Tuskegee University Gains Performance and Application Visibility with SonicWALL Next-Generation Firewalls

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University Thwarts Attacks, Fuels Mobility and Saves up to $100,000 Per Year

"On the same peak-time connection tests, throughput with Check Point was only 7 MB, while with SonicWALL it was up to 90 MB. It just rocked,” said Judkins.

SonicWALL, Inc., a leading provider of intelligent network security and data protection solutions, today announced that Tuskegee University has deployed SonicWALL to replace its legacy Check Point® firewall software and 3Com Crossbeam® solution. The university selected a SonicWALL E-Class NSA E7500 Next-Generation Firewall based on performance, application intelligence, control and visualization functionalities plus ease of use, and paired it with a second NSA E7500 in High Availability mode. Located in Tuskegee, Alabama, Tuskegee University is an independent and state-related institution of higher education with a campus that includes more than 100 major buildings.

With 3,200 students and 1,100 employees, the university’s network must handle the demands of an exponentially growing number of mobile devices on the campus. Each student typically uses a laptop, tablet, smartphone and gaming console, with each device generating multiple connections to the Internet. The university’s incumbent Check Point and Crossbeam solution was beset with performance issues and vulnerable to a wide variety of attacks. Firewall performance was impacted and educators could not download class materials due to the lack of speed. The firewall was also difficult for the university to support and maintain. It was time-consuming to push out changes to IP addresses and difficult to install SSL VPN licenses with Check Point.

“It brought our network to a crawl,” said Fred Judkins, chief information officer at Tuskegee University. “The firewall could not handle the threats and volume of traffic. It was overwhelmed by the million malware and phishing attacks that hit our network every week.”

After a thorough competitive review of solutions from Check Point, Barracuda®, Fortinet® and SonicWALL, the university concluded that SonicWALL was the right partner and best choice for its security needs.

“Barracuda was just not there yet on next-generation firewall capabilities. And Fortinet was just unrealistically expensive. We expected Check Point to have a high-performance next-generation firewall, but SonicWALL beat them hands down. On the same peak-time connection tests, throughput with Check Point was only 7 MB, while with SonicWALL it was up to 90 MB. It just rocked,” said Judkins.

The SonicWALL solution has provided Tuskegee University with a cost savings of up to $100,000 per year by consolidating network and email filtering on the firewall, among other point solutions. Tuskegee University has also gained a dramatic increase in performance which enables it to guarantee education applications such as video conferencing for faculty and students. Educators can now turn on and fully leverage firewall services without compromising performance. Recently, the university had 10 classrooms teleconferenced in high definition for distance learning while not exceeding more than ten percent of the bandwidth on the firewall. Tuskegee also leverages the firewall’s application intelligence, control and visualization functionalities to prioritize education-relevant applications and create granular user policies. The visualization feature has allowed the university to gain granular insight into application traffic and, for example, differentiate whether a YouTube video is a music video vs an education video.

“SonicWALL has freed up our bandwidth,” said Judkins. “The NSA E7500 passes traffic better than the Check Point software ever did, and the performance we get with SonicWALL is superior to anything we’ve ever touched before.”

The university also benefits from the SonicWALL Mobile Connect™ unified client app for iOS, which provides iPad®, iPhone® and iPod touch® users full network-level access to academic or other organizational resources over encrypted SSL VPN connections. The app delivers confidentiality and data integrity for users outside the network perimeter. Deployed on or with a SonicWALL Next-Generation Firewall, Mobile Connect enables Clean VPN™ to remove malware from communications relayed through iOS devices.

“SonicWALL lets our users easily connect from their iPads® over SSL VPN,” said Judkins. “Our president uses it. One vice president said it was like sitting at his desk. Instructors can post grades and access the resources they need. It works great.”

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About Tuskegee University
Tuskegee University is an independent and state-related institution of higher education. Its programs serve a student body that is coeducational as well as racially, ethnically and religiously diverse. With a strong orientation toward disciplines which highlight the relationship between education and work force preparation in the sciences, professions and technical areas, Tuskegee University also emphasizes the importance of the liberal arts as a foundation for successful careers in all areas. Physical facilities include more than 5,000 acres of forestry and a campus on which sits more than 100 major buildings and structures.

About SonicWALL, Inc.
Guided by its vision of Dynamic Security for the Global Network, SonicWALL develops advanced intelligent network security and data protection solutions that adapt as organizations evolve and as threats evolve. Trusted by small and large enterprises worldwide, SonicWALL solutions are designed to detect and control applications and protect networks from intrusions and malware attacks through award-winning hardware, software and virtual appliance-based solutions. For more information, visit http://www.sonicwall.com/.

Copyright © 2012 SonicWALL, Inc. All rights reserved. SonicWALL® is a registered trademark of SonicWALL, Inc. and all other SonicWALL product and service names and slogans are trademarks or registered trademarks of SonicWALL, Inc. Other product and company names mentioned herein may be trademarks and/or registered trademarks of their respective owners.

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