Paessler PRTG brings a breath of fresh air to Volkswind's IT landscape
About Volkswind GmbH
Volkswind GmbH specializes in the turnkey construction of wind turbines (including their commercial and technical operation) and offers comprehensive consulting in the field of wind energy. Volkswind is one of the leading wind farm developers in all of Europe. The company from Lower Saxony draws from years of experience and practical know-how to optimize the economic benefits of regenerative energies.
Wind energy is an emerging market geared towards the future. Wind turbines are not only economically promising, but also good for the environment. In the past three years, the scope of projects has grown considerably, resulting in more and more wind turbines.
Volkswind GmbH is based in Ganderkesee in Lower Saxony in Germany, and has another office in Egeln (Saxony-Anhalt). In addition, it has branches in France Poland, Bulgaria, the USA, and the United Kingdom. Of its approximately 70 employees, around half work outside of Germany.
“The demands on our entire IT infrastructure have grown steadily in recent years. An important step towards the optimization of this environment involved the virtualization of our digital landscape. In order to maintain the required transparency and the uninterrupted performance of all our systems, we needed a powerful network monitoring tool. For us, the most important selection criteria were price-performance ratio and ease of use. PRTG met all our expectations and has proven to be an indispensable part of our network management. For these reasons and more, we’d gladly recommend the tool again and again.”
Daniel Baumgartner, Network Administrator at Volkswind
Interruption-free communication for maximum efficiency
In order for the global Volkswind team to work efficiently, it requires streamlined infrastructures and seamless internal communications based on an excellent organizational structure and a state-of-the-art IT system. The team’s IT infrastructure must be fully optimized and reliable 24/7.
The individual sites are connected to the data center via VPN tunnels, which were implemented with Cisco components. The majority of the server systems monitored by Paessler are virtual machines hosted via VMware on five SUN ESX servers. This system allows the company to use existing resources much more efficiently. However, the individual servers must be connected by a fast and highly reliable network to ensure the system runs smoothly. Even extremely brief outages or the slightest drops in connection speeds can affect the workflow significantly. As a result, the IT managers decided to continually monitor the entire IT environment with a powerful network monitoring solution.
Wanted: Monitoring software to detect vulnerabilities
It quickly became clear to the team that a network monitoring tool was vital for ensuring the seamless operation of its information systems:
- A tool to continually analyze trends and detect critical or impending vulnerabilities in the system; and
- A tool to optimize utilization and availability, and in the event of malfunctions, allow the IT team to intervene quickly.
The company was therefore in search of software that – among other things – could immediately identify and report errors and create comprehensive reports on incidents.
For Volkswind, it was also extremely important that the tool provides for location-independent access, intuitive operation, clarity, the straightforward management of all measuring points (sensors), and a high level of scalability. In particular, the ability to use the tool in virtual environments was key. Finally, the effectiveness (and reliability) of the provider’s technical support was also at the top of the list of the company’s selection criteria.
Volkswind tried several tools, one of which was PRTG Network Monitor from Paessler AG. PRTG quickly emerged as the forerunner for its excellent price-performance ratio, customizable VMware sensors, and outstanding usability.
Acquired: A tool that promptly uncovers IT vulnerabilities
Volkswind subsequently installed PRTG with multiple sensors. The company chose the PRTG vSphere sensor to specifically monitor virtualized environments.
With PRTG, Volkswind can now generate long-term analyses that make it possible to identify trends and load peaks. Admins use this information to quickly allocate all the necessary resources as needed. If a server malfunctions, the software alerts the team at once. Data is analyzed over the long term, allowing for the early detection of vulnerabilities and the prevention of outages and failures.
Thanks to the PRTG web interface, admins enjoy an easy-to-read overview of all the monitoring data of the Paessler monitoring solution. With the PRTG app for desktop, Volkswind can manage all its sensors both quickly and conveniently via a native Windows application. In addition, the company can install the user interface on other computers with remote access to the main PRTG instance.
PRTG processes then displays all network data in easy-to-read graphs. The tool records even the smallest changes in network traffic. The Volkswind IT team is notified immediately (e.g. via SMS or email) in the event of a faulty network connection or server, allowing it to quickly take action before more serious problems arise. In this way, the company can guarantee the performance and availability of its devices and applications.
PRTG seamlessly monitors Volkswind GmbH’s virtualized IT infrastructure, including the availability, bandwidth, and utilization of the entire network. This includes the monitoring of network traffic, the temperature in the server room, the ping times of all servers, the CPU load, memory usage, and much more. By promptly detecting faulty servers and other vulnerabilities, countermeasures can be taken quickly.