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Virgin media partners with Tufin Technologies and nebulas solutions group to streamline firewall management

November 2009 by Marc Jacob

Tufin Technologies and Nebulas Solutions Group announced Virgin Media, as a joint customer. As part of an overall network infrastructure improvement program Virgin Media turned to Nebulas Solutions Group to source a more resilient, efficient firewall infrastructure. Knowing that bloated rule bases are a major source of inefficiencies Nebulas underwent a rigorous evaluation process and selected Tufin SecureTrack, to identify obsolete, redundant and unnecessary firewall rules. By implementing SecureTrack, Nebulas enabled Virgin Media to enhance Firewall CPU and memory performance by 15 percent and reduce the management load by 30 percent.

“One of the reasons we chose Nebulas to be our exclusive security partner is the value they add with product analysis and testing - its views are based on product integrity not just whether they are resellers for a particular product,” said Colin Miles, UK Corporate Network Manager, Virgin Media. “Its assessment of Tufin SecureTrack was spot on – it has dramatically improved firewall performance, maximized the longevity of our current infrastructure and given my team back about 30 percent of their day.”

Virgin Media is the UK’s leading entertainment and communications company, and employs 20,000 people distributed across 800 UK sites. Virgin Media’s Check Point and Nokia firewall infrastructure was ageing; some hardware had been installed for almost a decade and needed updating. Firewalls were also not running the most up-to-date versions of code, which had a negative effect on both performance and security. Additionally, a specific cluster of firewalls in a data centre was experiencing serious stability problems, which seemed to stem from the firewall rule base, which was double the size recommended by the firewall vendor.. The load on CPU and memory were causing frequent failures of service and resulted in change windows shifting to non-business hours to avoid additional downtime, over-extending the operations team.

Nebulas Solutions reviewed several products to help Virgin Media tackle the unwieldy rule base and manage it more efficiently in the future. The rigorous evaluations consisted of a written review of three solutions based on rule cleanup capabilities, firewalls supported, cost, and ease of use. Tufin SecureTrack was the strongest across fronts and after a highly successful trial, Virgin Media deployed SecureTrack, to analyze rule and object usage and clean up unused rules without disrupting business operations.

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