Published on 17/06/2013 in Customer Stories
End-users depend on consistent ICT performance. But what if the network seems slow or an application becomes temporarily unavailable? Now, with Visual TruView, GIAL is always just a couple of clicks away from determining the cause of any performance problem.
GIAL is the ICT-service provider for the City of Brussels. Over the years, its portfolio of clients has continued to expand, with the addition of public authorities for other cities and municipalities, hospitals, libraries, etc. Altogether, GIAL is responsible for the management of 290 servers (of which 190 are virtual), 5,800 desktops, 350 LAN-switches and 150 wireless access points, distributed over 230 sites. On this infrastructure, GIAL supports business critical applications in areas such as finance, human resources and public services. GIAL’s approach is characterized by the high-performance network and applications, and the speed with which the company intervenes in the event of problems. To further improve their service, GIAL wanted to gain greater insight into the performance of the network and the impact of the applications, particularly in order to allow them to better support the rollout of new applications, including through realistic capacity planning.
Lack of information
“In order to be able to guarantee performance, you have to know what’s going on,” points out Kris Vanbiervliet, team leader Telecom & Security at GIAL. “Naturally the end-users notify us if there is a problem with the network or with an application. But without a view of the data traffic running on the network, it’s very difficult to determine the cause of the problem.” What’s more, GIAL did not have access to information on the past performance. Investigating whether a complaint had to do with the network, a server or an application therefore often became a time-consuming and frustrating process. “An end-user may report that the network is slow,” explains Kris Vanbiervliet. “But when you have no insight into the actual performance – not in real time, but also not based on a history – then it can be extremely difficult to know where to find the cause of the lag.”
GIAL turned to Belgacom for help. The company suggested they start using Visual TruView. This is an appliance from Fluke Networks which provides the monitoring for problems with network and application performance. The solution records the behavior of the network and applications and generates reports. This offers the team at GIAL virtually instant insight into the cause of any performance problem. What’s more, when Visual TruView reports on a potential disruption in the service, the team can take appropriate measures proactively. At the same time, the solution gives GIAL insight into the impact of changes in the ICT-environment, such as the rollout of new applications. “In the past, we had to simply work by trial and error,” reflects Kris Vanbiervliet. “That didn’t always lead to the best results.” Now, GIAL can test the impact of a new application on the network and immediately draw the right conclusions on this basis. “We have vastly improved the capacity planning for the network. The figures on the network use allow us to quickly and accurately decide whether a network upgrade is required.”
GIAL supplies information technology services to the City of Brussels and other cities and municipalities, provinces, regions, communities and paramunicipal nonprofits.