The Challenge 


In an effort to provide a better customer service experience for their staff & students, Sheffield Hallam University undertook a project to implement service management for their many IT application systems. This process led to the development of a “service view” which reflects the overall status of each service based on the correlation of results from several network, server and application monitoring solutions. During development, Sheffield Hallam University realised that service status only told part of the story, and that service response time was equally as important.

While the service view dashboard provided an excellent guide to service availability, there were three additional challenges Sheffield Hallam University faced:

  1. The need to know the service performance from the end-user perspective without incurring the cost & complexity of deploying agent software across the thousands of PCs in the estate.
  2. The need to find out which departments were making most use of key IT facilities so that staff effort and resources could be apportioned accordingly.
  3. The need to perform rapid troubleshooting from an overall service perspective to supplement the more traditional device-by-device approach of the monitoring tools already in place.

Though there were several monitoring solutions in place, none of them could provide the end-to-end service performance metrics that were needed. 

 

The Solution


Sheffield Hallam University approached Net Consulting to discuss the troubleshooting requirement and came away with a single solution which met all 3 challenges.

After a successful proof-of-concept phase, passive network & application monitoring appliances were installed along with a control unit to provide a holistic business reporting capability.

These appliances were situated in such a way so that all the client/server communication could be analysed between the University’s two data-centres and the various user sites & faculties.

In order to define the “service views” for the University, a modelling exercise had been initiated which mapped physical application servers to logical services. The results of this exercise fed directly into the monitoring appliance configuration. The appliances were then used to help validate the accuracy of the information by verifying the traffic loads & patterns were of the expected quantity.

Client Testimonial


"Net Consulting managed to achieve in a short space of time what would have taken us a year to discover and create for ourselves if we’d simply been supplied with the equipment"

 

Head of IT
Sheffield Hallam University
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