When the IT staff at the City of Airdrie in Alberta realized the company’s firewall and CIS log reporting processes were not effective enough for network monitoring purposes, the City turned to Internet security appliance vendor, Astaro Corp. and its business partner, Divestco, for help.
Paul Hurst, network administrator at the City of Airdrie, said that before implementing the Astaro Web Gateway appliance solution, the company was relying on firewalls and CIS log reports to monitor its network.
“With the firewalls and CIS log reporting we had, it was a manual process for network monitoring,” Hurst said. “Sometimes it took us up to two weeks to get details out of a report, or if we thought we had a problem (with the network), we had to scour the logs and that was a very time-consuming and laborious process. It wasn’t as instant and as informative as we wanted.”
With help from Calgary-based Astaro business partner, Divestco, The City of Airdrie eventually decided on implementing Astaro’s Web Gateway 3000 appliance for URL filtering, malicious code detection, application control and bandwidth management.
Hurst said the City of Airdrie has been using the Astaro solution for all of its 340 internal staff members, as well as all internal Internet-enabled devices such as laptops, desktops and servers.
As a municipality, Hurst said the City was very cost-oriented when it came to selecting its solution. In the end, the City chose Astaro because it was a “minimal investment and an even smaller annual investment for renewals,” Hurst explained.
“We didn’t have the disk space for the CIS logs before,” Hurst said. “Now with the Astaro solution, we get daily reports and alerts, which leads to a more simplified, yet granular approach to monitoring the network. If something happens, we get an e-mail and can react accordingly because all of our Web traffic is being filtered through the appliance.”
The City went live with the Astaro solution last October and forecast a savings of more than 75 per cent of the cost it was paying for its previous solution, over a span of five years.
In addition to the cost savings, Hurst said the City’s IT staff has more time to devote to other projects now since they’re no longer being tasked with log analysis processes.
Paul Guthrie, an account manager with Divestco’s consulting division, said that often times, one of the biggest challenges between a vendor and a VAR is around stock availability.
“We’ve been an exclusive Astaro partner since 2007 and the company does a fantastic job of having stock available so you can get it installed at the client site very quickly,” Guthrie said. “Especially if you have a client who’s looking at multiple vendors or solutions, if we can get that product to the customer quickly, we’ll often get the sale and it just makes us more competitive in the market.”