Making IT work FOR you
Midwest Computech - Making IT work for your school.
“We have been working with Midwest CompuTech for a number of years and have found them to be very customer service oriented. Their pricing is more than competitive and when we have an issue, it is always dealt with in a fair and timely manner.” Bradley Pollitt Assistant Superintendent Sedalia Schools
Technology systems play a large role in the education systems of today. The ability for teachers and administrators to use functioning and current equipment while working on an efficient infrastructure may seem like a costly dream; but new advances in computing options have opened the doors to systems that fit school district budgets. Midwest Computech is a leader in school technology, providing both equipment and service solutions to Missouri school districts for more than ten years. We’ve learned a lot about the special needs of school districts over the years, and we’re ready to put that knowledge to work for you. Improving school technology functions and options, Midwest Computech has established a customized system that has benefited school districts across the state. Midwest Computech provides solutions for every facet of your school’s technology systems. Whether you have an on-site technology department that needs assistance or are looking to outsource IT needs, Midwest Computech can create a program that fits your needs and budget. Educational Technology Assistance Program (ETAP) Customized expert technical support provided on-site to your schools. TruCloud™ - Cloud Computing at its best Dramatically reduces technology costs while increasing end-user function, removing software licensing hassles, and providing off-site computing abilities. Astaro™ Unified Threat Management System Provides multi-layer total threat management for your network and data needs. SafetyNet™ Backup System On and off-site continuous backup of all data and applications, allowing for quick recovery in case of server or building failure.
EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY ASSISTANCE PROGRAM We created the Educational Technology Assistance Program (ETAP) in 1999 for schools and school districts looking for quality service and expert IT offerings in Missouri. ETAP is a managed IT solution designed with schools in mind. Whether you already have a technician/IT supervisor who simply needs assistance, or don’t have IT support at all, we can step in to help supervise and maintain all your IT functions. The program provides outstanding service and support to schools at a low fixed cost. In addition to getting a certified technician on-site for a set amount of time per week, school districts in the program receive unlimited support from the entire Midwest Computech staff and unlimited upper-level support from our industry partners. Benefits come from the unparalleled expertise and system support in addition to the most up-to-date software and system options at a cost school districts can afford. The ETAP program revolutionizes school technology systems through service and cutting edge software and applications for both students and teachers, at a fraction of the cost of traditional IT maintenance.
Eldon School District has used Midwest Computech for the past few years. They have provided efficient and timely technical support for our 1100 computers and networks. They are able to solve problems quickly and at a very reasonable cost. When we need a solution, Midwest Computech researches and then presents one that will serve our needs (with cost considerations) without just giving us what we think we want. I would highly recommend their technical services and support to any school district.” -Matt Davis
Superintendent Eldon School District
TRUCLOUD™ School administrators and IT managers know that technology changes quickly and the cost of keeping a school current and efficient is a daunting task. Every time vital software changes there are increased substantial costs to weigh against the benefits of educating students. Midwest Computech’s, ETAP program provides the service and expertise needed to stay ahead of the curve while fitting into your school district’s budget and coupled with TruCloud™ can give your students and teachers a complete technology package that fits into your tight budget. With the creation of TruCloud™, a hybrid cloud computing system, Midwest Computech can keep your school on the cutting edge. Cloud computing has brought the capabilities of school districts into the future. Today, cloud computing is one of the hottest topics in the world of IT. Not only will it revolutionize school computing, it also promises to dramatically cut costs by eliminating the need for individual personal computers. Midwest Computech is a leader in cloud computing for schools and school districts, providing services to more than ## schools throughout Missouri.
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No matter where students and teachers are they can connect to their secure files and applications.
What can TruCloud do for your school? Benefit Students & Teachers
Instead of having individual desktop and laptop units throughout the school, each containing separate installed programs and applications, each user is delivered the full suite of applications on any given system. This means you no longer will need to update software on every system in the facility or be forced to purchase licenses for each device, incurring a tremendous cost every time system updates are needed. Since the system is user based, applications that are needed by each user can be determined by administration so no matter where they are, students and teachers have what they need to succeed.
The TruCloud program offers ease of maintenance, increased flexibility for administrators, advanced security features and the ability for students and teachers to access all their information and applications Dramatically Reduce Costs from anywhere with an internet ETAP and TruCloud provide cost connection. savings through products, services and energy efficiency. ETAP technicians take advantage of server Contracting tech services with Midwest Computech capabilities, allocating resources where needed, and frequently has been a great benefit to the Orrick R-Xi School reducing the need for additional District. Prior to Midwest Computech our network servers. system experienced outages and we struggled to
keep desktop computers running and up to date. Now our system is reliable and integrated with Citrix servers and task stations. This has helped us control costs and our students can access the programs we use at the school from their homes.â€? -Marcus Stucker
Superintendent Orrick R-XI School District
TruCloud also eliminates the need for complete desktop computers, reducing both the initial costly purchase and future upgrades. With TruCloud, simplified terminal systems and/or older desktop units can access all applications on the same platform. The terminal systems offer substantially reduced initial costs as well as lower upkeep and increased energy savings.
