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August 30. 2013 8:29PM

Network overhaul boosts district’s Internet speed

SALEM — Students and teachers returning to school this week should notice a little extra speed when they are cruising online.

It was a busy summer for the district’s technology department as it oversaw a major overhaul of its network system.

“We undertook a significant infrastructure upgrade this summer,” said Superintendent Michael Delahanty.

During that upgrade, David Hasbany, the district’s information technology director, identified several problems in the high school that were not resolved by the initial network upgrade.“He was able to propose, and we completed, a wiring project that removed a lot of switches that had been installed over the years for one reason or another,” said Delahanty. “This streamlined a lot of the transfer of information, and we upgraded all of our data closets.”Even with the amount of work going on at the high school and throughout the district, Delahanty said the district was able to keep computer service up and running for all but a short period of time.“I want to applaud Mr. Hasbany for his attention to detail and his organization,” said Delahanty. “He coordinated the entire project. He made sure the staff was ready and he communicated with the partners in the project.”During the streamlining process, Hasbany said the district was able to replace a hodgepodge of 40 network switches from seven manufacturers with 29 switches from a single manufacturer.The data closets not only transfer information faster and more efficiently now, but they are also neater and easier to access, Hasbany said.The district also improved its servers and Internet capabilities over the summer.

“We tried to make improvements in the server area by taking a critical look at where they are and where we can get some quick fixes,” said Hasbany. “We’ve done some memory upgrades across some of the servers, which has substantially increased performance. We increased the number of connections coming into the server farm area by fourfold.”

All the schools also switched from FairPoint to Comcast Internet service over the summer. Hasbany said the district is paying the same price for faster upload and download speeds.

As students and teachers experience better computer and Internet service, they should also experience less spam email, as well.

“We upgraded the spam filter to block more spam email coming in,” said Hasbany.

Because the district has properly maintained its current spam filter over the years, he said it was able to upgrade to a more recent version for free.

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