Network Monitoring Without Tin Cans

Network Monitoring Without Tin Cans

Today’s tale from the front lines of network monitoring comes to us from Joe, a network administrator from an electronics company that was growing fast. When he started his new job he was surprised to find that the company  used what he called a “primitive” system for communication between the help desk and the IT operations network monitoring team.

As Joe put it, “they may as well have been talking with tin cans tied to a string.” This makeshift communication  meant users often called IT or stopped by IT folks’ cubes to complain about a problem – leaving vague messages on sticky notes if they couldn’t find someone to talk to.

Joe came from a big company, so he was used to a formal workflow that moved trouble tickets to and from the network monitoring system. While Joe was trying to find out if his existing network monitoring software would let him set up a similar gateway, he kept running into other product shortcomings. He asked his boss if he was willing to consider alternatives if he could find something that fit the budget and could solve the problems Joe had identified, with the help-desk connection at the top of his list. “Sure,” he was told. “Make your case.”

Joe did some research, watched some demos, and then narrowed his list down to two products to evaluate. After a quick conversation with an Ipswitch sales engineer, he chose WhatsUp Gold because it:

  • Offered all the features the company would need for network monitoring
  • Fit the budget
  • Made it easy to set up an interface between the trouble-ticket system and the monitoring software

Joe could make that connection to the help desk through the WhatsUp Gold email template. This template supports variables that the ticketing system can use to automatically open a ticket that identifies the device and the exact problem for routing to the correct IT team. That’s all it takes to automatically send trouble tickets to the network monitoring team for resolution and turn alerts into tickets for tracking.

The tin cans have been retired and there are far fewer post-it notes doubling as help desk trouble tickets.

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