I'm the network administrator for a small to media sized school district. Currently we are running Novell Border Manager 3.8 on Netware 65 SP5 and everything is working fairly well. We're using the Connectotel linkwall suite to assist with Internet Filtering. From my perspective this is working fine. We have a 2Mb/s Internet connection that can burst above 2 when needed (to a certain point as it is also shared with other districts in the area).

Some times during the day, as Internet traffic increases with student 'activity' things can get a little slow on the Internet. I wouldn't say performance in unacceptable, but if there was something we could do to make it faster of course that would be good.

Another person in my department is championing the idea of moving away from BorderManager for proxy/filtering/web caching services to something like an Astaro proxy appliance. He is fairly convinced that BorderManager is/or will be a bottle neck for our Internet connection. He supports this theory by pointing out that during peak Internet activity the disk activity lights on the BorderManager box are on nearly solid. He states that disk throughput is a bottle neck and could be holding our Internet traffic back during peak activity.

The other reasoning that he has for moving away from Border is that recent news from Novell is that Border Manager won't exactly be ported over to SLES/Linux. They instead have an alternate product upgrade path that could include something like an Astaro appliance.

My perspective is, I like what Border Manager provides right now so why should I switch? eDirectory integration is very important for us, as it allows blocking Internet activity for an individual student. And I'm not as convinced that Border is a bottle neck to our Internet connection right now. Nor would it be if we were to upgrade our Internet connection speed.

So my questions are this:

- We are going to begin slowly migrating servers from Netware to SLES/OES, does this mean that we should also be migrating away from BorderManager?
- Are we/Could we be hitting the throughput limits of Border Manager? It's currently running on a DL360 1.4Ghz with 2 GB of RAM and mirrored 15k 36.4GB drives.
- Any thoughts on the Astaro appliance as a Border Manager alternative?

Thanks for your thoughts!

Walter Keener
Network Administrator
Allendale Public Schools
Allendale, MI USA