Granite School District, located in Salt Lake County, Utah, operates 60 elementary schools, 16 junior high schools, 9 high schools, as well as other special schools and programs. With 68,075 students, Granite is the second largest district in Utah and is among the largest public school districts in the nation. Granite is also one of Utah’s largest employers, with more than 7,500 full and part-time employees. Granite has also been nationally recognized for teacher professional development programs and the economic efficiencies of its administration.
The Problem They Faced
Scott Watson, an Electronics Teacher in Hunter Senior High School, trains students in a computer lab consisting of 24 workstations that operate as independent computers 90% of the time, and server interfaced network stations for the balance 10%. These dual-core processor systems run Microsoft Windows XP SP3 and are utilized by over 150 students every day.
“We are fortunate in that we have a powerful computer lab,” says Mr. Watson. “We do, however, want to ensure that power is used for educational purposes, and not for classroom distractions such as games, instant messaging, and peer-to-peer file sharing.”
“I could not find any other product comparable to Faronics Anti-Executable,” says Mr. Watson. Faronics Anti-Executable has given Granite School District the ability to enforce total compliance in their computer labs. The district’s teachers benefit from distractionfree classroom sessions each and every time, while the district’s IT personnel are guaranteed that the lab computers remain free of unwanted software and compliant with acceptable use policies.
“Faronics Anti-Executable’s white list protection gives us the assurance that only the programs we have installed on the computers are able to run,” says Mr. Watson. “We use Deep Freeze to return our computers back to their original state, but that happens only upon workstation restart. Sometimes a lab computer is kept running for an entire day, so it could potentially accrue a whole day’s worth of ‘software junk’.”
Founded in 1967, North Country Community College is located in northeast New York state in the counties of Franklin and Essex. North Country attracts students from New York, New England and from around the world who seek a progressive and individualized education. The College’s mission is to provide the highest quality public, post secondary education to area residents, as well as those outside the region who desire to live, learn, and grow in a unique educational setting. The college hosts approximately 2000 students with a faculty/staff of over 200. There are 350 workstations and 25 servers.
John Bray, a Computer Support worker for North Country Community College, struggled with maintaining the staff computers. Because the staff was frequently installing unauthorized software (which often conflicted with the authorized software and can present compliance issues), he was constantly spending his time cleaning up and re-imaging workstations. The required maintenance led to continual downtime for many of the terminals. Bray was also concerned about malware threats and possible software configuration issues on the machines.
Bray and his IT Department began searching for a solution that would restrict unauthorized programs and prevent any possible damage caused by malicious threats. Bray was already familiar with Faronics because the college was using Faronics Deep Freeze on the student computers to help eliminate unwanted workstation changes.
Bray was excited to learn that an application whitelisting solution existed from Faronics that ensured only authorized programs were allowed to run. “We did not even consider any other products as we very impressed with Deep Freeze and Faronics support.”