Norwich University College of the Arts (NUCA) had an aging firewall and a wireless network based around 60 switches spread across 7 city centre buildings. Running around 150 PCs for administrators and none-academic staff, the remainder of computers on the network are mostly dual-boot Apple Macs which are used by 300 academic staff and 1600 students. External users and alumni also add to the network loading and they needed to upgrade to something much more capable.
Apart from the fact that their existing Microsoft ISA 2004 server was aging hardware, they also found that it was slow and lacked a lot of security features that are now considered a necessity. NUCA were also experiencing poor throughput and bottlenecks were created at the gateway. Earlier investment in wireless access points played a part in the decision process as they didn’t want to have to loose these as there was no replacement budget for them anyway. As is always the case in Universities and elsewhere, the renewal budget was limited and the I.T. Services department had to ensure that the management team were on board each step of the way.
Naturally they had an extensive wish list for their new system and although NUCA did look at other firewall vendors, their I.T. Services department already had some product familiarity with SonicWALL and since it also ticked all the boxes and came in on price, SonicWALL rose to the top of the selection list. All of these points were endorsed by their colleagues working in other institutes and in the extensive research NUCA did throughout the procurement process.
Having finally committed to a SonicWALL upgrade, during the initial installation they experienced a number of troublesome network issues related to their network core and internal routing. Wayne Davies from our Kidderminster branch and Chris Byrd our Technical Director, accompanied by Andrew Walker Brown from SonicWALL set about trying to pin point the problems. The team got to work and after much testing and investigating the outcome was a good one with NUCA saying they are very happy with their new SonicWALL and services are much improved. They now have a single system that is both firewall and wireless network controller. They have a system that automatically updates itself and links with AD for user identification. All of the points on their functions wish list were addressed by the SonicWALL installation.
None of this is especially remarkable in itself but it’s typical of many projects we are asked to get involved in. Our growing technical consultancy team has extensive knowledge and is able to draw on impressive resources to solve most problems that are commonly beyond many in our industry. M247 has a broad based structure and if we can’t solve your problems, we would like to think that nobody can.