Lindesberg Municipality’s workforce using its network each day spanned from its schools, building management department, government offices, health inspectors, city planners, garbage collectors and its pumping station staff that provides water to all of its residents. At any given time, there were about 5,500 users on the network simultaneously between IoT devices and Wi-Fi.
Its network was made up of 100 LANs that were experiencing connectivity problems that were difficult to troubleshoot. Lindesberg was experiencing lost contacts with its network, and at times a connection could be lost 20 times a day and go unnoticed. Prior to the overview of its network, Lindesberg may not have known at times why a user was unable to log in and would process four or five password change requests for a single user in a single day. This led to a high volume of support cases each day from users unable to explain what the problem really was. As a heavy user of IP telephony, challenges with the network would lead to phone connection issues as well, which would lead to more support calls. It was unsustainable for an IT team of 18 to handle this volume while trying to focus on strategic work beyond support. The municipality also needed to secure the quality of the network to make way for new techniques like IP telephony. They implemented WhatsUp Gold to monitor the network and collect statistics of its activity.
Lindesberg Municipality initially implemented WhatsUp Gold to monitor the connections between its switches or routers, and today it is also monitoring its servers, including Azure and Office 365 and many other business-critical applications. Many of Lindesberg Municipality’s workforce’s different business-critical applications are monitored in WhatsUp Gold. There is also 24/7/365 ‘on call or stand by’ service that gets its alarms from WhatsUp Gold.
It provides the IT team with a network map for support staff to get a better picture of the issues users are really facing, whether it’s the connection, heavy loads, or other issues. Technicians are able to view the network and all the services they are monitoring in real-time, with their own personalized view. Additionally, Lindesberg used WhatsUp Gold to study statistics on how many users were connected to an access point in schools. If the users reached a certain threshold (in this case 60), they would look at adding additional access points. As Anders Widegren, Departmental Manager IT and Telecommunications, Lindesberg Municipality shares, “A good example of where WhatsUp Gold is used to improve the quality of the Wi-Fi network is that we monitor the maximum simultaneous connections of an access point. With those statistics on hand, it is much easier to plan for the expansion of the Wi-Fi network.”
Widegren explains how looking at these statistics help Lindesberg make implementation decisions: “From having no deep insight into the network we went to having full monitoring and control over all network equipment and its connected lines. We got to study the statistics where could see what lines went down and exactly when. Based on those statistics we were able to make an action plan to improve the quality of those lines.”
Before WhatsUp Gold, the worst line could go down 20 times in one day, and it wouldn’t always be apparent when a line was down. Today, Lindesberg has an average of more than 99.9% uptime on all lines. WhatsUp Gold is the most important tool for the IT team of 18 in their daily work. The network has expanded considerably, and the installation adapted over the last 15 years, from a network-centric monitoring system to a critical system that monitors network, applications, servers, IP-telephony, and different cloud services.
Widegren commented on what reliable network uptime has meant to its users, “We have improved the quality of our networks, we have happier end-users and we prevent a lot of support cases each day. Over time, Lindesberg has moved from a network-centric to a service-centric installation, ensuring first and foremost that the experience our customers are getting is satisfactory. We are now able to focus on the service experience, and not ensuring service availability.”
WhatsUp Gold has given LIndesberg control over the services it delivers, It follows up on the statistics and can work more proactively. Lindsberg knows when it is time to increase the RAM or CPU on a server well before it reaches its max. It can maximize the use of money spent by using the resources where they are needed the most.
Next, Lindesberg plans to start monitoring all of the iPads in its network environment as well.
Lindesberg Municipality is a municipality in Örebro County in central Sweden with a population of over 23,000 residents. Its seat is located in the city of Lindesberg. The present municipality was created in 1971 when the former City of Lindesberg and former municipalities of Frövi, Ramsberg and Fellingsbro were joined together. Learn more at: Lindesberg.se