From time to time it happens in every company – the Internet is down, server collapsed, emails don’t work or a database is unavailable. The business is immediately paralyzed and it causes problems. Production lines are halted and staff cannot handle orders or coordinate logistics. The same thing happened to Trnava factory of Johns Manville Slovakia. Due to a failure of their IT system they had to suspend dispatching of their products from the plant.
“Nowadays, you won’t load trucks without IT,” says Peter Jašek, the system administrator at Johns Manville – a company producing construction and mechanical insulation, commercial roofing systems, fibre glass and non-woven materials. P. Jašek is responsible for both the main and backup server room with replication systems and he also takes care of disk arrays and libraries to which data is backed up.
Hard life of IT engineers
“Managing IT infrastructure today is more difficult than it was a decade ago. Technology is more diverse and rapidly changing. A handful of staff at our department can hardly keep up with all the changes and innovations and yet guarantee the high availability of services so crucial for the business,” he explains. Small business IT departments often struggle with substitutability of their IT engineers whenever they are on vacation or a long-term sick leave.
Johns Manville used to monitor their IT infrastructure using their in-house system. However, the company did not have a person dedicated to continuously monitoring incoming notifications and that’s why their IT staff was not always able to flexibly respond to emerging issues.
The company has therefore decided to use remote IT infrastructure monitoring as part of the framework service contract they had signed with us. It means that Soitron specialists in our control centre monitor their selected equipment and systems essential for such a manufacturing enterprise. They can not only immediately alert the customer and respond to any potential problems, but also predict possible failures and thus prevent downtime and unnecessary costs.
Open source saves costs
We monitor the infrastructure of the Trnava fibre glass manufacturer, and a number of other organisations using a Zabbix platform based solution enhanced by our own add-ons. Thanks to that, customers do not have to pay for software licenses, thus saving up to 60% of the total monitoring costs.
In the past we used and deployed traditional licensed monitoring tools for our clients. The drawback was their price, but also low flexibility – for example, a service contract had to be concluded and paid for one or more years, and the companies had to also bear the cost of functionalities they did not use.
“We didn’t trust open source software in the past, but when we analysed available options a few years ago, we found that some tools had actually matured and gained sufficient backing to guarantee their further development and support.”
Peter Procházka, the Head of the Business Unit SUPPORT at Soitron
The same functionalities for a fraction of the price
Open source software made the IT infrastructure monitoring more affordable than ever and in Soitron’s experience this solution provides the same functionality and performance as any other licensed software.
Customers may choose either to install the tool on their end and monitor the infrastructure in-house or, similarly to what Johns Manville and other companies did, benefit from remote monitoring as a service provided by Soitron. “In that case there is no need to install anything. You just select devices and systems to be monitored and, if we also provide servicing, define how quickly we need to solve an issue,” says P. Procházka.
The great benefit for a company that opts for remote monitoring, is not only relief from the burden of getting certified IT specialists and dealing with substitutability issue, but also a clear and transparent structure of fees payable per number of monitored devices or applications. Customers can modify the service scope at any time based on their current requirements and thus pay only for what they actually consume and use.
Benefits of Soitron monitoring service using open source IT monitoring tools: