Web browsing woes over for Nine Entertainment

Back-end storage project in the pipeline

Nine Network operator Nine Entertainment has replaced its Web security gateway and management software in hopes of cutting down time when dealing with Web access requests from staff.

IT infrastructure manager, Mike Mallos, said the company's previous software-based Web security offering was unreliable and created user access issues. He declined to name the vendor.

“If someone wanted access to a site for research purposes, it meant we would have to schedule that access and reboot appliances over night. We had to react fairly dynamically to user requests,” he said.

Following an evaluation of four appliance based offerings, Nine Entertainment deployed Blue Coat’s secure Web gateway and ProxySG appliances at ten sites across Australia, south-east Asia and New Zealand. The IT department also installed centralised management, configuration and reporting systems at the company's Sydney headquarters.

Since implementation, IT support is now dealing with five per cent of internet access issues as opposed to 40 per cent in the past for 4000 employees across Asia Pacific countries.

“In terms of vulnerability from Web browsing, we’re fairly confident that we have removed that risk whilst enabling the business to do what they need to do,” Mallos said.

Because of the Web-centric nature of the media business, blocking content was not the IT department’s primary concern.

“We have a lot of users who go to sites that include social media and video content which realistically we can’t block. What we wanted to ensure was that our user base was browsing in a safe manner,” he said.

Now that the IT department is more productive, Mallos said it has begun a substantial back-end storage project. This will be complete in August 2012.

“File archiving and email archiving are hot topics for us now. We’re looking at how we manage things like user quotas and archiving.”

While video footage archiving is handled by the Nine Network, storage is still a problem for corporate IT.

“Mailbox sizes are getting bigger and so are the attachments. If someone wants to go back five years and recall a message that they sent, this is an issue for IT departments,” said Mallos.

Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick

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