The world's leading provider of library automation solutions, SirsiDynix enables more than 20,000 libraries around the world to catalog assets and provide web-based searches for their patrons. The company is also the industry leader of hosted online software as a service (SaaS) for cataloging, with a global team of engineers and specialized, highly secure facilities that support over 650 library systems around the clock.
"The majority of our products were library-resident systems up until about five years ago," said Brett Hall, director of cloud solutions at SirsiDynix, "and then we took off with our hosting service and that has become the lion's share of our business."
The challenge: securing hosted cloud services
Previously, the company used a Cisco PIX firewall solution that was managed by a third party.
As the company's business model moved further into the cloud, they were exposed to an increasing number of web-based intrusion attempts. SirsiDynix wanted the apability to shape its traffic based on different types of incoming attacks, but would have had to purchase additional Cisco add-on modules, or replace the solution altogether. Additionally, the SirsiDynix cloud team and other remote staff required a handsfree solution for the hosted facilities. After extensive research and evaluation, SirsiDynix selected a Dell SonicWALL solution from their reseller of choice.
"Cisco can work—if you always have someone there hovering over it," Hall said. "With Dell SonicWALL, it's simply point and click. We can check in every six months and always know it is doing its job."
The solution: Dell SonicWALL Next-Generation Firewalls
"Deployment couldn't have been easier," remarked Hall. "Our network is now clean and efficient and we never have any problems."
SirsiDynix saw an immediate return on its initial investment in Dell SonicWALL. Hall continued, "What we were being charged for with the PIX paid for the Dell SonicWALL in three months."
Since then, SirsiDynix has deployed three Dell SonicWALL E-Class Network Security Appliance (NSA) E5500 NextGeneration Firewalls at its Atlanta flagship location and two more in Scotland and Australia, as well as two other E-Class NSA E5500 appliances.
In addition, SirsiDynix utilizes the SSL VPN encryption for library credit card transactions and other sensitive data. Workhorses of enterprise network environments, NSA E5500 firewalls feature breakthrough performance, intrusion prevention, application intelligence and control, and realtime visualization. Combining Dell SonicWALL Reassembly-Free Deep Packet Inspection (RFDPI) with a multi-core platform, they are configurable to analyze and control over thousands of unique applications.
The result: the perfect hosting firewall
"For a hosting firewall, the E5500 is perfect," said Hall. "We love the multicore capabilities. We have no latency, have more CPU cycles for management screens and more CPU cycles for threat scanning—it just makes sense."
At SirsiDynix's flagship colocation facility, the solution secures over 600 sites, with over 20,000 users a day, peaking on average at around 75,000 connections. The Dell SonicWALL implementation helped secure the company's core services, as it is able to scan every published file in its entirety, including all types of digital documents.
The solution provides the content filtering and bandwidth allocation for high usage products.
"It's easy for anyone to use, and connects to anything," said Hall. "Dell SonicWALL gives us a one-stop shop for security, network control and VPN products that are low-maintenance and wonderfully affordable."
The future: real-time visualization and high availability
SirsiDynix intends to use the real-time visualization feature to analyze and manage multiple traffic loads.
"We have two flagship products that have several thousand users logging in via Citrix, as well as other client-based applications and a lot of Java," Hall said. "Real-time bandwidth analysis will come in handy."
The company is evaluating purchase of a Dell SonicWALL Aventail E-Class Secure Remote Access Series solution.