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In Jena, the long-awaited starting signal for the realignment of school IT and the cooperation with Univention was given under the Digital Pact. Since then, a lot has happened in the Jena schools – among other things thanks to UCS@school. The open source solution meets all requirements and also convinces with numerous expansion options and a coherent price-performance ratio.
Before the Jena Media Center deployed the open source solution UCS@school, it was necessary to have individual configurations to access central offerings such as Groupware, Radius and Moodle. This was due to the decentralized IT infrastructure without central software management.
To reduce the costs of this separate server management and to modernize the school’s IT, Jena decided to invest the funds now available from the Digital Pact and switch to a different system. The new IT solution was to be open source, simplify server administration, be as intuitive as possible for teachers and students, as well as stable and open for possible expansions. Univention Corporate Server (UCS) met these requirements and became a main component of the new IT solution in Jena.
The City Council asked us to limit ourselves to open source, and that ruled out some systems. Fortunately, UCS@school from Univention is open source and offers the possibility to include many packages.
– Peter Jerie, Head of the Jena Media Center
Once all questions regarding the network structure, IP address and WLAN usage as well as the structure of the user names had been settled, those responsible at the Jena Media Center decided against the exclusive installation of a central server and in favor of the continuation of the operation of separate school servers (Replica Directory Node) with decentralized DHCP and DNS administration. These preliminary considerations were essential for further decisions made during the course of the project, such as the decision in favor of UCS@school as the technical basis for the IT infrastructure of the Jena schools.
Today, there is a school server domain for the school portal JSP. The identity management of UCS is used for the connection to Moodle, Helpdesk and other components. In addition, teachers in Jena can use further functions of UCS such as class lists or computer room and password management in everyday school life.
UCS@school offers the freedom to choose from a variety of options and create an IT infrastructure that meets your personal preferences. Familiarization with the OSS is a worthwhile effort for the school administration in Jena, because the time invested is reflected in the performance of the new IT infrastructure.
With UCS@school, the functionalities don’t just come ‘in the box’, but you can decide individually – according to your personal taste., emphasizes Mr. Jerie from the Jena Media Center.
Additional services can now go live with significantly less effort and be used immediately by teachers and students. Teachers no longer set up students themselves with an interface, as these are imported via the school administration programs, and only defined devices receive IP addresses. All other devices are redirected to separate networks or do not receive an IP address.
Today, Jena’s school IT is characterized by its professionalism, scalability, controllability and central manageability through master servers in the central office and Replica Directory Node in the individual schools – a solid foundation for the desired digital transformation in Jena.
The IT specialists in the media center are currently responsible for 4,000 PCs, 1,500 notebooks and 1,500 iPads as well as switches, servers and APs at the 27 school locations. Since more and more end devices are pushing into the Jena school infrastructure, negatively impacting performance, the current 1-gigabit line is to be upgraded to a 10-gigabit line in the next few months.
Furthermore, server capacities are to be adjusted and user trainings are to be intensified in the future. Plans also call for the connection of Apple School Manager, BigBlueButton integration, and authentication with Microsoft 365.