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Prioritizing bandwidth for applications and combining multiple functions together to achieve cost savings

Background: Encompassing 117 square miles of the Kansas City metropolitan area, Lee's Summit R-7 SchoolDistrict is one of the fastest growing districts in Missouri. Recognized nationally for its highquality educational programs, the district is a winner of Missouri's ‘Distinction in Performance’award, the state's highest recognition for academic achievement.The district technology department is comprised of 54 staff members and oversees18 elementary schools, three middle schools, three high schools, an alternative secondaryschool, a secondary technology academy, an early education center and a special-educationday-treatment center. Its enterprise-sized network supports approximately 21,000 end-usersconsisting of 18,000 students and 3,000 employees. The network connects over 8,000 end-userdevices and 100+ servers.

Challenges: The district needed to replace its current firewall due to aging equipment, higher throughputneeds, and enrollment growth concerns. The Cisco® PIX® 525 that they used had reachedend-of-life, and their enrollment had been increasing annually by approximately 500 newstudents. They needed a solution that would manage these concerns along with the district’srequirement to meet the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) to filter all prohibited content(e.g., gambling and pornography) from access by any students within the bounds of its network.“One of our biggest concerns was being able to control the ability of students to access proxieslike Ultra Surf to circumvent our content filtering,” said Dr. Don Andrews, executive directorof technology at Lee's Summit R-7 School District. “We really needed to be able to lock thosesites down.”Bandwidth management was another driving factor for the district.“We maxed out our Internet pipe,” said Dr. Andrews. “We want to be able to guarantee andprioritize bandwidth for our high-priority applications, such as online testing, end-of-coursestate assessments, Polycom® video traffic and curriculum applications.”In addition, the district was looking for the ability to combine multiple functions togetherand achieve cost savings through consolidation. They had a bandwidth management solution,a VPN solution, a content filter solution, and a firewall solution along with four differentmanagement interfaces to deal with.

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Solution provided by SonicWALL, Inc.: For assistance in selection of their solution, the district looked to SonicWALL® Gold MedallionPartner, Professional Network Solutions®.“Professional Network Solutions was very supportive in our implementation,” commentedDr. Andrews. “Lee’s Summit R-7 School District is a visionary district that thinks outside of the box. Theywanted a solution that not only had a rich feature set but also allowed for a lot of manageability.They wanted something that could meet their needs of today and also for years to come,” saidBill Ryan, senior consultant at Professional Network Solutions.Engineered to meet the large enterprise needs of the district’s extensive network, the E-ClassNSA E7500 combines SonicWALL Reassembly-Free Deep Packet Inspection™ (RFDPI) with amulti-core platform. The E7500 is configurable to analyze and control thousands of uniqueapplications, whether unencrypted or encrypted with SSL. As an inline solution, the NSA E7500leverages existing infrastructure while adding an extra layer of network security and visibility.As a security gateway, it adds secure remote access and high availability.“The other solutions we considered didn’t have the combined feature set offered bySonicWALL, and often they required additional cost for ongoing support,” said Dr. Andrews.“All things considered, we found SonicWALL to be the best choice for us while also being thebest overall value.”

Summary: Since deploying the E7500, the district has been able to better control access to proxy servers,manage access to applications, restrict application traffic and offer SSL VPN access to its entire staff.“We run antivirus on our desktops, but the E7500 gives us an extra layer of anti-virus andanti-spyware protection at the network edge,” said Walter Woodward, network administratorat Lee’s Summit R-7 School District. “The appliance helps to catch and stop viruses and spywareat the firewall, never allowing it to get any deeper into our network. I like that.”The district previously deployed and managed separate appliances for its firewall, contentfiltering, bandwidth management and virtual private network (VPN). The E7500 let the districtconsolidate these four separate solutions and control them all on one appliance. Not only didthis integrated approach streamline administrative overhead, it also cut costs associated withpurchasing and maintaining multiple applications and appliances.“Moving to an integrated SonicWALL solution was very cost-advantageous for us. It also greatlyreduces the management overhead since everything is now accessible from a single interface,”said Walter Woodward.With the availability of the E7500 clientless SSL VPN, the district can now easily allow moreemployees to have the opportunity to access district resources remotely.The district is using the E7500 to manage bandwidth for specific applications, and to meet itsCIPA compliance requirements.“With SonicWALL, we’ve been able to block applications by type using Intrusion Prevention,”noted Dr. Andrews, “We can now control Facebook and YouTube using Content Filtering so theydon’t use up all our bandwidth.”Dr. Andrews is now focusing on a “best practice” approach, leveraging the E7500 to prioritizebandwidth for the district’s mission-critical applications.“We plan to identify all of our critical path traffic, allowing us to implement a policy that willensure available bandwidth to those applications.

SonicWALL, Inc.
2001 Logic Drive
San Jose, CA 95124-3452 U.S.A.

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