Lightstream helps Twin Rivers Unified School District implement the power of Azure cloud computing for its parent portal
Twin Rivers Unified School District is the 27th largest public K-12 school system in California, serving nearly 27,000 students in northern Sacramento County at 52 school sites. With a long list of honors and accomplishments for its students, teachers, staff, schools and programs, Twin Rivers prides itself on an unwavering commitment to its community.
One of the primary methods of communication between the district and the families it serves is its parent portal. The Aeries Parent Portal is a website and app where parents and guardians can track student assignments, see grades, exchange information and messages with their student’s teachers and school, and make payments to their child’s in-school meal account. Parents need access to this portal on a daily basis, but when internet access or power went down at Twin Rivers’ main site, portal access would also be suspended.
The administrators at Twin Rivers understood that they had to find a way to ensure uninterrupted portal access to families. The district’s manager of network and systems operations knew the answer was in the cloud, so he attended Microsoft Azure’s Cloud Foundation Workshop hosted by Lightstream engineers and architects. There he gained a fundamental understanding and best practices for deploying and managing applications and services in the cloud as well as insight into the valuable solutions and tool sets available to Twin Rivers.
Lightstream’s extensive experience providing educational institutions with the tools they need to keep their systems up, running and secure regardless of external factors proved valuable to Twin Rivers. The district held follow-up consultations with their Lightstream team to discuss the deployment of Active Directory Federation Servers (AD FS) within Microsoft Azure. AD FS provides simplified, secured identity federation and Web single sign-on (SSO) capabilities. A global load balancing service could seamlessly reroute portal traffic through MS Azure in any instances where traffic is not able to pass through on-premises servers.
This would enable users of the parent portal to login using on-premises credentials and access all resources in cloud – even if power or internet access is lost at Twin Rivers’ main site.
Since early 2020, Twin Rivers’ highly available AD FS infrastructure has ensured uninterrupted access to portal resources and services both on-premises and in the cloud. The solution is easily scalable, so should Twin Rivers require additional performance, it can migrate to more powerful machines with just a few clicks in Azure. Moreover, Azure’s simplified infrastructure management options provide the district’s manager of network and systems operations with an easy and hassle-free method for maintaining solution redundancy.
Twin Rivers is realizing the benefits of cloud computing and its ability to help the district deliver on its mission to facilitate effective and powerful communication practices that build trust and support for its students, families, teachers and staff. The AD FS cloud infrastructure offered a relatively easy solution to Twin Rivers’ portal access challenge, but as the K-12 industry is evolving to become more collaborative, student-centric and data-driven, the district may soon find itself in need of more extensive optimization of its IT systems and platforms.
As the district moves forward in an ever-evolving industry, Lightstream is prepared to draw on its broad educational technology expertise to ensure that Twin Rivers doesn’t just survive but thrives with the support it needs for future innovation and transformation.
To learn more about how Lightstream can help you identify, understand and implement the optimal solutions you need to modernize operations and build your institution’s roadmap to the future, visit www.lightstream.tech.