Australian WatchGuard and Microsoft partner Greenlight has secured network operations for Melbourne real estate firm Jellis Craig.
Jellis Craig has worked with Greenlight for more than three years, having originally worked with the reseller Solution Plus Australia, which was acquired by Greenlight.
Jellis Craig IT team head Christian Marotta said the company has been a user of WatchGuard technology for more than a decade. Prior to that time, the firm had relied on ageing wide area network (WAN) infrastructure to connect each office to company headquarters.
“Back then, I could quickly see that deploying WatchGuard firewalls would allow me to remove the expensive legacy WAN connections,” he said. “These days, we are making use of fibre NBN [National Broadband Network] connections, which deliver much better performance and data speeds.”
Marotta says the challenge then became finding an efficient way to monitor and manage a quickly growing fleet of devices.
The fleet includes a WatchGuard Firebox M470 appliance in the headquarters equipped with WatchGuard Total Security Suite. The network of offices uses a mix of WatchGuard Firebox M270 and M370 devices, depending on the number of staff at each location. WatchGuard AP325 Wi-Fi access points are also currently being rolled out to provide improved wireless LAN coverage in each office.
Tapping Greenlight for assistance, Jellis Craig opted to deploy the WatchGuard Cloud management platform. This enables the team to manage all Wi-Fi access points through a single portal. WatchGuard Fireboxes are currently being managed through WatchGuard System Manager.
“In the next six to 12 months, as the capabilities of WatchGuard Cloud increase, we will be looking to use that for managing the firewalls as well,” said Marotta.
According to Jellis Craig, the platform has aided the ongoing management of the entire infrastructure is very straight forward. The portals allow the team visibility down to a device level in each of the office locations.
“We can see everything that’s connected to our Wi-Fi networks, the connection speed they are achieving and the signal strength,” he said. “If someone calls us to report that their Wi-Fi network is running slowly, we can quickly jump on and determine what is causing the issue.”
Each WatchGuard firewall has a backup 4G dongle in place. This means that, if there is a fault or disruption to the internet connection, traffic can be automatically routed over this alternative connection instead.
“Security is enhanced by the fact that we only have one Microsoft Active Directory instance for the entire company,” he said. “In some offices there is nothing in place apart from the firewall and some access points. Our VPN connections also make working from and accessing head-office resources simple, reliable and secure.”
Marotta said his internal team continues to undertake deployments of additional WatchGuard devices as required. Meanwhile, Greenlight continues to provide support by supplying the devices and ensuring the internal team is fully briefed on technical developments in the market.