The Pontifical Catholic University benefits from the predictive view that Paessler PRTG offers
Based in Porto Alegre, the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul (PUCRS) has 14,000 students and 4,500 teachers, offering more than 50 undergraduate and postgraduate courses, as well as running the São Lucas Hospital, Science and Technology Museum, TecnoPUC, and the Brain Institute. With 350 servers on campus, the PUCRS infrastructure area is responsible for 900 access points, 350 switches, 20 databases and two data centers.
PUCRS uses Paessler PRTG Network Monitor with 7,500 sensors to monitor servers, network devices, databases, services, applications, and data centers. The university also uses PRTG to monitor campus turnstiles and dozens of applications, including remote teaching support systems.
PRTG tracks equipment health and, with this data, it is possible to predict the growth of the park, with time to allocate investments and change services, without stopping operations.
“PRTG allows the infrastructure team to anticipate the need for more storage space, which gives us a predictive view that makes it easier to plan new resource acquisitions.”
Gelson do Amaral, Security and Infrastructure Coordinator at PUCRS
The IT team at PUCRS felt the need to monitor servers, network devices, databases, services, applications, and data centers more closely. It was also essential to gain control over devices such as turnstiles and applications such as distance learning platforms.
One of the university’s main demands was to monitor the availability of the 350-server computer park and alert the team when new devices joined the network. Forecasting disk space was also vital for processing to flow smoothly.
The infrastructure department was also looking to anticipate the need for storage space and obtain greater visualization of the network and sensors in order to accurately plan the allocation of resources.
At first, the infrastructure team worked with a monitoring tool that required in-house development of sensors to measure the behavior of network components, equipment, and systems. This delayed the schedule, reducing the agility needed to support PUCRS processes.
This difficulty was overcome with the adoption of PRTG, which monitors the entire park and enabled PUCRS to achieve almost 100% availability of the network, devices, and applications.
The infrastructure team at PUCRS carried out PoCs with various market solutions and opted for PRTG because it required less in-house development and delivered monitoring resources suited to the university’s needs. Paessler’s tool outperformed other monitoring systems because it was more comprehensive, easier to manage, and affordable.
The system enabled better management of the entire IT infrastructure, monitoring network availability so that students and teachers don’t run out of resources.
PRTG maps, for example, the historical bandwidth consumption of equipment at PUCRS. With this data, it is possible to predict the growth of the park, with time to allocate investments and change services, without stopping operations.
The university’s main objective has been achieved: to keep everything running for as long as possible, preventing students and teachers from having to call support to ask for more resources.
PUCRS is now able to monitor its entire equipment park using 7,500 PRTG sensors that control 350 servers, 900 access points, 350 switches, 20 databases, and two data centers. Paessler’s tool also controls the volume of CO2, temperature, humidity, air conditioning, and door closures in the data centers.
PRTG’s flexibility allows to monitor even the turnstiles for students entering and leaving the campus, as well as remote teaching applications whose demand has increased during the Coronavirus pandemic.
The solution centralizes information on the entire PUCRS digital environment and has a mechanism that triggers notifications when parameters set by the infrastructure department are exceeded, sending email, SMS, or a warning in the manager’s app when necessary.
PUCRS has reports on network availability that allow managers to monitor the performance of the digital environment, providing a management vision in line with the university’s goals. With the help of PRTG, the PUCRS infrastructure team is able to monitor all equipment without the help of third parties.
To meet the specific needs of PUCRS, Eleven Soluções em Tecnologia, Paessler’s partner in Rio Grande do Sul, participated in the implementation of the monitoring tool on campus. Eleven developed sensors to monitor the voice channels of the IP PABX, which map the actual use of telephone lines on campus, helping to optimize this service and reduce costs.
Other sensors developed by Eleven focus on the institution’s use of IP addresses, which is critical for access. Eleven has also created management reports showing the level of availability of resources in the PUCRS environment.
The Eleven team also designed icons that represent the various sensors scattered around the campus and issue alerts in the event of failures, facilitating service desk operations. The solutions developed by the Eleven team help to visualize the network and sensors via dashboards, which allows equipment and resources to be redirected from one low-consumption area to another.
The use of PRTG at PUCRS began with basic monitoring and gradually reached the entire equipment park, and will continue to evolve as new resources are added to the infrastructure. The PUCRS team plans to have automatic alerts for support calls to the university’s service desk.
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