Paessler PRTG solves Istituto Auxologico Italiano’s need for proactive network management
About Istituto Auxologico Italiano
Istituto Auxologico Italiano is a non-profit foundation whose exclusive purposes since its founding in 1958 have been scientific research and patient care activities at the inpatient and outpatient levels.
Recognized by the Ministry of Health as an Institute of Hospitalization and Treatment with Scientific Character (IRCCS) in 1972, Auxologico is present in Piedmont (the first site was established in 1958 in the province of Novara) and Lombardy with 13 hospital, outpatient, and research facilities that work in close synergy to offer the most appropriate diagnostic options and treatment to more than 1 million patients a year.
Auxologico is a community of physicians, researchers, technicians, medical, and administrative staff of more than 2,200 employees that, since the 1990s, has also extended to Milan, where it now has multiple sites.
Auxologico’s vocation for research and care is confirmed with constant investments in human resources, training, technology, and new services, with the aim of giving increasingly adequate answers to the growing demand for health from citizens.
For an organization as articulated as Auxologico, which has several distributed sites, having full control of its network infrastructure in terms of both inter-site communications and systems activities is crucial.
“Given the imperative need to be proactive in network management in terms of identifying and resolving issues even before the remote user opens a report, and after a careful evaluation of the monitoring solutions available in the market, we identified PRTG as the perfect answer to the needs of Auxologico’s complex facility.”
Enzo Cosentino, EDP Manager at Istituto Auxologico Italiano
IT infrastructure and challenges
The server farm in Cusano Milanino (MI) hosts all the servers to which the different remote locations report; this means that the operation of the network of the different detachments of the health facility depends on Cusano and on proper management and constant monitoring of all the servers installed there.
The risk, repeatedly recorded, in case of problems at the WAN level, is the isolation of the health facilities located throughout the territory. That is why at Auxologico, the need arose at some point to subject not only the internal LAN but also the external WAN to systematic monitoring.
Prior to the introduction of PRTG Network Monitor by Paessler, Istituto Auxologico always took an exclusively passive approach, and any intervention on the network to troubleshoot problems and malfunctions at the server or communication line level always resulted from explicit reporting by the remote user.
An IT infrastructure monitoring, diagnostics, and management software is the ideal solution for all cases that, like Auxologico, have the need to act on IT systems proactively. In addition to having full visibility over network activities, thanks to the help of such a technology, it is in fact possible to detect potential malfunctions in advance and intervene in a timely manner.
Issues can thus be resolved even before the remote user encounters any problems in their systems, the work of the structures involved is slowed down or, in the most extreme cases, the entire infrastructure comes to a standstill.
Driven by the need to acquire an increasingly proactive approach to managing its information systems, Auxologico launched an internal search to identify the main monitoring and diagnostic products on the market. Initially, the institute focused on free online tools, investigating software that runs on Linux and Windows, and then landed at other solutions, including Paessler’s signature software.
The winning aspect of PRTG was the free edition offered with the introduction of a limited number of sensors, during which the product immediately demonstrated its clear superiority over the other solutions screened, especially in ease of use and types of sensors available.
After the excellent feedback from the initial 100-sensor trial, Auxologico chose to adopt PRTG, moving from the initial 1,000 to the current 2,500 monitoring sensors over the years. Available via the PRTG web interface and the PRTG app for desktop, PRTG is installed on a physical server for monitoring switches, routers, servers, LANs, and WANs of the Institute's entire IT infrastructure.
Of the total 2,500 sensors installed, Auxologico now uses about 800, including sensors for ping, sFlow, CPU load, disk space, and RDP, which, through continuous analysis and detection, are able to promptly report any potential abnormal behavior in the system through real-time alerts and warnings, while ensuring network performance measurement.
Driving the Institute’s adoption of PRTG were the software's ability to have absolute visibility of the LAN, give immediate feedback when a device is unreachable, and determine, specifically thanks to sFlow sensors, how much data is being transmitted and how much bandwidth is needed between locations.
In particular, the latter functionality is crucial because it allows the Institute’s information systems to monitor at any time and with extreme fluidity directly from the core switch how much bandwidth occupancy there is and whether there is a real or potential risk of bandwidth going down.
The most interesting aspect is the ability to determine the amount and type of traffic and detect any malfunction that could endanger the entire infrastructure, as well as the security of the information being conveyed, for example, as a result of unauthorized transfers of huge volumes of sensitive patient data.
Once the integration of PRTG was completed, Istituto Auxologico was immediately able to register a number of benefits in terms of efficiency and quality of monitoring of its infrastructure.
From an operational perspective, Paessler's technology, along with the increased reliability of the telecommunications provider, now enables Auxologico to detect, manage and resolve a problem in half the time it used to take to process service requests on the network.
“Adopting Paessler technology was a significant breakthrough for our information systems. The ability to operate proactively, the guarantee in the speed of response to user requests, and the variety of sensors included in the offering are what led us to choose PRTG, which has overall dramatically improved our speed of reaction. So, for example, when a patient acceptance PC fails to communicate with the reference server where the data are resident, contextual checks on the activity of the line, the PC itself and the communication server are a must, and with the support of this monitoring system, intervention and resolution of the problem are immediate,” comments Enzo Cosentino, EDP Manager at Istituto Auxologico Italiano.
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