Case Study

WhatsUp Gold helps TTNA Manage Their Large Network with a Small Staff

TTNA implements WhatsUp Gold Distributed Edition to monitor their network, spanning across four facilities, from one central location.

Toyotetsu North America is an automotive parts manufacturer whose parent company is based in Japan. TTNA came to the U.S. in 1996 and set up their headquarters in Somerset, Kentucky, operating a metal stamping and welding facility. They have since expanded, opening up facilities in Owensboro, KY, San Antonio, TX, and Ontario, Canada. Employing over 10,000 people globally, TTNA is a primary supplier of structural body parts for Toyota.

About a year ago, it became apparent that the IT department at TTNA needed to enlist some help in monitoring their rapidly expanding network. The company was growing, opening additional facilities, resulting in more than doubling their IT infrastructure. “Obviously, it was critical that we maintained a high awareness of the status of our network and servers at all times,” says Doug Carter, TTNA’s Assistant Manager of IT in North America. “What made this task difficult for us was that we have a very small staff with a large amount of responsibilities, and there simply was not enough time to monitor everything within our network.”

As this was the first network monitoring solution that TTNA would utilize, they did some extensive research before deciding on which software to purchase. Their search was narrowed down to either SolarWinds Orion™ or WhatsUp Gold Distributed. While they found that in some ways, the two products were comparable, there were a number of characteristics that made WhatsUp Gold the clear-cut winner.

“Obviously when we started looking for a network monitoring software, one of the first things we considered was price. We wanted a product that would be cost effective while not skimping on the overall functionality,” comments Carter. “When comparing SolarWinds Orion and WhatsUp Gold, the choice to go with WhatsUp Gold was an extremely easy one to make. The product offered us everything we needed in terms of functionality and saved us a significant amount of money when considering the cost to purchase and deploy and then cost of operation.”

More than basing their decision on cost alone, TTNA also took into account the simplicity and speed of installment as well as the ease of operation. The install and deployment of their network monitoring software was put on the shoulders of a two man team. “It was essential that the install process for whichever solution we decided to go with was quick and easy, and that the usability was simple yet effective” states Carter. “WhatsUp Gold fit all of our criteria and we were able to get it up and running within two weeks. Operating the product was also extremely simple, and we were able to display all critical information on our network with four displays at our NOC.”

WhatsUp Gold has since become an important asset to the TTNA IT department. After using the product for just over a year, TTNA has noticed a number of positive effects that can be directly attributed to WhatsUp Gold. The IT department is better able to keep the network performing at its peak now that they have a solution that constantly monitors the status of critical network devices. With less downtime in the network, TTNA is better able to operate on a day-to-day basis. Also, with WhatsUp Gold’s user friendly functionality, TTNA was able to run the product with the small staff already in place, saving them from having to hire additional IT administrators.

By implementing WhatsUp Gold into their daily IT initiatives, TTNA has achieved an improved overall performance out of their network. It allows them to react in a more timely fashion to any problems that may occur within the network, ensuring that there is minimal downtime. Before WhatsUp Gold, Carter and his staff had to set up reminder tickets to periodically check the status of certain devices and servers. This practice was extremely slow and largely unreliable. WhatsUp Gold has certainly made life easier for the TTNA IT department, as they are able to monitor a network that spans across four locations from a central NOC within their headquarters.

TTNA has already noticed significant return on investment since implementing WhatsUp Gold into their network. Before having WhatsUp Gold, they had several situations where servers ran out of disk space, resulting in significant downtime. “We have been extremely happy with how WhatsUp Gold has enhanced the overall performance of our network,” remarks Carter. “The notification feature has been great and ensures that problems do not go unnoticed. Also, with the history/trending feature, we are able to monitor the file storage space usage and uncover any problems that may occur, which has ultimately saved us a significant amount of money.”

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