Sambonet Paderno Industrie chooses Paessler PRTG to monitor their industrial IT environment

 

About Sambonet Paderno Industrie

Sambonet Paderno Industrie S.p.A. is a leader on the domestic and international market in the production of design items for the table and kitchen to supply restaurants, hotels, cruise ships, and qualified retail.

This was followed in 2009 by the acquisition of Rosenthal AG, a prestigious German company in the porcelain and furnishing accessories sector, which enabled the group to further expand and enrich its brand portfolio of Sambonet, Paderno, and Arthur Krupp, integrating it with prestigious brands in the sector such as Rosenthal, Thomas, and Hutschenreuther.

 

The Group, based in Orfengo di Casalino (Novara), was founded in 1997 following the acquisition of Sambonet (a historic Italian company founded in Vercelli in 1856) by Paderno, a world leader in the production of professional cookware and kitchen utensils.

Over the years, an industrial facility has evolved to cover 120,000 m². In 2008, the area was further expanded to support new logistics and storage needs. The group employs about 260 people at its Casalino headquarters for a turnover of 70 million euros.

 
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“We were unfamiliar with PRTG, but we were well impressed by the versatility of this solution and surprised by its simplicity of installation: in fact, it took only two hours, whereas with other solutions, the time required was much longer.”

Federico Marongiu, IT Systems Engineer, Sambonet Paderno Industrie

 

The IT infrastructure

 

“This is a young infrastructure,” explains Federico Marongiu, IT Systems Engineer for the server and networking part of Sambonet Paderno Industrie, “which has been updated several times in recent years precisely to keep up with new technologies.

The infrastructure consists of three server rooms located at the Casalino (Novara) site, a kind of campus where disaster recovery and business continuity are carried out. There are two categories of users: office users and users in the picking, order picking, production, and other departments.

Multiple devices coexist on the network, about 400 stamping machines, access points, video cameras, applications for production machines such as lathes, presses etc., control devices for opening doors, air conditioning, lights, boilers, special systems, and much more.

 

The initial requirement

 

A complex infrastructure that supports such a large industrial environment needs constant and timely supervision in order to allow operative and productive continuity.

“We were lacking network monitoring software, and the need for a solution that would allow us to be proactive and responsive in intervening on issues related to facilities and devices important to business operations was stringent,” Marongiu explains.

“We needed a product that would alert us in real time in case of a camera failure, a router crash, a problem in production etc., and undertake 'reactions'; as well as a solution capable of keeping a history of the various interventions performed in the network. When I joined the company in 2005, there were 70 of us, now there are more than three times as many, the area to be monitored is very large, and the control performed in person to failures or problems detected from one point to another in the company was becoming highly dispersive.”

 

Implementation support by Kinetic Solutions

 

“The customer came in contact with us as part of a technical support request for some internal solutions related to corporate firewalls, electronic mail archiving, and others. Contextually, an initial analysis revealed that they lacked a network monitoring and control solution,” explains Stefano Sardella, Sales Manager at Kinetic Solutions.

“They were actually testing and evaluating a trial version of an open-source solution, but they were not satisfied, the performance of the sensors was not optimal, and the system feedback and reporting were also not excellent. It was also only offering a proactive service. As Kinetic Solutions, we have been using Paessler PRTG Network Monitor for years, both in-house and to offer an outsourced network monitoring service to our customers.

At Sambonet, they wanted the solution to be implemented in-house to stay in line with their policies regarding information systems. So we proposed to implement PRTG directly in Sambonet. Before proceeding, we did a remote demo in July 2012. We were immediately asked for a trial key to do an internal test, and by September we had done the installation. After an initial training phase to illustrate how to use and maintain it, we were no longer required to make any interventions or changes. The system has never crashed.”

 

PRTG in use

 

After making a calculation of the equipment on the network to be monitored and how many sensors would be needed, a 2,500-sensor license was implemented. The system was installed on a Windows virtual machine within Citrix's XenServer infrastructure.

Kinetic Solutions then made some customizations with purpose-built scripts. “Today,” Marongiu points out, “thanks to PRTG, we monitor internet connections, backups, firewalls, the server side from disk size to CPU speed, important services on certain machines like email servers, the status of UPSs in the server rooms, switches and Wi-Fi devices, PBXs with related equipment, and the central office itself; we then monitor our sites, printers (for which we have activated a sensor that returns the number of prints made), the intrusion detection system, the various control units for controlling and supervising thermostats, lights, all the cameras, the time-stamping system, and the PLCs in production.”

“We have also created scripts that allow the remote restart of a service that has gone offline, all automatically, without any kind of human intervention,” explains Maurizio Gatti, System Engineer at Kinetic Solutions. “The system self-cures and after the failure message, managers receive another restart alert. This service has made a difference compared to other solutions we were evaluating.”

 

The solution adopted is plug-and-play: once installed, an auto-discovery can be launched to 'discover' what equipment and devices can be hooked up to the system, which then sets up sensors. For anything it cannot find, MIB files (provided by various vendors) can be downloaded and imported into the software. PRTG can interpret them and create sensors for that specific piece of equipment that has not been coded natively.

“Another customization we requested,” Federico Marongiu adds, “involved the installation of a 40-inch monitor in our office that has PRTG’s main dashboard open at all times, so that we are constantly updated on the status of the sensors visually as well as through alerts sent to us by the system via email.

 

Conclusion

 

“We were unfamiliar with PRTG,” Federico Marongiu points out, “but we were well impressed by the versatility of this solution and surprised by its simplicity of installation: in fact, it took only two hours, whereas with other solutions, the time required was much longer. Kinetic Solutions helped us a lot, especially with the customization of the solution. Our monitoring today is not only proactive, but also reactive: the system can take corrective action based on the failure that has occurred.”

"We can say that thanks to PRTG, we have achieved a savings in system administration time of 30 percent and a decrease in support requests of 20 percent thanks to the real-time reactions of the system,” says Marongiu. “Today we notice in advance if, where, and when there is a problem, even before the user.”

 

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