A leading commercial property-casualty insurance provider that has served small businesses, as well as mid-sized and large companies, for more than 100 years.
There are no shortage of network monitoring and managing platforms on the market. But the more difficult challenge is finding the right tool that empowers employees to do their jobs better.
This was the situation for a Network Operations Manager and his team, who were responsible for all of the alerting, management, and reporting across a leading commercial insurance provider’s network and infrastructure. They were also charged with ensuring high availability of voice and data services for the organization.
In order to complete this task, the team used more than 25 monitoring tools, none of which were under maintenance or integrated. This led to fragmentation and knowledge gaps, as no one engineer knew how to run all of the tools effectively.
The team was constantly fire fighting and blamed for incidents and downtime. They knew they needed a better solution to be able to effectively manage their network and infrastructure.
“We knew what we we wanted from a new tool: performance, integration, scalability,” said the organization’s Network Operations Manager. “With other tools, we reached certain scale levels of managed devices and then for a certain query, you’d wait for 15 minutes to get a response -- and that just isn’t going to work. We need information now.”
“When searching for a tool we knew that, above all, we needed scale,” said the Network Operations Manager. “But it needed to be web-based and give us an end-to-end view of our environment. It also had to have integrated metrics, flows, and logs -- it did us no good if we couldn’t see all three in one place. We were also looking for an appliance-based platform with enterprise storage and performance.”
The provider chose the SevOne Data Platform after an evaluation of available tools on the market.
Business Benefits and Results
The organization went from 25 tools to two when it switched to SevOne and has realized a host of benefits.
“The biggest benefit from SevOne is the insight that we can share with anyone in our organization on how we’re managing our network.” said the Network Operations Manager. “We no longer have to sit with our hands up saying ‘I don’t know’ when someone asks if the network is causing the issue. In fact, we’ve become the model for how other units of our organization manage their operations.”
Other benefits include:
- Intelligent alerts: “SevOne enables us to really understand our alerts,” said the Network Operations Manager. “We get hundreds or thousands a day - how do we make them meaningful and actionable? Now we use SevOne’s tight integration of metric, flow, log, and end user experience data to identify what an alert means and how to best respond to it.”
- Better reporting and trend analysis: As the provider’s upper management saw alerts coming through, they wanted to understand more about them. “SevOne’s reporting feature was extremely helpful here. We especially like that we can track the reports over time and understand what’s becoming a trend - and then set automation accordingly,”. said the Network Operations Manager. The organization also builds specific reports about certain objects.
- Capacity planning: “With SevOne, we detect events, such as if we’re overrunning our circuits, having issues with our applications, or if we have enough bandwidth,” said the Network Operations Manager. “And many don’t realize the importance of keeping historical data for a year, but when significant events happen yearly, such as March Madness, we can compare upticks in traffic and plan accordingly.”
- Dashboards for proactive management: “We can’t stress enough how important dashboards are to being proactive and getting in front of any issues,” he said. “They’re so critical to being successful. If you have a large enterprise and have tens or hundreds of similar devices that are critical to your operations, you need to have a dashboard that sums up those key components. You can then make that dashboard part of your daily reporting and alerting, illustrating the infrastructure’s overall health to your management team.”
- Baselining and standard deviation: The organization also uses SevOne to recognize when traffic spikes or dips from its usual baseline, which can signal either the need to dedicate more resources to the component or a security event. “SevOne gives you the ability to dive in and monitor components such as our load balancers, which often see issues first,” he said. “We can then take preventative action instead of being behind the problem.”
- Visibility for executive management: “All of our executives use SevOne. One of our top guys logs in often and asks me about trends and overall network health. It’s great -- because you want the information to be meaning and useful, not just to the guys who work in it everyday, but also to management. If I can answer his questions with a dashboard or a report, it makes me look good,” said the Network Operations Manager.
By switching to the SevOne Data Platform, the insurance provider achieved end-to-end visibility within its environment, allowing its team to be agile, identify issues more quickly, and reduce MTTR.