Kuwana City Board of Education Nagashima Community Study Center, Japan

NAS with Windows Server OS Centralizes Management of Updates for Educational Computers

Kuwana City: Example of the System at Nagashima Fureai Gakushu Center(Nagashima Community Study Center)

Run by the Kuwana City Board of Education in Mie Prefecture, the Nagashima Community Study Center is located inside the “Nagashima Yukan” Hall. The facility features a “Children’s Hands-On Computer Corner” with computers specifically set up for use by elementary school students and younger children, with Buffalo’s NAS running Windows Storage Server used in centralizing management of these computers. This arrangement provides a client server environment with robust data protection functions.
(From a Conversation with the Nagashima Community Study Center’s Yuji Nakashima)


“Nagashima Yukan” Multipurpose Facility Includes Childcare Support Center, Preschool, Other Services

Nagashima, Kuwana City is enveloped by two famous Japanese rivers, the Kiso River and Nagara River.In addition to being known as a “waju” area surrounded by embankments, the city is also home to the “Nabana no Sato” flower-themed park, which is visited by numerous tourists. Near Nabana no Sato is the “Nagashima Yukan” a multipurpose facility operated by the Kuwana City Board of Education that includes a Childcare Support Center, a preschool, and other services. Occupying part of this facility is the Nagashima Community Study Center.

Nagashima Community Study Center, with a variety of facilities for lifelong learning set within an open,airy space
Nagashima Community Study Center: A Base for Lifelong Learning

The Nagashima Community Study Center features a multipurpose hall, art gallery, ceramics classroom, planetarium, and other facilities. One such facility is the popular children’s hands-on computer corner, with ten PCs available for children’s use and where kids of elementary school age and younger can freely come to learn as they enjoy using the computers.

Nagashima Community Study Center, with a variety of facilities for lifelong learning set within an open airy space
Plan to Update the Children’s Computer Corner’s Systems

Since its opening five years before, the Children’s Computer Corner had updated the software versions used there, and the time came to update the system as well. The opportunity to update the system meant reviewing the existing system with the aim of ensuring safety and security against all kinds of risks as a public facility and creating a stable operating environment.

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Children’s Computer Corner Environment

With the aim of familiarizing children with the use of computers, primarily children in the lower grades of elementary school, connections to the center’s servers prevent children from viewing inappropriate sites, thus the children cannot use Internet browsers here. However, client computers other than those used by the children and servers are permitted to access the Internet.

Nagashima Community Study Center, with a variety of facilities for lifelong learning set within an open airy space
Compatibility with Existing Educational Software is Key

Ever since the facility opened, the computers that the children get to try out have featured popular commercial applications installed as educational software, with Windows Server needed to run the software.The server’s recommended environment is Windows Sewer 2003/Server 2008/Server 2008 R2. Although the center considered utilizing servers with the exact recommended environment, it was difficult just to raise the investment needed for a system of that scale, around ten clients.

Optimal Server Running Window OS Required

The aim of the system update was to provide (1) an environment in which preexisting educational software can be used the same way it has thus far and (2) safety against risks to data. Naturally, the product must feature superior cost performance suitable for a small-scale system. After indicating the above conditions, the center then took proposals from a number of systems vendors.

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Advantages of NAS with Windows Storage Server

The package offered by the systems vendor was a TeraStation WSS NAS equipped with Windows Storage Server 2008 R2. The system is configured such that the (Terastation WSS) servers connected to the Internet update lesson support software automatically, with the schedule function sending the data required by the software to the children’s computers. Although differing from the recommended environment, operation was verified independently by the systems vendor, who proposed this setup after confirming that it ran without problems on Windows Storage Server, allowing them to configure an environment offering significantly reduced cost.

Nagashima Community Study Center Children’s Computer Corner System Configuration
Compatibility with Companies’ Latest Antivirus Software Versions and RAID Functions Also Key Points

In product comparisons, antivirus and backup software were verified as working safely and soundly with the Terastation WSS. The system also includes RAID functions. Use of the RAID scheme provides huge benefits with robust protection of critical data.

In Addition to Extensive Results and High Reliability, Onsite Maintenance Pack a Clincher

While reliability and real results are indispensable to facilities used in common by many people, on this point, BUFFALO products have a solid track record for reliability, proven in many cases in Kuwana City. On top of that, the Maintenance Pack clinches the deal. The five-year onsite maintenance pack offers dedicated lines to call in the event of a hardware failure in a covered product. After isolation and identification of the cause, a service professional is dispatched to perform maintenance and repair service. This level of aftercare is another factor that enhances reliability.

TeraStation WSS storage server offers higt capacity and reliability, yet is compact enough to be place on desktops
With the onsite maintenance system, when a customer calls the service desk to report trouble, a service professional is sent to the customer’s location to perform maintenance or repairs

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Users confidently enjoy trouble-free use, even with new software

Many preschoolers and elementary school students now visit the facility, mainly on Saturdays and Sundays, and they are enjoying these computers using educational software, using even new software without any trouble. Problems that previously had been particularly noticeable now do not occur. It was reported that “As programming classes for students in the upper grades of elementary school are to begin in 2013, we have installed educational software to match in the children’s computers, but they are comfortable using even this kind of software.”

Educational software that can be enjoyed like video games is popular with the children
A variety of additional applications being studied for the future

The Terastation WSS is loaded with numerous functions that, when mastered, can improve operations in many different ways. Currently being studied is the inclusion of an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) to protect against unexpected power outages and installation of new security software to heighten safety. One can say that as it allows users to freely add applications, the Terastation WSS provides exceptional freedom of choice.

Plans call for arnple facilities to create an environment allowing children to use the computers more comfortably

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(Reporter’s Note)As safety and stability are required by the systems used at the Nagashima Community Study Center within the “Nagashima Yukan” Hall, which plays a role as a base for lifelong learning, we believe that use of the BUFFALO Terastation is an acknowledgement of the product’s excellent balance of reliability and cost performance.

Kuwana City Board of Education Nagashima Community Study Center

Built within the “Nagashima Yukan” Hall as a “project to provide base facilities in developing a people-friendly, meaningful city environment,”this center fulfills a variety of functions in furthering lifelong learning. Featuring various meetings, ceremonies, and other functions and events attended by people of all ages, from children to senior citizens, this facility plays an important role as a meeting spot for local residents.

Address : 337 Genbedomo, Nagashima-cho, Kuwana-shi, Mie Prefecture 511-1125
Phone :0594-41-1041
URL : http://www.city.kuwana.|g.jp/