The City of Grenoble monitors its urban IT infrastructure with Paessler PRTG
About the City of Grenoble
Grenoble is located in the Isère department of the Rhône-Alpes region. The City of Grenoble is the prefecture of the Isère department, with a population of 155,632.
The 40-strong IT department oversees 4 main sites: Hôtel de Ville, Centre Communal d'Action Sociale (CCAS), Alliance (Municipal Services) and DSIT. Each of the 150 remote sites is linked to one of them.
In order to be able to monitor all of its IT assets, the City of Grenoble, a local authority with some 4,000 employees, was looking for an in-house tool that would provide a mapped overview of the activity of its 150 remote sites, whatever their field of activity (crèches, town hall, senior citizens center, municipal libraries, cemeteries, theaters, etc.), for greater responsiveness.
"PRTG gives us the ability to see incidents directly in operation. The solution also enables us to be proactive, as we can anticipate a number of issues, such as bandwidth load on one of a switch's links, for example. Identifying the source of a problem more quickly makes us more proactive and saves us precious time in resolving incidents."
Antoine Meynet, Head of Security at the City of Grenoble
Grenoble's monitoring requirements
Antoine Meynet, Head of Security at Grenoble's IT department, was in charge of the project's implementation, from tool selection to roll-out. Setting up a network infrastructure such as this represents a major challenge in terms of both security and proactivity, given the variety and complexity of the sites monitored. The IT systems team in charge of the project was made up of 10 people.
Antoine Meynet was looking for a solution to meet the following needs:
- Simple configuration
“We used to develop our network monitoring using the open-source Nagios solution. We decided to change because we found its administration too tedious and time-consuming. What's more, we were looking for a solution that was flexible enough to give us the freedom to create customized sensors that would adapt perfectly to the different network contexts we have to manage on a daily basis. PRTG's simplicity of configuration combined with its speed of implementation definitely convinced us”, explains Meynet.
After benchmarking Bull, Cacti and Paessler AG, Grenoble chose Paessler PRTG Network Monitor in October 2011 for its simplicity, flexibility, and performance.
The benefits of using PRTG
Deployment and implementation of the solution was completed very quickly and enabled the installation of 5,500 sensors.
PRTG monitors network switches and routers, Windows, Unix and Linux servers, and network applications. The following data lines are monitored: Ping, interface bandwidth, CPU and MEM. The company currently uses two remote probes to manage all its applications.
The City of Grenoble uses the NetFlow sensor to monitor network equipment. It also uses the Packet Sniffing sensor to monitor network equipment that is not NetFlow compatible. This makes it possible to monitor traffic, particularly flows between internal and external networks.
PRTG also helps monitor VMware and Xen virtualized environments via VMware and Hyper-V Server sensors. The IT team also took advantage of PRTG's flexibility to create a custom sensor to enable script execution via SSH.
Systems engineers can access the PRTG web interface directly from their workstations in real time, and four of them, including Meynet, take advantage of the PRTG app for iOS to keep a quicker overview of the situation when on the move.
For Meynet, the main advantages of PRTG are :
- Comprehensive software capabilities
- Easy to install and configure
- Streamlined costs for optimum service quality
The City of Grenoble is planning to set up web application monitoring by installing probes to check applications such as databases linked to the city's websites, in relation to infrastructures queried during an Internet user's request, or even to check the electronic badge readers use to monitor children's attendance at municipal crèches.
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