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The firewall software, from open source company Astaro, is being run on standard 1GHz PCs with 512Mbytes of Ram at the three locations. It is supporting a virtual private network, remote access by mobile workers and an online customer booking system.
George Nursey, Task Force IT manager, said, "We could have chosen more expensive firewall appliances using proprietary technology, but we have found that this solution is easier to use and is much more scalable, as well as being cheaper."
Analyst firm Tolly Group ran tests between Astaro and more expensive products and found that Astaro performed best on ease of set-up and manageability.