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Texas A&M Sets Up Palo Alto Networks Firewall

Texas A&M University at Galveston, an island campus with about 1,650 students, has deployed a new firewall appliance from Palo Alto Networks to improve network security and control. The university was previously using network scanning and packet shaping devices. It purchased Palo Alto's PA-2050, which provides for 1 Gbps firewall throughput, 500 Mbps threat prevention throughput, 300 Mbps IP security virtual private networking throughput, and 2,000 IPSec VPN tunnels and tunnel interfaces. It can manage 15,000 new sessions per second and can accommodate a maximum of 250,000 maximum sessions.

"In addition to upgrading our threat protection infrastructure, we needed to regulate the bandwidth that the residence halls were using to ensure that bandwidth is available for our learning and business needs," said John Kovacevich, systems analyst. "Palo Alto Networks next-generation firewalls are multi-function devices that do more than the other products combined and give us everything we need."

Kovacevich said he received a demonstration unit from the company in mid-July 2009, which took about a day to set up in front of residence hall network traffic. The university purchased its own unit in August, and the systems analyst estimated that transferring the configuration from the demo unit to the new unit took less than an hour. Most recently, he set up two interfaces to put up in front of the entire network specifically to block viruses and spyware.

"Palo Alto Networks not only protects us much better, it is far more affordable than the other solutions. Being a state organization, budgets are tight and we need to do more with less. Palo Alto Networks lets us do that, and makes us more responsible with the money we have."

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.

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