A Total Solution Provider Approach Pays Off
Networking VAR Netcetera Consulting Inc.'s strategy of providing total networking solutions, including network design, installation, management, and consulting services, as well as both wired network equipment and wireless solutions, is paying off. Recently, the VAR won an install for the University of Alberta's Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine. The department, which has more than 600 faculty and students, focuses on medical disciplines such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech-language pathology, and audiology. As the use of mobile computers has grown over the years, the university needed to provide faculty and students with access to its LAN and WAN from areas other than its computer labs.
A VAR's Wireless Solution Leaves Stone Walls Intact
Netcetera Consulting, the VAR that previously installed a SonicWALL PRO 3060 firewall at the university, was called in to evaluate the department's network needs. Most of the buildings on the campus were made of brick or stone, which made drilling holes and running electric wiring very expensive. Also, the department had only two IT workers to manage its entire IT infrastructure, which meant it needed a solution that required minimal postimplementation upkeep.
Netcetera recommended a SonicWALL wireless solution, which included SonicWALL PoE (power over Ethernet) Injectors and SonicPoint APs (access points). "By connecting the PRO 3060 firewall to the PoE Injectors, data and power can be run over a Cat-6 cable," says Steve Weeks, president of Netcetera Consulting. "Also, the firewall can be configured to handle all the connectivity and security rules of the APs, which eliminates the need to manage each AP individually."
The installation took three days to complete: two days to run the Cat-6 cables and one day to configure, test, and install five SonicPoint APs. Within a month of running a beta test, however, the solution proved its reliability in the brick/stone environment.
The total cost of the wireless solution — including the APs, PoE Injectors, firewall, and installation, was about $7,000. The solution uses SonicWALL Global VPN (virtual private network) clients to distinguish faculty, students, and authorized guests on the wireless network. Faculty members are granted access to the university's LAN while students and authorized guests receive only Web-based access to the university's WAN.
The Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine's satisfaction with its wireless LAN was confirmed following a positive reference about Netcetera to a law firm prospect. "The referral was key to the law firm's signing with us to blanket its building with APs and provide wireless network support to the firm's 350 lawyers and support staff," says Weeks.