ulmer, product manager at GroupLogic. “ExtremeZ-IP is ideal for integrating Mac users to Windows-based servers without compromising security, simplicity of user experience or IT management. This is thanks in large part to our close work with forward-thinking educational institutions and technologically-savvy enterprises to develop a solution that meets their unique, exact needs.”

To learn more, read the full case study (PDF).