Travis Unified School District Keeps its Networks Secure and Running Smoothly with the Barracuda NextGen Firewalls F-Series

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Summary

Travis Unified School District is located adjacent to and serves Travis Air Force Base, portions of the cities of Vacaville and Fairfield, and portions of unincorporated Solano County. Approximately 5,500 students attend 9 schools throughout the district. Travis Unified School District was formed in 1962 to provide quality education for the children of local farmers and Travis Air Force Base personnel. The district absorbed several small elementary school districts and has built a high-performing K-12 system. Travis Unified School District is located in a prime spot between skiing at Tahoe, San Francisco, beaches, and the Napa Valley.

Profile

  • K-12 School District
  • Founded in 1962
  • Based in Northern California

Challenges

  • Replace old, port-based stateful inspection firewalls to reliably block unwanted applications with a more cost-effective and easier-to -maintain solution

Solution

  • Two Barracuda NextGen Firewall F900s in high availability configuration

Results

  • Centralized network management control without the need for command line tools.
  • Improved visibility of traffic and Internet usage.
  • Ability to prioritize and shape traffic to support Common Core State Standards.

The Challenge

Over the years, the Travis Unified School District’s existing port-based firewall solution proved no longer adequate for protecting the network from unwanted applications. Peer-to-peer applications, unsanctioned streaming services, anonymizers, and unsanctioned virtual private networks were widely used to circumvent the deployed content security solution. The result was frequent temporary network slowdowns, in spite of having plenty of bandwidth to the Internet. Moreover, day-to-day usage for network troubleshooting required extensive use of the command line and wound up being very time consuming. Network troubleshooting down to the root cause and remediation would often take up to an hour and was very tedious.

The Solution

To find an affordable next generation firewall to help free up misappropriated bandwidth, Travis Unified School District turned to Barracuda Networks.

A set of two Barracuda NextGen Firewall F900 units - deployed to form a high availability cluster with Firewall and Application Control enabled - significantly improved network performance since students were suddenly unable to circumvent the security infrastructure to access unsanctioned content.

But the benefits of their new next generation firewalls have been more than just educational. In addition to improved security and a faster, more responsive network, Barracuda NextGen Firewalls also include unlimited client-to-site capabilities and a highly resilient, connection friendly native VPN client for Windows, MacOS X, and Linux that gives staff the option of working remotely or while away on business.

Fast Troubleshooting and Efficient Daily Management

All security, networking, and connectivity benefits are easily accomplished with the management console provided, a rather small Microsoft Windows OS executable.
"With our Barracuda NextGen Firewalls, we no longer need to use command line for anything, and day-to-day management and troubleshooting the network just got so much easier."
- Fabio Zampieri, Coordinator, Technology Services, Travis Unified School District
Using this stand-alone application enables rich, low-latency live views of all the traffic flowing through the firewall, not to mention the ability to quickly manage the firewall even when under heavy loads. Configuration changes are done quickly and applied almost instantaneously. And with “Firewall History View” troubleshooting becomes a matter of seconds, without the need to sift through tons of log files or issue complicated commands in a CLI window.

About Barracuda

Barracuda (NYSE: CUDA) simplifies IT with cloud-enabled solutions that empower customers to protect their networks, applications and data regardless of where they reside. These powerful, easy-to-use and affordable solutions are trusted by more than 150,000 organizations worldwide and are delivered in appliance, virtual appliance, cloud and hybrid deployments. Barracuda’s customer-centric business model focuses on delivering high-value, subscription-based IT solutions that provide end-to-end network and data security. For additional information, please visit barracuda.com.

Barracuda Networks, Barracuda and the Barracuda Networks logo are registered trademarks or trademarks of Barracuda Networks, Inc. in the U.S. and other countries.

About the Barracuda NextGen Firewall F-Series

Barracuda NextGen Firewalls combine comprehensive next-generation firewall technologies—including Layer 7 application profiling, intrusion prevention, web filtering, malware and advanced threat protection, and more— with resilient VPN technology, intelligent traffic management, and WAN optimization capabilities. This lets you reduce line costs, increase availability, improve site-to-site connectivity, and optimize access to cloud-hosted applications.