The NCAA March Madness college basketball tournament is one of the most highly viewed online sporting events in the U.S. each year. Whether diehard or fair-weather fans, in the workforce or on campus, all eyes will be fixed on the games and the 64 team tournament bracket.
At Ipswitch, we’re not only celebrating one of the most exciting times of the year in sports, but also honoring the IT pros who will have to make sure their networks are ready to handle the increased traffic and bandwidth to support all that live video streaming. No one wants to have their productivity limited by slow apps because their colleagues are catching up on the tournament.
Check back Monday morning after the NCAA’s Sunday Selection to see our own March Madness Bracket, with a spin on network management.
A facilities manager at a global real estate firm called recently. He was literally hot under the collar. Company headquarters on the U.S. West coast had been fitted two years earlier with a new HVAC system. It was designed to showcase the firm’s commitment to environmental efficiency. A month before we heard from him, temperatures at HQ started to unexpectedly spike up to the high 80s. And just as quickly subside. More than a few hot heads began to complain.
The contractor who installed the system checked every device but couldn’t find the problem. The facilities manager told us, “Every time the heat kicked in, I tried to monitor network bandwidth on the HVAC controls network for anomalies. But the temperature would return to normal before I could find any latency with network requests.”
He knew that tracking network bandwidth levels would lead to the source of the problem. But he couldn’t find a product that would do that job until he learned about WhatsUp Gold Flow Monitor from Ipswitch. The network bandwidth monitor measures data from multiple devices and ports that can be grouped together by type. It can then report and create alerts when traffic bottlenecks threatened to take a hit on performance.
Ipswitch Flow Monitor supports common network bandwidth management formats and protocols including NetFlow, sFlow, J-Flow, IPFIX and NSEL. The network bandwidth monitor software can manage application performance and oversee network traffic prioritization policies. It ultimately saves money by minimizing wasted bandwidth.
The facilities manager had Flow Monitor installed by his IT team. They configured thresholds to track the volume of traffic between:
Failed connections per host
He found the device causing the problem using the product’s unified dashboard. The device was immediately replaced.
Today’s tale from the front lines of network monitoring comes from a sysadmin from a large CT-based financial services company. One day not long ago he was performing routinely scheduled website maintenance at his office in Tampa, FL. Everything seemed rather normal. The web servers were humming along.
Until the complaints started pouring in. About a problem they couldn’t see. And neither could he.
As it turns out, users – including middle management – hadn’t been able to get access to the website for 45 minutes. And they were seriously unhappy.
“Naturally, I was blamed for the outage,” he reports.
He used WhatsUp Gold from the network management division of Ipswitch to see the problem he had only heard about. A few minutes later, after checking out the single dashboard and glancing at a few reports, he saw that HTTP/HTTPS/Ping had gone down on several sites. He traced the problem to an F5 load balancer issue.
In a flash, he restored access to the site.
“[Without WhatsUp Gold] it would have never been solved and I would have been blamed for a production outage!CYA – cover your ass – because the blame was pushed off of me and my maintenance!”
“Also, people actually being able to work again was a nice bonus.”
One evening not long ago, Fred took his laptop home and visited adult entertainment websites. Before logging off, his machine was quietly infected by malware. Fred came back to work the next morning and connected to the network.
Soon thereafter the network started to crawl.
Application performance became intermittent.
And the help desk got bombarded with user complaints.
To sort out the problem, the company’s IT manager used Flow Monitorfrom Ipswitch for network monitoring and traffic analysis. A quick analysis provided a graphic representation that showed the source of the problem. There was a very large amount of UDP traffic coming from Fred’s laptop. The machine was removed from the network.
Network and application performance went back to normal. And IT quietly shared a few best practices with Fred.
Our services team recently assisted a casino with their WhatsUp Gold install. The casino outsourced network management to a third-party consultant, whom we called to get the credentials for their core router. He told us he would “call us back”.
Three weeks passed. No return call from the consultant.
Enter WhatsConfigured. A quick analysis revealed a back door through the casino’s firewall and core router, exposing sensitive data assets. Back of the house compromised.
Third parties, disgruntled employees – or just simple human error – it’s critical to ensure your network is properly configured. Find out if your network security is tight – run WhatsConfigured on your network free for 30 days.
