By Conor Gaffney and Matteo Mendoza
In August, the Loyola Technology Department, which maintains, updates, and installs technology throughout campus, installed a new server hardware that will allow Loyola’s technological infrastructure to support “2,000 virtual desktops or 800 servers,” according to Mr. Kevin Behnke, Senior Network Administrator.
The new server, manufactured by Pure Storage, Inc., is composed of flash-disk arrays that will help increase the performance and energy efficiency of Loyola’s data systems, according to Behnke.
Additionally, the new server will provide Loyola faculty and students with more access to software systems through a variety of platforms, according to Mrs. Bren Wells, Loyola’s Applications Analyst: “As we become ever more cloud-based and continue to virtualize our environment, it enables our faculty, staff and students fuller access to the data and software that they need. It is available wherever they are, whenever they wish to work, and it no longer matters if the software is Windows-based, but the end-user prefers to use an Apple device.”
Mr. Lauren Lampietti, Chief Technology Officer, agreed that the new equipment will benefit the Cub community: “[The new servers] improve the speed of how data gets delivered to users. For example, if you’re working on a file, it is a big difference how quickly you get a file on your computer and send it out.”
In addition to its unique features, the new technology also distinguishes Loyola from other educational centers. Loyola became the first high school to install a Pure Storage server with all-flash arrays. Additionally, the new technology reflects advancements that are not consistently evident at other schools. “A lot of school districts are at this level, but they have huge data centers, like this times twenty or thirty,” Behnke said.
The technology department also worked over the summer to install Apple TV to every classroom. Mr. Terence Stephenson, ITS Manager and Apple Engineer, said, “Our teachers use Apple TV quite a bit in every class. Apple TV is not meant to be used on a large scale like that, so we’ve had to make adjustments to wireless, adding access points to keep up with the bandwidth and coverage of all the classrooms.”
Members of the technology department aim to continue integrating technology as updates become available, according to Stephenson. “Technology is always evolving, so I just see [the tech department]trying to maintain our leadership as Loyola being a place where students are getting the best education, which includes the technology that they use, and that will help prepare them for college.” —MATTEO MENDOZA CONTRIBUTED TO THIS ARTICLE