Building a wall around

By Lynn Haber  |  Posted 2006-04-03 Print this article Print

sensitive, wireless data"> While NCMECs IT department includes three individuals with Cisco certification, the team still relies on vendor tech support to solve network issues or help with new implementations. And Cisco support is there when the organization needs it, according to the nonprofit.

NCMEC has a strong interest in making wireless networking a permanent part of its network infrastructure for both disaster recovery and as a secondary network within its facility, and it has been working with vendors to help with security issues, according to organization officials.

CA developers have been working with NCMEC since January, when the organization began using CAs Wireless Site Management 4.0 product.

"The product allows them to build a fortress within the building to secure Wi-Fi communications," said Bruce Freilich, presales consulting manager at CA, in Islandia, N.Y.

Not only is NCMEC extremely security-conscious due to the nature of the work it does—which also includes being a clearinghouse for identifying child pornography—but the IT department also has security constraints because the government and law enforcement people working there cannot have additional software installed on the machines they use, according to Gelfound.

What Wireless Site Management 4.0 does is build a wall around the wireless network, explained Freilich.

"So, for example, NCMEC does training for law enforcement entities, and [it] can build a mini-wall around the training center network so others cant get in," Freilich said.

The product can identify the location of those wireless access points that are supposed to be on the network as well as identify unknown access points. "If, for example, someone plugs in an access point under a desk, wed know about it," said Gelfound.

NCMECs IT department worked on-site with CA engineers who helped install and tweak Cisco access points to work with the Wireless Site Management product.

In the case of CA, NCMEC isnt the only one benefiting from the partnership, according to Freilich. NCMEC sometimes serves as a training ground and a lab for CA engineers.

"Because we have a great relationship with the organization, we often send them new people on our team who get a chance to cut their teeth there," said Freilich.

NCMEC, for example, was also beta site for CAs SQL Server R11, a central database, and one of the first production customers. For CA customers with multiple products and multiple databases, the R11 concept of a central database is to ease administration and reduce costs, enable better integration between databases, and lower total cost of ownership, according to the vendor.

But it was NCMECs use of CAs Service Desk product for incident, problem and change management that sparked a new product opportunity for CA, ultimately leading to the release, in 2004, of the Unicenter Service Desk Dashboard.

Click here to read more about CAs Unicenter components. As NCMECs IT department struggled with internal management of help desk functions as they related to multiple CA products, the IT department asked CA if there was a way to make Service Desk operational in a portal, said Gelfound.

Using one of its own products, CleverPath Forest & Trees, a dashboard building tool, CA engineers went to work. After a couple of weeks, CA went back to NCMEC with a solution designed to meet the organizations requirements.

"Within a couple of minutes, it was clear that the dashboard gave Steve [Gelfound] and his managers the type of functionality they wanted," said Freilich. For example, a user can go to a real-time dashboard and find out how many help desk tickets were opened, how many were closed, the average time it took for an analyst to close a ticket, who was opening up the most tickets, and so on, he explained.

"In 5 minutes, we had access to all our help desk operational information, in one place and live, and were able to drill down in a live page for more information," said Gelfound.

Lynn Haber is a freelance writer based in Norwell, Mass. E-mail her at

Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, views and analysis on servers, switches and networking protocols for the enterprise and small businesses.


Submit a Comment

Loading Comments...
Manage your Newsletters: Login   Register My Newsletters

Rocket Fuel