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Loyola University - Chicago Monitoring Case Study
Managing large IT infrastructures within academic establishments is no easy feat. IT teams are under incredible pressure from students and the faculty alike to deliver service levels whilst driving IT innovation. With time, man-power and budgets typically tight, worrying about the monitoring and management of a complicated Hybrid IT estate is not something that a busy team needs to have holding them back.
The IT department at Loyola University, Chicago was no exception and were continually faced with growing demand which put increasing strain on legacy infrastructure that struggled to scale. Comprising 11 colleges and schools, Loyola offers over 80 undergraduate and 140 graduate/professional programs to over 16,000 students. Furthermore these 11 schools and colleges are geographically spread including international locations from Beijing to Rome. Such complexity and breadth of infrastructure necessitates sophisticated software to help maintain service levels.
Loyola's Lake Shore Campus
The Need for IT Monitoring
Academic institutions such as Loyola pose interesting challenges; with academic buildings and student housing spread globally the need for reliability and accuracy when monitoring their IT estate is essential.
The pressure to secure the best and brightest students does not solely rest on the faculty, IT departments face many of the same stresses to provide truly connected campuses and reliable infrastructure from online learning to interactive classrooms. Ultimately the realm of Loyola’s IT organization extends far beyond providing skilled technical expertise and providing secure resources. To achieve their vision of leading innovation for the university community, Loyola needed a monitoring solution that afforded them the time to innovate and most importantly could scale as they grew.
Having previously used Nagios, Loyola University-Chicago soon began to realise its limitations as a solution. The team quickly ran into scalability issues and they did not have access to monitoring capabilities that promoted sustainable growth. In order to achieve success Loyola needed an easily configurable, scalable and reliable monitoring solution which could monitor everything from syslog servers through to enforcing network security measures. The team needed a more efficient manner of ensuring their infrastructure (both on-premises and in the cloud) was providing service to users.
The Benefits of Opsview
After conducting vendor comparisons, Loyola University-Chicago didn’t have to search for too long before deciding that Opsview was the right solution. Loyola benefitted from an efficient Nagios Alternative that did not require hours of configuration or loss of existing work. The execution and set-up was simple, along with the implementation. The team extensively use the dashboards, keywords and alerting features all of which are vital to their daily operations and have aided in increasing uptime for the university.
With keywords feeding into alerting, Loyola are able to utilise pinpoint accuracy and insight into their infrastructure, knowing when problems occur, and the severity and risk of impact to their users. This greatly reduces the time spent fighting fires and Loyola have faith in Opsview as a monitoring solution alerting them when it really matters.
The accuracy and customization of Opsview also allows the team to enjoy a stable reporting process, which quickly pinpoints any issues and adds value to the IT organization’s role within university operations for now and the future.
Future IT Monitoring Plans
As an Opsview user for over five years, Loyola University-Chicago continues to enjoy responsive customer service and insightful technical support that helps their IT keep up to speed with the growth rate of students and staff.
There has been no need for any additional monitoring tools as Loyola adds new applications and services to their environment, resulting in consistent satisfaction levels for Opsview, a ‘great solution’ playing an integral role in supporting technology communities throughout the university.
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