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Server Monitoring Nightmare: One IT Pro for Every 150 Servers

Dave Seuss| November 16 2015

| monitoring

It doesn’t take long for a snowflake to become an avalanche. ThinkstockPhotos-516398295v2A seemingly minor server event can quickly cause a server crash. So being able to proactively prevent a small event, or series of events, from escalating to a big problem became the mission of Steve Rogacki, manager of technology services at Universal Health Services (UHS).

Steve noticed that UHS’ technology management workflow was entirely reactive. System administrators were being made aware of issues through a swell of tickets from users. It was clear to him that he needed to find a way to manage systems proactively.

Snapping out of a Server Monitoring Nightmare

UHS is a Fortune 500 corporation with more than 70,000 employees. It provides services to more than 235 acute care and behavioral health facilities. The technical services team manages close to 1,500 servers with a team of 10 sysadmins. With 150 servers per person, Steve had to empower admins to prevent and solve issues on their own.

Steve defines mission critical services as any system that supports core business operations. These services range from from bedside monitors, to medical coding and even SQL servers. He began his search for a better network monitoring system. His first step was to detail IT priorities, which included:

  • Virtualize whenever possible
  • Use technology strongly architected from the beginning
  • Keep disaster recovery and high uptime front of mind
  • Quickly and effectively respond to issues

The IT team at UHS had to address these priorities as soon as possible. They needed to be aware of issues ahead of a potential surge of trouble tickets.  His team needed a better way to handle server monitoring. And they knew they wanted a dashboard for a unified view of the status of all servers with custom alert thresholds.

In the end, Steve’s laundry list of priorities, challenges and needs led to the discovery of WhatsUp Gold network and server performance monitoring tools.

Overcoming Server Monitoring Challenges with WhatsUp Gold

Once WhatsUp Gold was in place, UHS’ longstanding issues were quickly resolved and system admins began creating proactive workflows with their new tools. More importantly, admins were able to prevent major issues by resolving little ones. Configuring custom monitors for common-known issues provided meaningful information to engineers, leading to proactive resolutions.

“Within a week after putting WhatsUp Gold in here, we were able to easily see all of the issues going on in our environment.”

Steve elaborated on his company’s search for a proactive network monitoring solution at Ipswitch Innovate Summit 2015. Watch his presentation "Proactive Management of Mission Critical Servers" and learn how WhatsUp Gold helped create a massive shift in UHS’s management of mission critical systems.


Related articles:

An Introduction to the 9 Noble Truths of Network, Server and Application Monitoring: Part 1

Noble Truth #7: Top Five Ways Unified Monitoring Makes Life Easier

Topics: monitoring

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