Unlike some seeking R&R during school vacation week, I didn’t jet down to Florida to visit Mickey Mouse, binge watch Netflix, or tackle the ever-growing list of projects around the house.

As district technology coordinator for South Amboy Public Schools, in South Amboy, NJ, I instead spent my break working with the fine folks at Carousel Industries to install new Extreme Networking switches. In this role, I support a school system that serves 1,100 students in kindergarten through 12th grade and 157 staff members.

This upgrade has been a long time coming—the planning began more than a year ago with Carousel’s Design Engineer Brian Fedak, the promise to bring South Amboy School’s network infrastructure to layer-3 enterprise class switching. Prior to this upgrade, our network consisted of an eclectic mix of hubs, old switching hardware and bad patch cables. In fact, at last count, we had seven different vendors represented in our wiring closets—the time had come to make a change.

With Carousel’s help and the amazing equipment by Extreme, we put together a package that would give the schools what they need—and provide us with room for future growth.

Curious about our partner ecosystem? When you work with Carousel, you get access to leading partners across the IT stack. Click to learn more.

Day one of the break was all about manual labor—mapping old connections, replacing patch cables, removing outdated equipment and installing wire management. Four closets in two locations were stripped down to their bare bones.

Next, came the new equipment. We added a total of 18 new 48 10/100/1000BASE-T switches across our three locations. Racking n’ stacking took the better part of the next day as we moved the equipment across the district.

Then, Carousel got to work installing the 800+ patch cables in the closets. And as you can see, they did a great job. I’ve been in this district for 18 years and my closets have never looked so good. (I’m almost afraid to touch them they look so nice.)

The last day of break, I spent working with Carousel’s network engineer, Paul Careccia, to set up our VLANS and connect the buildings. It was the moment of truth and as walked from location to location, everything came together.

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I couldn’t be more pleased with the results.  While I may have rather been on Space Mountain, this ride with Carousel and Extreme was as good as it gets.