ASTARO™ Network security and integrity are paramount for any school’s network to function properly. Preventing viruses is not the only line of defense against attacks. Networks come under attacks from spam and phishing, hackers, spyware, and various forms of intrusion. Having a Unified Threat Management system like Astaro™ Security Gateway from Midwest Computech provides the security and efficiency your network needs.
What does Astaro™ Security Gateway do? •Midwest Computech installs the Astaro™ unit to your network and protection begins. The unit is small and can be placed in your existing server rack system. •The qualified technicians at Midwest Computech provide monitoring of the system to ensure the newest threat management updates are installed and the system is functioning successfully. •Offering a three pronged approach to protecting your system, the Astaro™ Security Gateway can simultaneously provide network, web, and email security. •Email Security includes: scanning all in and outbound POP3 and SMTP traffic both encrypted and compressed, blocking spam and phishing activities with the latest techniques, providing dual virus protection for all email systems, providing transparent encryption for all emails. •Web Security includes: filtering malicious content from both web and ftp traffic, preventing client infections from web surfing and downloading to your system, and the ability to block access to 20 million+ unproductive websites. •Network Security includes: providing intrusion prevention while augmenting firewalls with deep inspection filtering, securing remote access, and allowing management of needed IM and P2P Controls.
A total network security package protects every facet of your system from attacks and virus dangers around the clock.
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Students and teachers working off-site or from home will have the same protection and network security. • No need for you to worry about virus scans and updates, Midwest Computech keeps your system ahead of the curve. • Ability to customize viewable categories of websites.
Reporting features explain blocked threats and averted security risks. • Provides simplified compliance for email systems. • Provides unified management of the whole network so there is no need for proprietary platforms on each user system or multiple platforms at the network level.
SAFTYNET™ Data security is crucial to any school district, whether large or small. Knowing that data can be quickly and efficiently restored in the case of server or building failure is essential to developing a functioning technology system. Monitoring tape backup systems internally or assuming your current system is operating correctly is not ideal. Midwest Computech’s SafetyNet™ system provides efficient and effective backup that you don’t have to just hope is working properly.
How does SafetyNet™ work? • Combines an on-site backup server for fast backups and restores with low-cost off-site storage in replicated data centers out of state. • Image based disk to disk backups are done multiple times each hour to both the backup server and off-site system, eliminating the need for a tape backup system. • Highly skilled Midwest Computech Remote Support Staff monitor your system and are notified of any issues. • In the event of server failure, Midwest Computech will have you up and running within minutes, working off of the backup server. Data is current within minutes of the server failure and functions just like the server. Continuous backups of the backup server begin immediately. • If your facility and backup server become damaged due to fire or natural disaster, the off-site data collection center does a Bare Metal Restore to dissimilar hardware and will have your system up and ready for use in a timely manner.
Both on-site and off-site backup provide peace of mind that your data is secure and easily recoverable in the case of server or building failure.
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Flexible restore technology allowing for multiple versions of files to be restored. • Near Line High Availability & Failover, with the backup server up and running shortly after server failure. • On and off-site backup solution with multiple restore points.
Virtualization of failed servers decreases downtime from work. • No need for costly tapes, off-site storage facilities and downtime waiting for restores. • Bundled off-site storage (current/archive) for client sites with servers under Server Watch or Remote Server Care program available.
