Rishon LeZion Expands Digital Learning Reach with 100%-Juniper Network

Education is a priority in Rishon LeZion, the fourth largest city in Israel. Digital learning helps students become active learners with skills for today’s world. The foundation of that learning is a citywide network that brings the vast resources of modern learning into the classroom. After six years with no downtime, Rishon LeZion refreshed its Juniper network to meet the expanded need for digital learning during the pandemic.


Company Rishon LeZion
Industry Education, Government and Non-Profit
Products used QFX5100EX3400
Region EMEA
rishon-lezion Image
Customer Success At-a-glance


A digital foundation to teach students concepts and skills critical for success


A responsive user experience despite dynamic traffic patterns due to remote instruction


To a new data center core and school networks without interrupting learning


Network operations from classroom to data center



“Our schools emphasize concepts and principles that are relevant to the changing reality of the twenty-first century,” says Itzik Carmeli, CIO at Rishon LeZion Municipality.

Digital learning helps students develop problem solving skills and become engaged, self-directed learners. In Rishon LeZion’s schools, information is shared in different ways: text, visual, and auditory.

“Rishon has one of the biggest digital educational projects in Israel,” says Yoav Ludmer, founder and CEO of SMBIT, the information and communications technology (ICT) integration provider that designs and operates the network that supports the Rishon LeZion municipality and its schools.

Several years ago, Rishon LeZion built a metropolitan network. Operating its own fiber network has allowed Rishon LeZion to deliver superior network service quality while substantially lowering costs.

“Operating its own citywide network has been a building block of success for education in the city,” Ludmer says.

Rishon LeZion Challenge


After years of successful network operations with Juniper, Rishon LeZion refreshed its data center and school site networks. The decision to migrate to the latest Juniper switching infrastructure was based on proven network reliability and simplified operations.

“Over six years, we have never experienced downtime in the data center core network—not even once,” Ludmer says.

The data center is powered by Juniper’s QFX5100 line of Switches. Virtual Chassis technology enables easy network scalability and simplified operations by allowing multiple interconnected QFX5100 switches to operate as a single chassis. Cost-effective 10GbE connectivity at the city’s schools is delivered by Juniper’s EX3400 Ethernet Switches.

All network migrations are high stakes, but the network refresh took place during Israel’s national high school matriculation exams—and the COVID-19 pandemic.

“There was no downtime when we migrated to the new QFX Series switches in the data center,” Ludmer says. “It was a big challenge, because our schools were occupied with the national exam.”

“With the expert guidance of SMBIT and a reliable Juniper based network, teachers can intelligently implement tools for digital environments to help students acquire essential skills,” Carmeli says.

Rishon LeZion Solution


The new network is ready for any and all education and administrative uses, including digital learning and collaboration, student attendance, accounting, physical safety, and, of course, voice and video. Soon, the schools’ building management systems will also share the network to efficiently control heating, cooling, and ventilation at schools and administrative offices.

Delivering connectivity that “just works” so that students and teachers can stay focused on learning takes more than just great technology.

“Juniper equipment is stable and sophisticated, but it is the people behind the technology who make the difference,” Ludmer says.

“We have received very good service from Juniper’s Israeli engineers,” he continues. “We can talk with the head of Juniper in Israel in the middle of the night. Issues are solved quickly and directly with JTAC (the Juniper Technical Assistance Center). The relationship really shows us that Juniper delivers the most value for our money.”

Rishon LeZion Outcome
"With the expert guidance of SMBIT and a reliable network based on Juniper solutions, teachers can intelligently implement tools and digital environments to help students acquire essential skills."
Itzik Carmeli CIO, Rishon LeZion Municipality

Published November 2020