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“Closed Cloud” in Independent Schools

In my recent article, I talked about cloud computing in independent schools, the differences between public cloud and private cloud, and some of the concerns independent schools had about data protection in relation to public cloud solutions.  Interested in finding out about ICT in schools? Take a look at our FREE White Paper to discover more >> Due to these concerns, I am seeing increasing numbers of schools looking to adopt private cloud or indeed "closed cloud" solutions where all data remains in school. So today I thought it would be useful to elaborate on "closed cloud": how it works, what benefits it offers independent schools and how it compares with other types of cloud technology.  Closed cloud uses the same technologies that public and private cloud providers use, but the vital difference is that rather than being hosted at a cloud provider's data centre somewhere in the world, the whole system is physically located in school.  As with private cloud, this necessitates dedicated hardware and thus is more expensive than public cloud. However it has the benefit over both public and private cloud of providing complete assurance around data protection, since all data remains in school at all times. There is also much less reliance on a third party, as although a provider will typically be running and maintaining the system on the school’s behalf, they are not actually hosting the data and therefore should there be a falling out, or indeed a firm ceases trading, there is no vulnerability to the school in terms of their data.  In terms of functionality, a closed cloud solution offered similar benefits to private cloud, including: 

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10 Unbelievable Facts About Cyber Security!

When the Internet was created 30 years ago by Sir Tim Berners-Lee, it was new and exciting being used to share information by connecting people. However, as time has progressed, the Internet has developed immensely, becoming a scary place full of risks. Did you know that there are 4.29 billion internet users in 2019? An increase of 366 million from 2018

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I blame the network

Cloud Computing in Independent Schools

It's true, the network does seem to get the blame for many things! 

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The EU's Article 13 - What is it and why are people so angry?

After years of debates and negotiations followed by 3 days of talks in France, the final version of the controversial EU copyright law has been agreed. We can expect to see a huge change across the EU when it comes to online copyright.

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Microsoft launches Windows Virtual Desktop

After being initially announced last year, Microsoft have now launched their Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) for public preview. It is a comprehensive desktop and app virtualisation service running in the cloud. You can deploy and scale Windows and Office on Azure in minutes and the service offers a multi-session Windows 10 experience and optimisation for Office 365 ProPlus.

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Embedding technology into prep school life

It never ceases to amaze me how much the use of technology in Independent Schools has changed over just a few years. 

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5 easy ways to make your computer faster!

Take yourself back to the good old days when your new computer was starting up almost instantly and then think about now, do you find yourself at your computer screen asking yourself why is my computer so slow? It’s something many people ask themselves yet fail to do anything about. A slow computer is not only frustrating but time consuming and can damage efficiency in the workplace or at home.

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communications are down

When it comes to your network, expect the unexpected!

With Independent Schools becoming increasingly reliant on technology for delivering lessons and running the administrative side of the school, network reliability and resilience is one of the hot topics that I often get asked about by the schools we work with.  Interested in finding out about ICT in the education sector? Take a look at our FREE White Paper >> While many Independent Schools enjoy stunning countryside locations, there can be some pitfalls in terms of technology! Over the years, most schools have bitten the bullet with the "excess construction charges" that BT and similar organisations levy to connect these locations to the Internet. But many schools still suffer from Internet reliability issues. I noticed in the press just this week that Myddelton School which has just opened in North Wales enjoyed a challenging first few days when their Internet circuit was severed, and I know many other schools have been in the same boat over the years, when something as simple as a bad storm took down overhead cables, resulting in a lengthy Internet outage.  And when it's not the great British weather causing havoc, it can be the local wildlife creating chaos, as one school I spoke to recently had found to their detriment. They first became aware of a problem when one building could no longer connect to the network. After much troubleshooting, it was discovered that a local rodent had nibbled through the fibre-optic cable that ran between two buildings!  And of course power problems have been a common cause of downtime for many schools over the years.  Coming from a business background, where there has been a reliance on 'always on' ICT for some years now, I am well versed in ways to overcome these challenges, so I thought it would be useful to share a few pointers:- 

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Public, Private or Hybrid Cloud... What's right for you?

Cloud computing has become one of the biggest IT buzz words over the past decade, and there has been a huge change in how businesses think of it during this time. When we started, it was a challenge to convince people that the cloud was the future. When you have grown so accustomed to keeping all your data on-site, moving out of your immediate reach seems frightening. That has all changed now.

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that's usually not a good sign

Knowledge is power for bursars in independent schools

With technology now intrinsically embedded in pretty much every element of school life, both inside and outside the classroom, the ability to make empowered decisions about the strategic use of ICT within the school has never been more important. The Bursar frequently has the unenviable job of ensuring that the school ICT system simultaneously delivers:  • The best possible learning experience to pupils  • Provides for the smooth running of the administrative side of the school  • Safeguards the pupils  • Complies with all relevant legislation  • Serves to attract new pupils to the school  And he or she also needs to achieve all of this within the confines of a limited budget! 

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