Brick Township Public Schools Reins in “Off the Charts” Bandwidth Consumption with SonicWALL

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School District Ends Application Chaos, Optimizes Network for its 10,000 Students and 2,000 Staff

“I consider SonicWALL to be one of the leading-edge providers of services like application intelligence and control,” said Ross Ellicott, manager of network operations at Brick Township Public Schools.

SonicWALL, Inc., the leading provider of intelligent network security and data protection solutions, today announced that Brick Township Public Schools in Brick Township, NJ, has deployed SonicWALL E-Class Network Security Appliance (NSA) E6500 Next-Generation Firewalls in High Availability (HA) mode to provide network security and data protection solutions for its 10,000 students and 2,000 staff. The school district features a district wide public and private wireless network with over 3,500 devices and 1,500 IP phones.

Like many K-12 school districts, Brick Township Public Schools utilizes cutting edge Flash®-based education sites and social media tools for teaching purposes. Brick Township’s student use of sites such as YouTube®, Grooveshark® and Hulu® in combination with the education-critical web traffic led to the perfect storm of excessive bandwidth consumption. Brick Township found that its first-generation firewalls from Astaro® (now a Sophos company) were no longer sufficient to handle the deluge of bandwidth demands and application-layer threats. The school district required a next-generation firewall that could also handle the increase in bandwidth resulting from its migration from a PBX phone system to a VoIP system.

“Stateful firewalls to me are dead!” said Ross Ellicott, manager of network operations at Brick Township Public Schools. “The attacks that are happening today are from within and going out. It’s all botnets now. People try to lure you into clicking on an email, or you pass by a website infected by a virus and your computer catches rogue viruses and pop-ups.”

To optimize its bandwidth and better protect the district from web-based threats, Brick Township deployed the SonicWALL NSA E6500 pair in an HA failover configuration between its appliances and Internet connections. As a result, the district has already realized cost-savings from the increased network uptime. This has freed up time for staff to work on projects that are strategic to the school district.

“I am saving 15 hours a week with the reduction in support calls,” affirmed Ellicott. “That is human capital that my staff and I can put back in and use to focus on other things.”

In addition to saved man-hours, Brick Township realized a cost-savings in power and cooling costs.

Ellicott continued: “The NSA E6500 appliance is paying back for itself in power savings. We’ve started looking at consolidated servers and at how we can reduce our footprint. We want to avoid pumping up heat and power supplies since they are expensive to run over the course of a year.”

The district has dramatically reduced its bandwidth consumption usage, and in doing so, optimized the experience for teachers and students since they can better access critical educational and assessment sites. By leveraging the NSA E6500’s Application Intelligence and Control functionalities, Ellicott now has granular control and real-time visualization of applications to guarantee bandwidth prioritization and ensure maximum network security and productivity. Brick Township prioritizes applications that are critical to the district, such as Study Island®, Everyday Mathematics® and online testing while throttling select non-critical bandwidth-hogging sites such as Grooveshark and others.

“In my experience, SonicWALL is committed to pushing out firmware that offers the latest features,” acknowledged Ellicott. “I consider SonicWALL to be one of the leading-edge providers of services like application intelligence and control.”

As the district continues to grow, the NSA E6500 scales to meet its expanding needs. Combining SonicWALL Reassembly-Free Deep Packet Inspection® (RFDPI) with a multi-core platform, it is configurable to analyze and control thousands of unique applications, whether unencrypted or encrypted with SSL. As an inline solution, the NSA E6500 leverages existing infrastructure while adding an extra layer of network security and visibility. As a security gateway, it adds secure remote access, high availability and other features.

For more news on Dynamic Security and Next-Generation Networks, follow SonicWALL on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

About Brick Township Public Schools
Brick Township Public Schools serves students in pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade from Brick Township, New Jersey. The district supports 10,000 students and employs a staff of 2,000 across 12 schools.

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

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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