Gary HolderICT Systems ManagerPlymouthhttp://www.sdcc.net/
Stoke Damerel is a vibrant and forward thinking community of teachers and learners. We appreciate the individuality and unique strengths and talents of each student and encourage everyone to invest in their education. Our college takes great pride in the fact that more and more of our students enjoy success in every possible way and at every level. This encourages us to seek to provide the very best educational experience so that all our students can reach their full potential as they become responsible and proactive members of our community. In 2011 OFSTED rated us as an Outstanding Specialist College for Mathematics and Computing and a Raising Achievement Partnership College.
1600 users, 900 computers across one site.
Our Smoothwall deployment is running as two separate Virtual Machines in VMWare Essentials v4 (split for database and processing). The client machines are Windows XP, Windows 2003, Windows 7 and Windows 2008 R2. We also use Windows 2003 terminal services.
We use NTLM authentication with terminal services - this is integrated with our Active Directory which gives us a range of options per user group.
Our existing solution had outgrown our requirements and was not being maintained or road-mapped by the vendors. We also needed an easy to use reporting system that could deliver information in a way that could be clearly understood by educators. Our needs also included to taking advantage of our existing investment in VMware and obviously to be cost-effective.
Smoothwall met all of our requirements and more, it was an easy choice to make. The great support we recieved when trialing the product and from your sales team convinced us we were dealing with a company that understood schools and educators needs.
Reporting is now available to teaching staff and managers so we are able to make informed decisions on our internet usage. Also, we are able to fulfill our duty of care by being able to track and monitor vunerable students. Additionally, we are now able to dynamically allocate resources to the virtual machines - this gives us performance boosts when we need it, as well as making the filtering system hardware independant.
On box reporting means we can track internet/filtering problems and resolve them more effectively. Temporary unblocking also empowers educators to make decisions and not have classes disrupted by blocked resources. The addition of remote access to the operating system has also helped our technical staff make changes quickly and efficiently.
Smoothwall replaced Equiinet CachePilot
Sean and Craig on the sales and pre-sales engineering team were great. It was also very beneficial to be able to talk to engineers and see a product demo at the BETT Show. Service was exemplary.
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