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. With over 30,000 customers and 250 staff, the company has always maintained a large, complex IT infrastructure to support the delivery of gas, electricity and water.
Increasing market liberalization of the energy sector in Germany has encouraged many utility companies to diversify their product portfolio to remain competitive. Following this trend, Stadtwerke Speyer is using the extra capacity in its IT infrastructure to offer managed server and application hosting services to local SMBs.
The Need for Opsview
Stadtwerke Speyer’s IT infrastructure is spread across two datacenters, one production and one backup. The company 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:
“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 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 and where they could see continuous development.
“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 and his team decided to deploy Opsview Enterprise across their IT infrastructure in Spring 2012. The benefits of their new monitoring platform have been quickly realized and sometimes surprising.
“I’m particularly happy with the reporting capabilities in Opsview Enterprise. I hadn’t fully appreciated just how useful it is to output service level reports in multiple formats,” said Lorenz. “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.”
“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,” concludes Lorenz.
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