When George Hicks joined PCI, he inherited a network infrastructure “fraught with errors, misconfigured services such as DHCP, and out of date systems.” He also discovered a complex network of servers and mission‐critical PCs that were both physical systems and a few DR systems in a virtualized VMware environment.
“I realized the only way to effectively do my job, would be to find some way to proactively monitor all of our systems, workstations and network components to minimize downtime. So I began looking for a solution.”
In his search for a network monitoring solution, Hicks considered products from SolarWinds, Symantec, and Microsoft. Then one of his vendors suggested WhatsUp Gold. “I knew the name Ipswitch because I’d used their FTP programs for decades,” comments Hicks. “But I had no idea they had a network monitoring product.”
After downloading the trial version and running tests, Hicks discovered how easy the WhatsUp Gold user interface was to use. He also found the software easy to configure.
What also impressed Hicks were the configuration examples he found on YouTube. “Most of the time YouTube examples are from users and can be hard to follow or incomplete. But Ipswitch offers YouTube videos created by the ‘WhatsUp Gold Guru’ (Community Manager, Jason Williams) -- they are very professional and useful.”
After selecting WhatsUp Gold, Hicks quickly configured email alerts to his inbox that would be forwarded to his staff in 20 minutes if he had not yet responded. “The alerts saved us a lot of time and trouble,” stated Hicks. “They eliminated those Monday morning problems when something fails over the weekend.” “Not only can we monitor physical system health, but also Windows Services that have stopped working or any other process, like %CPU Utilization and Memory Utilization.”
After the first installation, Hicks completely revamped PCI’s network infrastructure. He replaced all network switches with new Cisco switches and replaced ailing servers with a completely virtual environment using VMware vSphere and vCenter with Dell EqualLogic storage arrays.
“To monitor the new network, all I had to do was add the WhatsUp Virtual plug‐in. Now I monitor my entire virtual environment and all the physical systems with WhatsUp Gold.”