Since 1971 Stadtwerke Schwäbisch Hall has been delivering a variety of technical services. These include network management and system monitoring...
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Stadtwerke Speyer GmbH
Stadtwerke Speyer GmbH is a utility provider based in the town of Speyer, just outside Heidelberg, Germany. With over 30,000 customers and 250 employees, the company maintains a large, complex IT infrastructure to support the delivery of gas, electricity and water to its customers.
- Monitoring large IT infrastructure spread across two datacenters for production and backup
- Company uses a mixture of Windows and Linux operating systems running a variety of application stacks, storage devices, switches and environmental systems
- Need for better SLA reporting to managed hosting customers to document service value
- Customers can easily switch to competitors for energy supplies making reliable automated business process a priority for onboarding customers
- Maintaining high levels of complex data exchange with other utility providers to remain competitive
- Single pane of glass visibility for a wide range of legacy and digital systems including diverse cloud systems
- Scalability for customer with large infrastructure footprint
- Better reporting for customers by enabling quarterly reviews of their IT infrastructure use, capacity and SLAs
- Improved accountability and faster incident response through direct integration of Opsview into the OST ticketing system
- Improved customer trust/relationships with IT operations monitoring helping them to maintain reliability
Increasing market liberalization of the energy sector in Germany is prompting many utility companies to diversify their product portfolio to attain a competitive advantage. Stadtwerke Speyer is no different following this trend by using the extra capacity in its IT infrastructure to offer managed server and application hosting services to local SMBs.
One challenge for Stadtwerke Speyer is that its IT infrastructure is spread across two datacenters, one production and one backup. The company also uses a mixture of Windows and Linux operating systems running a variety of application stacks, storage devices, switches and environmental systems.
But as Fabian Lorenz, IT systems architect notes, the company’s core challenge is maintaining the high levels of complex electronic data exchange with other utility providers to set up new customer accounts.
“It’s really easy to change energy suppliers in Germany so it's critical for us to maintain the automated business processes necessary to quickly onboard new customers.”
“IT monitoring is mission critical for any organization providing an IT service to its customers. If you don’t have it, or think you can get away with free tools, it can get very dangerous, very quickly, Lorenz added.”
Choosing Opsview for value
Lorenz and his team have considerable experience using Nagios®-based monitoring tools, most recently Centreon®, but they wanted a product that was professionally supported, easy to maintain, scalable as business grows, and where they could see continuous product development. In other words, a robust and well-conceived monitoring platform.
“Nagios Core was just too bare bones for us. It’s tough to set up because you’ve got to install every plugin yourself,” explained Lorenz. “We tried out Centreon for a while, but we didn’t feel it was actively maintained and had no visibility of their roadmap.”
“We wanted a Nagios-based monitoring tool that is easy to install and extend. But we also wanted to work with guys who leveraged a vibrant community eco-system to drive their product development forward. That’s why we chose Opsview.”
Deployment and Result
Lorenz said his team decided to deploy Opsview Enterprise across their IT infrastructure in 2012. Since then, the benefits of their new monitoring platform have been quickly realized and sometimes surprising.
“All of our managed hosting customers now receive scheduled, branded SLA reports that prove the value of our services. Additionally, management is now also better informed about the great service my team delivers to our customers and staff, he said.”
Richly detailed, easy-to-use dashboards are rapidly becoming a must-have for many IT organizations today as Lorenz pointed out. “We currently use Opsview’s dashboards to present a high-level, unified view of our all our critical IT services and processes to non-technical business users. They also look great on the big screens in our network operations center.”