Clavister provides security for super-computing facility
“When we evaluated the security solutions on the market, we realised that it was difficult to find any other product that had as many features, and at such a good price, as Clavister. It represents excellent value for money.” – Alessandro Togni, Senior Technician, CASPUR
Super-computing needs complex and sophisticated environments and CASPUR’s Rome-based facilities are no exception. As well as providing super-computing facilities to the universities of central and southern Italy, CASPUR co-hosts the environments of many public administrations. It also manages the Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) that connect 37 hospitals across the country, giving them access to centralized services located at the CASPUR data center.
CASPUR runs many clusters based on different hardware platforms from various vendors and the scope of the operation can be judged from the fact that the main cluster will soon have more than 2,500 cores; there are 30 Virtual Local Area Networks (VLANS) in operation and approximately 1,000 rules in their rule set.
What Clavister did
Using a combination of virtual and hardware appliances, Clavister used their advanced firewall protection features along with their management solution to create a countywide security infrastructure.
With so much sensitive information and data being handled, network security is vitally important for CASPUR and its partner organizations but the very complexity of its environments makes this technically demanding. CASPUR needs to combine high availability and powerful security with ease of management and it achieves that with Clavister network security solutions.
“It is very important for us to ensure absolute security for data on our networks and we need a very complex firewall configuration,” says Alessandro Togni, senior technician with CASPUR. “Our networks are highly segmented and many machines also need specific firewall configurations for customized routes and access. We are very concerned about the detailed configuration of our firewalls and that is why we started working with Clavister more than eight years ago. We know that if we have an issue, we can speak to Clavister representatives here in Italy or work directly with their development specialists in Sweden, and they will help to resolve any issues.”
CASPUR has three Clavister HA clusters for internal use. The most powerful runs on the Clavister Security Gateway and the lesser two on a variety of other Clavister hardware products or software licenses. In total, CASPUR runs 17 Clavister solutions and provides 14 firewalls for customer environments. There are seven Clavister boxes for hosted customers at its Rome data center, and a further seven that are remotely managed at customer sites.
The Clavister Gateways include flexible functionality that lets you set security policies in any way you want, from having a specific policy for every user, to filtering by application, credentials or other variables. The Clavister appliances are primarily designed to be used as central gateways in high load enterprise networks or data centers where extreme plaintext and VPN performance are critical.
Ease of management
“Because we have been a Clavister customer for a long time now, we have become experts at using their solutions,” adds Togni. “They are quite easy to manage and have many useful features like route monitoring, server load balancing and user authentication. The Link Monitor feature has been useful in some situations and we sometimes use the Clavister PinPoint, the user-friendly tool that eases the job of security managers by giving them a de-cluttered, real-time view of security events for all Clavister-based solutions.
“We are so impressed with Clavister security solutions that we now recommend them to our customers because they offer such a wide selection of features at an extremely competitive price.”
Formed in 1992 by six Italian universities, CASPUR is Italy’s International Consortium for the Application of super-computing for Universities and Research. A non-profit organization financed by the Italian Ministry of Education, Universities and Research it offers high quality, high-powered super-computing processing services using advanced computational techniques such as UNIX clusters. www.caspur.it