Christ's College - University of Cambridge

Project Details

Published

23 Mar

Author

CWL Systems

Christ’s College Cambridge had a non-traditional approach to IT, based on an aging and complex open-source solution. They now want to accelerate the modernisation of their IT systems.

Approach

After carrying out a network health check we were able to properly decipher their previous complicated network. Our main requirement was then to install a new core switch and firewall.

Dave Scott, IT and Information Manager at Christ’s College Cambridge explained: “We had been using CWL for storage support, having trusted them to provide the right solutions for our storage needs over what our previous vendor had done. I always say that I buy solutions, not problems. I’m a demanding customer with certain expectations of everyone I work with, and CWL have always met these expectations – if not exceeded!”

“In commissioning CWL to carry out a full network audit, we found a very complicated core setup that had previously been installed. CWL helped us by setting up a new core switch. It was never going to be an easy job thanks to what we already had in place, but CWL made it run as smoothly as it could.”

“CWL has a brilliant work-oriented culture that I can lean upon when required, trusting that they’ll come through for me. We have about a thousand constantly fluctuating users, and in the future we’ll be looking to employ CWL to install another Palo Alto unit, increasing our core switches to two, as well as setting up a second firewall. CWL really understand our wider system and how we work, making them trusted advisors and a safe pair of hands. I’m very happy to have them as our long-term partners as we work well with them and they have frequently stepped up where other resellers have failed.”

Technical

We conducted an out-of-hours installation of the core switch to minimise disruption. Christ’s were running a Linux server to do routing, this was complex to manage and the only person who knew how to administer it was leaving. We reviewed the routing rules and agreed with the Christ’s College IT department to replace it with a Palo Alto Security appliance, which not only performed the routing, it was also much easier to manage and as well as providing a much greater level of security. We will
continue to carry out regular health checks, as they still only have the one firewall, and in the future, we plan to install a second resilient firewall.

The Client

Christ’s were running a single Linux server to manage all its network functions and which relied on a highly skilled member of staff who had moved on. We reviewed the server and agreed to replace it with a resilient core switch/router and a next generation Palo Alto security appliance. This ensured the system became easier to manage as well as providing a much
greater level of security and visibility on the network. We will continue to carry out regular health checks, as they still only have the one fi rewall, and in the future, we plan to install a second resilient firewall.


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