Network firewalls help organizations ensure staff and students are securely accessing the internet
In Alberta, most organizations host their own firewall equipment, which drains valuable time and resources. The Virtual Firewall Service removes this extra workload by placing a virtual firewall upstream on Cybera’s network gateway.
This scalable software solution is capable of supporting multiple organizations, doing away with the need to host their own local equipment.
The Virtual Firewall Service is currently available to Alberta’s school authorities and post-secondary institutions, with the goal to roll out to other public sector institutions throughout 2018.
Benefits of the Virtual Firewall Service:
Organizations do not have to buy and host their own physical firewall appliances, reducing their infrastructure and overhead costs.
Network managers can also greatly reduce “hair-pinning” (where internet traffic through the centralized firewall doubles back on itself), saving on bandwidth traffic.
Members have a secure, scalable environment to trial cutting-edge network technologies with other networking experts.
Additional advantages of using Alberta-based cloud infrastructure: local data storage, Calgary/Edmonton redundancy, and fast failover.
- Cybera hosts the virtual firewall on its network gateway.
- Members remain responsible for configuring and managing their own firewall (this service simply removes the need for physical upgrades/maintenance).
- See the Frequently Asked Questions for more details.
- The Virtual Firewall Service currently utilizes a PaloAlto firewall solution
- Cybera staff are investigating an open-source option
- Training on using the PaloAlto firewall can be provided to participants not familiar with this technology
How To Join
- This service is available to Cybera members in Alberta's education sector* who are connected to Cybera’s Internet Buying Group (check if your organization is a Cybera member).
- It is geared towards smaller institutions (with bandwidth traffic of under 1.3 Gbps)
- Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to get started.
*Once the Virtual Firewall Service has been further established, opportunities to expand its membership to other sectors will be explored.
“Our district only includes eight schools, but they’re spread out over a distance of 15,500 square kilometres, so if a router blows up in one school, it can take hours for one of us to drive out there to fix it. And because our region is prone to power outages, we couldn’t risk having one firewall for all the schools. The Virtual Firewall Service has worked out great for us — it only took one afternoon to get set up, and already it’s blocking more of the content that we want blocked than our previous setup did."
"The peace of mind of not having to worry about replacing equipment when it’s reached its end of life, or worry about nine different physical appliances potentially going down, has been one of the biggest benefits of this service!”
— Kendal King, IT Specialist, Prairie Land Regional School Division no. 25