Hoffman PROLINE® DataCom Cabinets Make the Grade

Company’s fail-proof enclosure system gets the Worth County School System's infrastructure back on track

When the Worth County School System in Sylvester, Ga., was plagued with network infrastructure problems, school officials didn’t know where to turn. With ever-increasing amounts of system downtime affecting every school in the district, officials worried about the future viability of the network, including the time and dollar investments required to solve the problems.


Growing Pains

As a midsized school district with more than 4,500 students in five schools, the network infrastructure had evolved over time and grown to about 600 computers. With student enrollment continuing to increase, school officials feared that the infrastructure could no longer meet the needs of the students.


School officials decided the system needed major updating. Many of the fabricated racks and enclosures were neither up to standards nor fully integrated into the network. The system’s 2-foot-wide wooden cabinets—adequate when equipment was minimal—caused excessive heat buildup that resulted in network downtime and raised potential fire hazard concerns. The cabinets were also difficult for technicians to access for repairs or to monitor cabling connectivity.


Like most school systems, Worth County schools struggle with tight budgets and are continually challenged to do more with fewer resources. The district prides itself on enabling students to become resourceful and responsible lifelong learners. Technology plays a vital role in helping them achieve these goals, and as a school that was outgrowing its network infrastructure, action needed to be taken immediately. So its network administrators turned to Hoffman when it was time for a refresher course on proper enclosures.


Budget and Time Efficiencies Crucial

The first steps to updating the system included determining budget and time efficient solutions. The Worth County School System began to solicit bids for the project, and several bidders proposed solutions that included replacing all of the racks, cabinets and switches. It was determined that replacing the cabling would not be necessary.


School system officials eventually selected Systems & Solutions Inc., a technology integrator in Cumming, Ga. Systems & Solutions designed a new network system and specified products, including 15 Hoffman PROLINE® DataCom Wall-mount Cabinets, and racks.


“Our technicians disassembled the switches, cabling and patch panels, and installed upgraded switches, as well as racks and cabinets,” said Derek Welch, Vice President, Systems & Solutions. “We also certified that the system was installed as designed and working properly to meet Worth County School System’s needs.”


The new 3- and 4-foot-wide PROLINE Cabinets are lockable and, if necessary, can swing off the wall. The wider cabinets are less prone to heat buildup than the narrower wooden cabinets they replaced, and they provide easy access and more room for workers to perform their tasks. The cabinets also provide a measure of security, because the locking feature prevents unauthorized access.


“I’m very impressed with the Hoffman cabinets,” said Pam Haney, assistant technology director, Worth County Schools. “They’re a good piece of equipment for us to use, because they swing out, allowing us to check cable connectivity. It helps make our jobs a little easier.”


Hoffman’s Solutions Prove Successful

Hoffman cabinets were chosen because of their functionality, availability and cost. Since Hoffman products were immediately available, the project stayed on schedule and on budget, paving the way for a successful installation. To further minimize network downtime, and to satisfy school officials’ wishes to get the job done as soon as possible, the installation was successfully completed and certified during the schools’ spring break. Technicians from Systems & Solutions worked a number of nights and weekends, so the impact on the students was minimal.


“Hoffman’s engineering and innovation are providing us with solutions to meet our customers’ ever-changing needs,” said Welch. “We’re very pleased with this installation. Hoffman provided excellent service and was easy to work with.”


“Overall, the installation was definitely a success,” said Haney. “The whole process went rather smoothly.”