Polytech Montpellier -ServiceNav- Case Study

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Polytech Montpellier has chosen ServiceNav to oversee its information system and educational applications, used daily by 1,500 students and 200 teachers and staff.

Managing an increasingly complex and heterogeneous network

“We have more servers, more and more applications and more sources of faults. Today there are more than 70 educational applications on our infrastructure as well as business applications (email, ERP). It became urgent for us to deploy a tool to assist us in managing this growth and increase the reliability of our information systems.” Explains Pascal Lepinay, IT Manager at Polytech Montpellier.

ServiceNav has been installed since 2014 to oversee the network, physical servers and storage, HyperV virtualization, SQL and Oracle databases and applications.

“We have an overriding remit, which is to ensure the availability of educational applications during school hours. When a course does not run, it affects students and teachers. It is difficult to reschedule the course because of the lack of rooms and space on the students schedule.” Says Pascal Lepinay.

Saving time on solving problems

“Recently we had the case of a lecturer who could not connect to his application 5 minutes before the start of his course. Before the teacher could contact us we had a ServiceNav alert on ten servers that were no longer accessible. We were able to quickly analyze that it was one of our virtualization host systems that had lost its network connection. We were able to rectify the issue and the course continued without disruption. Without ServiceNav, we would likely have concentrated on authentication issues on the domain controller and, I think we would have taken an hour or more before finding the problem. The course would not have run. “Says Pascal Lepinay.
ServiceNav displays system status information in real time. “A connection, a server or an application failure is seen immediately,” said Pascal Lepinay.

The right information, to the right people at the right time

“The simple and intuitive setup of ServiceNav allows us to have the right information at the right time. Each person receives SMS and e-mail alerts appropriate to their responsibility, allowing them to intervene and resolve problems quickly, “explains Pascal Lepinay.

ServiceNav permits the identification of abnormal database behaviour or abnormal memory consumption. “My teams work more on the cause of the problem and its resolution than on handling calls from lecturers and disgruntled users. “

A collaborative tool for IT teams

“To ease adoption of the product, we implemented the project in stages. The first step was the configuration and knowledge transfer made by our integrator, Com6. We then explained and demonstrated the daily benefit to each employee. Today, the operation of the solution is carried out by my team. Two IT personnel are responsible for its management and the rest of the team is reacting to alerts raised in the estate. We have more fruitful discussions and exchanges because of the historical information ServiceNav provides. This allows us to be more effective in identifying the cause of problems

The choice of a commercial solution over Open Source

“We chose ServiceNav for several reasons. ServiceNav is based on Nagios, I would simply say ServiceNav is Nagios+++. Com6 our integrator uses the solution to manage and oversee its customers and its data center. This comforted us as to the supportability of the solution. We did not want to fix and maintain an open source solution, I prefer that our resources are focused more on solving problems on our infrastructure than on solving bugs on software that we do not control. I would add that we saw the value of preconfigured templates. We use the resources and knowledge of the software vendor in setting the thresholds set up. This encourages us to analyse and question the behaviour of our systems. ”

“In conclusion, every day ServiceNav brings the stability necessary to manage and operate our IT systems. When a user calls to report an issue we already know and are already working on the resolution. This helps professionalize and enhance the reputation of the Polytech Montpellier IT team.”

About Polytech Montpellier

Polytech Montpellier, University Polytechnic of Montpellier, is the engineering school of the University of Montpellier. Created over 40 years ago, it is part of one of the largest networks of engineering schools in France. The POLYTECH network has over 10,000 engineering graduates annually.

To fulfill its teaching commitments, educational applications used by teachers during lectures and practical work should be available. In this respect, the IT department‘s mission is to ensure the reliability and availability of the information systems.

Polytech Montpellier

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