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Sinclair Community College Relies on Enterasys for Award Winning Secure LAN Project


Enterasys Networks Inc., the Secure Networks Company™, today announced that Sinclair Community College in Dayton, Ohio – winner of a Network World magazine 2007 Enterprise All-Star Award for technology use to enhance their business – is leveraging secure convergence, compliance and connectivity solutions from Enterasys for its Secure LAN Strategy. Through its partnership with Enterasys, Sinclair Community College delivers reliable and secure voice, video and data communications to approximately 23,000 students, 2,000 employees and 9,000 networked devices distributed throughout 20 buildings at the main campus in addition to four remote facilities. The Secure LAN Project has enabled Sinclair to authenticate users and devices before they are granted access to the network, then dynamically assign a set of role-based privileges to ensure only the right people have access to the right information from the right place at the right time. The transient nature of students and instructors (along with local businesses and community organizations that use Sinclair’s training facilities) requires flexible, on-demand access to internal, external and Internet resources while assuring the integrity of Sinclair’s IT infrastructure.

“Users expect the network to be everywhere and available at all times, but they expect it to be secure as well. Prior to the implementation of our Secure LAN project, we could only protect the end points on the network from viruses and worms,” said Scott McCollum, Director of IT Services at Sinclair Community College. “With Enterasys we proactively protect the network itself from the introduction of unprotected or infected devices. The technology just works as we prepare for future enrollment increases, program additions and facilities expansions. The confidence in our communications infrastructure capabilities is very high in the eyes of our students, faculty and administration.”

Enterasys helps drive efficiency and effectiveness in IT operations by leveraging Sinclair’s previous management software investments in NetSight® Policy Manager with NetSight Automated Security Manager to deliver a multi-tiered defense-in-depth approach to secure the wired and wireless LAN. The core network is comprised of Enterasys Matrix™ X-Series routers with the Matrix N-Series switches providing distribution layer and server farm connectivity. Enterasys Dragon® intrusion detection and prevention provides total packet inspection and session reconstruction of suspicious traffic, leveraging signature pattern matching, behavioral analysis and protocol decode techniques. Standards-based, open-architecture interoperability with Blackboard One Card, Cisco wireless switch controllers, Crestron multimedia switches, McAfee EPO, and ShoreTel IP telephony provides granular visibility and control of user and application priority and security at the access layer.

“We identify in real-time who enters our network, what devices they are using and what level of access privileges – trusted, limited or guest – they should be granted,” stated McCollum. “The Enterasys authentication and policy control is extended to our non-Enterasys devices – saving us precious time, since we do not have to manage and maintain multiple network policy and directory servers.”

Sinclair’s 34,000 connected users and devices are supported by an IT operations team of only 7 people. This is possible because of the Enterasys NetSight management software automating daily tasks while pinpointing the source and location of problems. Sinclair worked closely with Enterasys partner Blue Spruce Technologies for planning, design and implementation services.

“When we went to deploy VoIP, we were very happy to see that Enterasys could automatically discover, authenticate, classify, prioritize and secure the ShoreTel desk phones and soft-phone clients,” McCollum said. “The VoIP users, applications and devices had a distinct set of privileges even though they might be sharing the same switch port or laptop with a data-only application. We didn’t see that capability from any other networking vendor we evaluated.”

Sinclair Community College is among the largest community college campuses in America with a single-campus college in downtown Dayton, Ohio, serving approximately 23,000 students. The College is a member of the board of the League for Innovation in the Community College; and its Secure LAN Strategy has won numerous technology awards which include the 2006 ACUTA Award for Institutional Excellence in Communications Technology. The project was a finalist in the 2006 and 2007 Computerworld Best Practices in Storage Management in the “Securing the Storage Fortress” category; and Best Practices in Infrastructure Management in the “Security, Compliance, and Risk Management” category, respectively. Campus Technology magazine spotlighted Sinclair’s Secure LAN Strategy among its 2006 Innovators.

“The primary value for us is the granular visibility and control Enterasys provides at the edge, distribution and core layers of our network,” concluded McCollum. “Enterasys support is among the best in the industry and we are not paying a premium for the embedded security features of their networking equipment.”


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