By Max Clarke

SonicWALL enables college to remove tape-based backup systems and regain control of valuable bandwidth from students

SonicWALL, Inc., the leading provider of intelligent network security and data protection solutions, today announced it has been chosen by Cambridge Regional College to upgrade its network security infrastructure, replacing outdated firewalls and legacy tape back-up solution with SonicWALL’s next generation security solutions.

Established in 1993, Cambridge Regional College (CRC) is one of the largest colleges in the region, with 700 staff members supporting more than 4,000 full-time and 6,000 part-time students. Following an extensive £23 million campus redevelopment, CRC decided it needed to upgrade its network security to allow rapid data recovery and make students’ use of the Internet more efficient and secure.

“We never felt fully safe and secure with tape,” said Les Black, head of communications and IT at CRC. As the college grew, the need for efficient and reliable backup and recovery became even more apparent. After migrating from a Novell to a Microsoft networking environment, CRC re-evaluated its tape backup system and chose to replace it with a SonicWALL Continuous Data Protection (CDP) 6080 solution. The CDP 6080 offers flexible disaster recovery options for local archiving, offsite data backup, site-to-site data backup, and system recovery of entire systems. “With tape, it would take us three hours to recover kilobytes,” said Black. “Recently, we recovered several gigabytes of lost data in a few minutes, with just a few clicks. Now we ask users what version they want restored.”

CRC has also deployed two E-Class NSA E6500 Next-Generation Firewalls, which can be easily scaled to meet the needs of expanding enterprises like CRC. Combining SonicWALL Reassembly-Free Deep Packet Inspection (RFDPI) with a multi-core platform, the E6500 is configurable to analyse and control thousands of unique applications, whether unencrypted or encrypted with Secure Sockets Layer (SSL).

CRC is using E6500 security features such as intrusion prevention and application intelligence, control and visualization to make its network more efficient and secure and reclaim valuable bandwidth. For example, it can now block peer-to-peer attacks such as Kazaa, allow access to Facebook while blocking Facebook Chat, filter Google images search results based on college policy and selectively permit access to YouTube and BBC iPlayer for student research. “Using high availability to eliminate single point of failure for network security is great, particularly for crucial resources such as email delivery and online exams,” said Black.

Andy Zollo, Northern EMEA Sales Director at SonicWALL, added “We are delighted to be working with Cambridge Regional College as they continue to use our security products to enable their students to achieve more. Our presence in the education sector has been firmly established over the last year, as universities and colleges look to get more and more from their network security systems. Application intelligence and control in particular is a huge growth area as IT managers strive to ensure IT systems don’t grind to a halt over bandwidth issues.”

CRC runs the SonicWALL Comprehensive Gateway Security Suite (CGSS) over the E6500 appliance. CGSS includes gateway anti-virus, anti-spyware and intrusion prevention. In addition, the college has established a SonicWALL Clean Wireless environment by filtering and controlling incoming students’ wireless LAN (WLAN) traffic through the E6500 solution. The college has also established a SonicWALL Clean VPN by leveraging the integrated SSL VPN functionality of the E6500 to provide secure remote access to senior managers and IT staff.

In the last 12 months, SonicWALL has reached a number of significant agreements with colleges and universities across the UK, including Bolton College and Northampton University, helping them to replace legacy firewall with SonicWALL’s award-winning NSA and E-Class NSA solutions.