New York District Beefs Up Wireless LAN
Penn Yan Central School District in upstate New York reported that it's successfully deployed a new wireless local area network (WLAN) to cover all computers in the district, which enrolls more than 2,000 students in K-12 and adult education programs.
Built around the SonicWall Clean Wireless system, the network includes the SonicWALL E-Class Network Security Appliance (NSA) E5500 and SonicPoint-N access point devices. "Our old ISA firewall was susceptible to failures and missed updates," said Chuck Roach, PYCSD director of technology. "The NSA eliminated those worries and gave us a more solid platform along with high availability."
The network also includes advanced features, such as reassembly-free deep packet inspection (RFDPI) and unified threat management (UTM), that function to encrypt wireless traffic, protect against threats generally faced on a high-speed 802.11n network, and regularly scan and clean traffic to protect against viruses, spyware, and other malware and hacking tools.
"SonicWALL's content filtering is as robust as [the district's former provider] in helping us comply with the [Children's] Internet Protection Act, but at a fraction of the cost," Roach said. "SonicWALL gives us gateway content filtering plus intrusion prevention, anti-virus, anti-spam, and application firewall for about $2,500 a year," which, he noted, is roughly an 83 percent savings from the district's previous network infrastructure. "The first year alone will pay for the hardware, and we will be saving every year after that."
Scott Aronowitz is a freelance writer based in Las Vegas. He has covered the technology, advertising, and entertainment sectors for seven years. He can be reached here.