WhatsConfigured provides businesses with security and control over critical infrastructure & configuration data:
Archiving authorized configurations
Scheduling regular configuration audits
Alerting when configurations have been changes
Comparing running configurations to authorized configurations
Learn how to uncover common IT vulnerability – run a free scan of your own network to see if you’re secure.
If you think that public sector organizations can’t be leaders when it comes to IT management, think again.
At Ipswitch’s Network Management Division, we work with government IT teams at the federal, state and local levels every day, and get to see just how innovative they really are. It’s one of the public sector’s best-kept secrets.
Thankfully, government IT departments are finally getting the recognition they deserve. Matt Asay, blogger at ReadWrite (they dropped the Web last year) wrote a great piece last month, listing several examples of innovation in government IT. The Wall Street Journal has also profiled the steps Chicago is taking to filter previously fragment information into new analytics software that policymakers can use in the city’s infrastructure planning process:
The system will allow policymakers to analyze disparate pieces of information from across agencies, including crime statistics, building and business permits, and transcripts from resident complaints, Chicago’s chief data officer, Brett Goldstein, told CIO Journal. Goldstein hopes the system, which will be available to all agencies, will help officials parse out patterns for violent crime and allow public workers to provide better services by understanding how different factors affect city life.
Chicago’s team is also doing this with little funding, as the city works to close a $300 million budget deficit. Talk about doing more with less…
If you’re working in public sector organizations, we’d love to hear about the new projects your team is working on – and whether or not you’re getting the credit you deserve.
For IT folks in the private sector, we hope this starts to change your perspective on your government counterparts.
Network Monitoring systems are a must-have for organizations of all sizes. When evaluating solutions focus is often placed on comparing features and ease of use, but understanding the total cost of ownership is very important. The core licensing structure, whether it is device-based, port- or interface-based, or measurement-based, can have a big impact on license costs up front and the administrative workload for maintaining the solution in production over the lifetime of the product.
Join Jim Frey, VP of Research, at Enterprise Management Associates and Brian M. Jacobs, Senior Product Manager, at Ipswitch – Network Management Division, as they discuss what you should know about licensing for network monitoring solutions.
This webinar will cover:
Understanding the Cost of Enterprise Network Monitoring Tools
Licensing Models – Similarities and Differences
Choosing a Licensing Strategy That is Best for You
Now you can isolate issues and resolve network and application problems before users are even aware anything is wrong. The new, easy to-use WhatsUp Application Performance Monitor, lets you diagnose and fix complex application performance problems quickly from within a unified dashboard.
Application Performance Monitor Highlights:
• Proactively alert and automatically repair potential problems before applications fail—to ensure continuous up-time with limited IT resources.
• Quickly identify root causes of application performance problems— across network, server or multi-tier application or component dependencies.
• Gain the valuable insight necessary to improve application availability and performance – through real time and historical reporting and analysis.
Join Brian M. Jacobs, Senior Product Manager, on Tuesday, March 26th as he demonstrates how easy it is to discover, map and monitor your network and applications with the WhatsUp Gold suite. Register now!
Ipswitch Network Management Division is proud to announce that our award winning IT management solution WhatsUp Gold v16 is now offering its web interface in German, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Japanese, Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese, at no additional cost. Instructions to help you transition WhatsUp Gold from English to the language of your choice is available in Japanese, Chinese and Russian.
For more information and to download WhatsUp Gold v16 in your preferred language click here!
We are pleased to announce that WhatsUp Gold won Silver in the 2013 Redmond Reader’s Choice Awards Best of the Best for General Network Monitoring Tool.
“We are honored to receive this award from the Redmond community,” said Ennio Carboni, President and General Manager of Ipswitch’s Network Management Division. “We take pride in the fact that our network management tool, WhatsUp Gold, is an easy to use and cost-effective solution for organizations of all sizes and is viewed in the same class with enterprise solution providers.”
The winners of the General Network Monitoring Tool category are:
GOLD: Cisco Syslog Analyzer
SILVER: Ipswitch WhatsUp Gold
BRONZE: IBM Tivoli NetView
The awards appear in the February issue and online.