So last summer the company started investigating what hardware would best suit its needs. In the end, it came down to SonicWALL and Cisco, said o Powell, because each boasted an internal modem which provided fault tolerance.
“If the DSL went out, the software would detect that and would initiate a backup session, which is wonderful, because it’s almost transparent to the stores. It almost doesn’t cost us anything [for that feature],” he explained. In addition, ease of management was a huge company for the company, which planned to implement and support the entire system in-house.
SonicWALL sells its equipment through the VAR channel, and often those customers retain the VAR to implement the system. However, while Spencer’s bought the product through a reseller, it decided to manage this project and the WAN internally. “We sat down with a number of VARs about managing this project and managing the WAN. Basically, they validated our insanity,” Powell laughed, “and then we decided to go ahead and do it internally.”
A decision was made to roll out some 640 SonicWALL TZ 170 SP devices throughout the retail stores, with two SonicWALL PRO 5060 high-performance, multi-service gigabit network security platforms at company headquarters. In addition, the TZ 170 SP units had smaller footprint than Cisco’s devices, and for retail stores where rent is paid per square foot, real estate is at a premium.