Firewall Solutions - Residential College
I work at a UK college that offers residency for the students and we currently have a crazy setup which is being effectively stripped out and started again.
The current system involves a forefront's threat management gateway as the firewall solution and if i'm honest it's a right headache and isn't really a solution for a college.
What we want is a solution that future proofs us and is well supported, ideally with a company that knows the education sector.
The main contenders are obviously smoothwall and sonicwall. I've looked into others like watchguard but thats too enterprise for us, trying to keep it realistic. I've seen Netbox blue the "firewall solution designed for schools" but was a little unsure about it, doesn't seem to be much UK support.
What we need it to do is:
- Act as a middle man between clients and servers (protecting the servers from the kids who call themselves hackers).
- Protect the Servers and Clients from the big bad internet
- Allow for both a domain network and a "leisure network". The leisure network acting as a lesser filtered internet experience. We offer residency to students, so xbox live, skype, games etc are common requests.
- To be able to control what times the leisure/domain network can be accessed etc..
- Some form of indepth report, what students are up to, logging in times, general web filtering/policing
- Some form of policing of social networking websites
- Full Active Directory Syncing (aware of security groups etc)
- Support for mobile devices (PDA's, SmartPhones)
- Capable of managing a DMZ for Exchange OWA/Outlook Anywhere
- Managing secure VPN connections into the college.
When it comes to the firewall, I'm not the most experienced if i'm honest, I have a lot to look at and plenty to read up on. I am in talks with colleges around the local area about possibly visiting them to see their solutions, as it's easy to talk to a salesman from a firewall company, but the word yes yes yes is easily said but when its comes to the technical nitty gritty, you find that some yes's mean "sort of".
The firewall is now becoming the most important decision we need to make, as everything needs to connect through it.
I'm interested into what you all have seen, work(ed) with, don't think because you don't offer residential to students (as i know not many places do) that you can't recommend something.
I'm looking for simplicity mainly, but obviously if the company's offer training on their product, that's even better.
The big word is also cost, ball park figures are always welcome, we are expecting lots of money so it won't be anything we didn't expect.
Thanks for all your help!
Looking forward to hearing from you all.