When it comes to connecting the individual parish offices, the Pastoralverbund Schmallenberg & Eslohe (Pastoral Network of Schmallenberg & Eslohe) trusts in the Systemhaus Sauerland and the German manufacturer of firewall systems, Securepoint GmbH. Parish offices are linked to the central office via a secure VPN connection, which is also used for the VoIP phone system connection of the German manufacturer STARFACE from Karlsruhe. This was implemented using an RC200 in the central office, with fully-equipped UTM features and Black Dwarfs, as pure VPN-Gateways in the branch offices.
A terminal server provides additional dial-up functionality in the central office. Furthermore, if required, the system also integrates voluntary employees who can use their own devices from home to connect to the Pastoralverbund. Other, general objectives for connecting the parish offices include high system availability and high levels of security.
The Pastoralverbund entrusted the Systemhaus Sauerland with the task of setting up the virtual parish office. Work commenced towards the end of 2014 with the installation of the Securepoint systems and the individual branches were connected step by step subsequently. When collaborating with Securepoint, Marc Schauerte of Systemhaus Sauerland, in addition to the technical advantages of the NextGen UTM-Firewall (easy to use and high security standards), was particularly impressed with the good cooperation enjoyed with the manufacturer whose team dealt with incoming service requests immediately. After the project had concluded, the Pastoralverbund also declared themselves fully satisfied with the implemented solution.
After finishing the set-up phase, the Pastoralverbund plans to use a total of 70 user licences with regular updates in order to link the parish offices. The VoIP infrastructure comprises the Securepoint devices, which are responsible for secure network functionality, a STARFACE VoIP telephony system, Gigaset DECT telephones with VoIP connection, and other wire-connected terminals. A Dell PowerEdge system is used as the server. Sipgate is the provider for VoIP telephony.
The automatic bandwidth management of the UTM-Firewall from Version 11.6 has shown itself to be particularly advantageous when the same network connections are used for all services at the same time, including VoIP. Voice transmission via VoIP places higher demands on the network resources, especially on the latency times, than other Internet services such as file transfers or email. The resources available can be adjusted to the requirements of the individual services with bandwidth management. However, expertise is required to manually configure an optimal distribution and this can be quite complex. The automatic bandwidth management of Securepoint UTM reduces this complexity for system administrators when it comes to setting up and maintaining the QoS rules. By using a joint data connection for VoIP phone calls and all other services, this solution helps produce high voice quality with little installation effort.
Systemhaus Sauerland UG (haftungsbechränkt) & Co. KG