Chicago Public Schools Data Center & Student Safety and Security Center

Infrastructure Relocation & Improvements for the 2nd Largest School System in the U.S.

Chicago Public Schools (CPS) is the second-largest school district in the United States, serving 361,000 children, and the second-largest employer in Illinois with more than 45,000 employees. The CPS system operates more than 600 locations, including 500 pre-K–12 schools and alternative learning centers along with other support centers and administrative offices. With 75 percent of the student body coming from an economically disadvantaged background, CPS’ vision is that every student in every neighborhood will be engaged in a rigorous, well-rounded instructional program and graduate prepared for success in college, career, and life.

CPS’ Board of Education trusted Sentinel Technologies and Level-1 Global Solutions with system-wide technology and network security upgrades to help enhance their digital learning capabilities and communications and keep Chicago’s students safe. CPS also required a major network infrastructure overhaul to keep pace with rapid changes in technology and improve the security, reliability, and performance of its critical infrastructure and assets. Outdated network equipment at the schools needed upgrading to current Board of Education standards to ensure greater network stability, additional bandwidth, remote management capabilities, and increased WAN/LAN security and network performance.

Level-1 relocated the CPS Board of Education data center, which consisted of a rack of equipment in a 11,000 square foot data center facility and a 1,900 square foot data center facility containing server and storage infrastructure for CPS enterprise applications, network switching and telecommunications infrastructure.

The massive undertaking included designing the structured cabling for the data center’s equipment racks, racking the equipment and connecting the high and low voltage cabling, coordinating the installation of circuits with its carriers, extending the circuits to its WAN rack, and providing N+1 redundant power distribution for every system component throughout the new facility. Level-1 also ensured that appropriate security procedures were followed, maintained emergency response plans, and monitored the facility’s HVAC management system.

Level-1 was also responsible for student safety and security center infrastructure measuring approximately 2,000 square feet and housing multiple monitors and infrastructure to support a 24/7 security operation in coordination with the Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC), Chicago Police Department, and various outer public safety entities. Level-1 was also responsible for the installation of all IT equipment at each workstation in the Board of Education’s new offices and the migrated infrastructure to the OEMC.




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