As Network Administrator for Randolph County Schools in the Asheboro, NC area, Mark Uhl and his six colleagues are responsible for managing the IT requirements of 29 schools with 6,000 workstations and multiple servers.
Uhl has been with Randolph County for nine years and has seen many changes as the school system’s demands have evolved. Some three years ago, the county switched from Novell to Microsoft servers, which resulted in a phasing out of the Deep Freeze security solution in use at the time. Uhl chose to lock down the majority of workstations at that time to maintain a secure environment.
“When we switched to Microsoft, we locked down our group policies, which basically prevents users from making any changes to the C-drive,” Uhl said. “This protects workstations from the majority of inbound threats.”
However, it was not practical to require all workstations to be locked down; administrative staff – principals and some teachers – retained the ability to make changes to their local hard drives. The downside was that this flexibility for users also resulted in flexibility for malware to get into those systems.
“After we phased out Deep Freeze, we started seeing viruses and trojans spreading across these more open machines,” Uhl recalled. “We were forever having to reformat hard drives, and it was clear this was not a sustainable situation. We knew we had to find some way to protect those machines and users that were not subject to the lockdown policy.”
Uhl researched his options and found that AVG was being widely recommended for educational environments as a low-impact, easy to use solution. Initially he tried out AVG’s Free solution on a single computer to put the basic technology through its paces.
“I downloaded the free version to see what it could do –it didn’t take long to see that even the free version was a high-quality product and clearly up to the task at hand”, said Uhl. “So, I recommended to my supervisor that we purchase the network edition of AVG for the county.”
Uhl’s next step was to find a local supplier they could work with. “However easy AVG looked, I really wanted to buy from a local distributor who could provide us with product support as we got to know the system in detail, added Uhl. “That’s why we chose to purchase our licenses through Walling Data Systems. We were also attracted by their experience in the educational sector”
Walling Data Systems is the country’s longest-standing distributor of AVG Technologies solutions and the highest-volume distributor in North America. Walling specializes in the education and nonprofit sectors, and is the only distributor to offer all customers free, unlimited, U.S.-based support as part of every sale.
Walling Data Systems is headquartered in Claremont, NC, just a stone’s throw away from the Randolph County School District, so Uhl was particularly happy to have expertise so close at hand, even though the AVG support offered by Walling includes remote control capabilities.
“I had some questions about the setup process when we first purchased the AVG 8.0 licenses,” Uhl said. “So I called Walling and the guys at the help desk walked me through the whole process from beginning to end. The technician knew the administration functionality inside out, and it took no time to get me back on track using the remote control support option.”
Uhl says he is completely satisfied with his decision to protect Randolph County Schools’ IT investments with AVG Anti-Virus products.
“I love the new AVG 8.0 – it’s reliable and effective, doesn’t get in the way of productive work on the computers, and is very, very effective at catching threats,” Uhl said. “We were using version 7.5 and that was great - but 8.0 is even better because it also includes anti-spyware and a whole slew of protection against web-borne threats.”
About Walling Data Systems
Founded in 1994, in North Carolina, Walling Data Systems (wallingdatasystems.com) is a value-added software distributor and IT Solution Provider offering innovative high-value solutions to everyday computer security problems for corporate, education, and home technology users. Walling Data was named an Authorized AVG Distributor in 2004 and is the only source for unlimited toll free phone, remote support, education discounts, and more for their AVG customers in the United States, one reason why thousands of education customers choose Walling as their supplier of choice for AVG products.
Founded in 1991 and with offices in the US, UK, and Czech Republic, AVG (avg-antivirus.net) is a leading international developer of Internet threat protection solutions for consumers and SMBs. AVG is one of the fastest growing companies in the industry with more than 70 million active users around the world. The company employs some of the world’s leading experts in Internet security, specifically in the areas of threat research, analysis and detection. AVG’s award-winning products are distributed globally through resellers and over the Internet as well as via third parties through Software Developer’s Kits (SDK).
Luke Walling 828-459-5422 x225 luke[.]wallingdatasystems.com.