CASE STUDY Hartville R-II Schools CUSTOMER
Hartville R-II Schools
Education - Kindergarten thru 12th Grade •Hartville Elementary •Grovespring Elementary •Hartville High School Total Students - 736
• A functioning thin client system • Updated network system • Increased accessibility for students and teachers • Unified software across all systems • Qualified IT solution specialists
• Outdated software • Wiring/cabling inadequacies • Creating a seamless system from pieces already on-site along with new units
• Migrate Novell NDS to Windows 2008 Active Directory • Run new fiber lines to accommodate server needs • Implement Citrix system with current Technology Coordinator and new task stations • Implement Astaro Security Gateway • Implement SafetyNet data backup • Establish administrator and user preferences • ETAP technician assigned full time
Located in Southern Central Missouri, Hartville R-II School district includes more than 730 students. In 2009, with three facilities in the district, school officials began looking at their IT systems in an effort to increase efficiency and decrease recurring costs. With the goal of updating their technology systems and creating a functioning and unified program that benefits both students and teachers, the district sought out the expertise of Midwest Computech to assess the state of their IT system. As a school district, they had many details to consider while making changes and improvements to the system in place and wanted to be sure the new systems would compliment their needs. Midwest Computech’s skilled technicians conducted a detailed assessment to determine what the schools were using and where they wanted to go with their IT department. The results highlighted key areas of improvement needed as well as options for a more efficient network system. Technicians determined the current servers were in need of updating, along with the backup system and network security devices. The district had also purchased more than 100 HP thin client appliances several years prior in an effort to reduce hardware cost; unfortunately the systems never functioned as intended, only further decreasing the productivity of both the students and teachers. Technicians also noted that the schools’ software was outdated and running through a Novell system which prevented access to Microsoft Office programs, an education industry standard. Additionally, school district officials not only wanted to improve the overall function of the in-school systems but were interested in the benefits that providing the school applications and access to data would have to students and teachers when off-site.
• Cost savings for IT budget • Ability for students and teachers to work off-site • Increased power and data redundancy • Current software for all users • Skilled technician providing constant updates and preventative maintenance
Supplying schools with secure, cost efficient, and current technology
SOLUTIONS Midwest Computech provided multiple options to school district administrators and determined which systems and processes would best fit for their needs and budget. The goals of the new system focused on ease of use and accessibility, coupled with data security and backup. To lessen the impact on the staff and students the IT overhaul occurred during the summer and began with expert Midwest Computech technicians installing new cabling to augment the additional server needs. The new system included the installation of two Intel Chassis servers to allow for central management and ease of expansion. By using the chassis server, management became easier and provided necessary redundancy for power supplies and hard drives. The servers were loaded with Windows Server 2008 and used Citrix XenApp 5.0 for user operation. Migration of data from the outdated Novell system the schools had been using to a more user-friendly Microsoft format was done to ensure all prior data was secure. The new systems and equipment meant a greater need for data and network security. Two SafetyNet systems were installed for backups that have the ability to virtualize any of the servers should there be server or building failure.
The goals of the new system focused on ease of use and accessibility, coupled with data security and backup.
The implementation of Citrix XenApp 5.0 allowed the schools to use their previously purchased HP thin clients. The Citrix system provided the platform for Microsoft Office Suite and other needed programs that Novell could not support. Citrix also provided users secure access to their network files, programs, and applications from anywhere in the world. To keep the system running smoothly and continually up-to-date, the district enrolled in the Education Technology Assistance Program (ETAP). ETAP provides a full time qualified technician within the schools with first hand knowledge of their specific systems and needs. RESULTS After one full school year in operation, Hartville R-II Schools have seen great success with their new system. With a streamlined and current system in place, both students and teachers have increased their productivity both in and outside of school. Microsoft operating platforms have allowed much needed programs to be introduced, while remote capabilities have increased the abilities of users to access their data and applications anywhere, just as they would inside the schools.
Working within the school district budget and the goals of the users, Midwest Computech made IT work for the Hartville R-II school system.
Midwest Computech• Brings an award winning team of technicians to your school to determine what you have, need, and can achieve within budget. • Provides flexible, cost-effective models that no longer tie schools to costly, out-of-date infrastructure. • Allows for the most up-to-date software and user applications at a fraction of the cost and hassle of a traditional network system. • Creates standardization of software and applications throughout the school’s IT systems with a single centralized update solution.
Columbia, MO 1906 Corona Rd., Suite 100 Columbia MO, 65203 Phone: 573-499-6928 Fax: 573-499-6929 Jefferson City, MO 398 Dix Rd., Suite 103 Jefferson City MO, 65109 Phone: 573-659-4628 Fax: 573-659-4629 Kansas City, MO 1414 Wyoming, Suite 5 Kansas City, MO 64102 Phone: 816-474-4747 Fax: 816-474-4730 Sedalia, MO 1400 S. Limit Ave., Suite 29 Sedalia MO, 65301 Phone: 660-826-4700 Fax: 660-826-2299
• Allows for remote assistance and technical support whenever needed, without the problem of multiple complicated structures. • Eliminates the need for a total overhaul of all systems at once, with the ability to use older equipment as needed. • Allows students, teachers, and administrators access to all the same programs, applications, and files as they do in school, anywhere with internet access. • Provides central backup systems to secure all data and applications. • Establishes a safe and secure environment with unified threat management.
Published on Nov 4, 2010
Find out more about what Midwest Computech does to improve the technology of schools across Missouri.