By troubleshooting quickly and creatively, we have built a secure solution for the school by making a redundant connection via 4G LTE. Within half a day, the teachers were able to resume classes and the school could be reached by phone again.
4G LTE connection via FortiGate firewall
By connecting a dongle to the FortiGate firewall, our engineers have set up a backup connection via 4G for the school. Although the bandwidth via the 4G LTE mast is a lot lower (30/30 Mbits) than via a fibre optic connection (500/500 Mbits), the school was able to resume classes that same day.
Priority for Voice over IP (VoIP)
When the 4G LTE failover was activated, 1 Mbit per device was available. However, VoIP was given priority over the 4G connection at all times. After all, the school must always be contacted by telephone.
Teachers were also able to use the digiboards and laptops again. Other facilities such as the guest WiFi network were temporarily unavailable due to the limited bandwidth via 4G LTE.
Is the redundant connection just as secure as via fibre optic?
Yes, of course. Security always comes first at Procyon Networks when constructing (redundant) networks. Since the network of this school was built and managed by us, the new connection has become part of the design.
The FortiGate firewall is ideal for installing a redundant 4G connection next to a fibre optic cable. A 4G dongle is connected to the FortiGate and then the firewall is relatively easy to configure by our engineers. As with the fibre optic connection, the connection over the 4G LTE mast is fully encrypted.
How does the firewall know when the fibre connection has been restored?
In the configuration of the firewall, our engineers have configured a mechanism that frequently checks whether the fibre optic line is up (or down) again. In case the fibre optic cable is down, a switch is automatically made via the dongle to the 4G LTE mast to make the connection.
In the meantime, the firewall continues to frequently check both the 4G and the fibre optic connection. As soon as the fibre optic cable is working again, the firewall automatically switches the connection to the fibre optic cable.
24/7 monitoring using SolarWinds
Our SolarWinds monitoring environment monitors the redundant connection from the school to the internet 24/7. This allows us to see exactly when the 4G LTE connection switches back to the fibre optic connection. Should one of the two connections ever go down, our engineers will immediately receive an alert via our SolarWinds dashboards and we will immediately take action for the school.
All in all, connecting the 4G dongle and configuring the FortiGate firewall took half a day. The school permanently has a secure, redundant connection that is monitored by us 24/7.
Looking for experts to design a redundant and secure ICT network? Please contact us.