Cambridge Regional College has chosen the network security infrastructure from SonicWall to replace outdated firewalls and a legacy tape backup product with new security solutions.

Les Black, head of communications and IT at Cambridge Regional College (CRC), said that his team never felt fully safe and secure with tape and as the college grew to 700 staff members supporting more than 4,000 full-time and 6,000 part-time students, the need for efficient and reliable backup and recovery became even more apparent.

Following an extensive £23 million campus redevelopment, CRC decided it needed to upgrade its network security to allow rapid data recovery and make students' use of the internet more efficient and secure.

It selected the SonicWall Continuous Data Protection (CDP) 6080 solution that offers flexible disaster recovery options for local archiving, offsite data backup, site-to-site data backup and system recovery of entire systems.

“With tape, it would take us three hours to recover kilobytes. Recently, we recovered several gigabytes of lost data in a few minutes, with just a few clicks. Now we ask users what version they want restored,” said Black.

CRC has also deployed two E-Class NSA E6500 Next-Generation Firewalls, which can be scaled to meet the needs of expanding enterprises like CRC. According to the company, combining SonicWall Reassembly-Free Deep Packet Inspection (RFDPI) with a multi-core platform, the E6500 is configurable to analyse and control thousands of unique applications, whether unencrypted or encrypted with Secure Sockets Layer (SSL).

Andy Zollo, Northern EMEA sales director at SonicWall, said: “We are delighted to be working with CRC as they continue to use our security products to enable their students to achieve more. Application intelligence and control in particular is a huge growth area as IT managers strive to ensure IT systems do not grind to a halt over bandwidth issues.”

Meanwhile IT services provider Imerja has been commissioned by Barnsley College to overhaul its IT infrastructure. The project will see the college's network infrastructure upgraded with a 10Gb campus-wide local area network (LAN) and an improved virtual server platform and storage area network (SAN) to provide the college's 8,000 students and 650 staff with further improved high-capacity communications facilities.

Lynne Kirkwood, director of communications and recruitment at Barnsley College, said: “The overhaul of our IT infrastructure will provide even better access and resource opportunities for our staff and students as we continue to improve on our outstanding service.”

Ian Jackson, managing director of Imerja, said: “Technology has become an integral part of education, not only in terms of dedicated courses but also in its integration into all aspects of the curriculum. In conjunction with the ongoing redevelopment of the campus sites, the college has invested in its network and server infrastructure to ensure that students and staff can access it at all times without interruption or limitations.”