New Connection Provisioning - Advice Needed
I need some advice on how you guys have your site connected to the internet. Before I go ahead and let you know what my "great idea" is, let me give you some history....
Our current internet connection is provided by Liverpool Direct Limited (an offshoot of the council). We are connected to their network via a Virgin Media 10meg SDSL. Our onsite Forefront TMG server connects to an upstream server at LDL (Liverpool Direct Limited). This provides internet connections for all 330 devices on site. The content filtering is done in the could by Cisco ScanSafe. I am pretty happy with ScanSafe and it performs well. We have an Exchange Server which has been issued a publishing rule from LDL and can therefore be seen externally for use with OWA and Activesync. Other than that, we have no other internally hosted web services (at the moment).
The reason I am considering changing providers, is because they are simply unable to offer us any additional bandwidth. LDL supply internet connections to many schools in the Liverpool area, but their core network is only 130meg. This means that the entire 130meg is shared between all of their customers. I have spoken to them in depth about their plans to increase the capacity of their network, but they have said that any changes could be years away. I am under increasing pressure to try and provide my school with the bandwidth they need to use services such as youtube, vimeo and other streaming media is the classroom. Also with the addition of a guest wifi network, our net connection is going to be put under even more strain.
So I have decided to post in here to get an idea of how you guys have provisioned your net connections. I was wondering if any of you have experience of using an FTTC connection (BT Infinity Business) and Smoothwall for your content filtering? I personally don't consider FTTC to be a robust solution but with the "bang for buck" it's becoming pretty difficult to ignore. If I could stay with my current supplier but have the bandwidth increased then I would, as the service they offer is great. I'm in a pretty tricky position and as always, SLT want a rock solid fast net connection, but they want it as cheap as possible (sound familiar?).
Any suggestions or examples of how you have your setup configured would be really appreciated. Any advice is also welcome.