Esri France and PRTG Network Monitor
Esri France uses PRTG Network Monitor by Paessler to ensure the highest level of service
As part of its service delivery and outsourcing services for geographical data, Esri France relies on the PRTG Network Monitor monitoring solution to ensure maximum availability of its content to its customers. Olivier de La Pommeraye, Content and Online Services Operating Engineer, explains why PRTG Network Monitor has become indispensable to him on a daily basis.
About Esri France
Founded in 1988, Esri France is France's leading provider of Geographic Information Systems (GIS), offering comprehensive services to companies and organizations for the management and analysis of their geographical data: software sales, training, consulting, application development, data supply, technical support. With national presence through eight regional agencies, Esri France employs more than 200 people and works closely with Esri, the pioneer and world leader in Geographic Information Systems.
Esri France's needs: supervise the critical points of its infrastructures to guarantee the best availability to its customers
Esri France's clients include large companies and organisations, particularly in the transportation sector, for which reliable, real-time geographical data is crucial. Esri France provides them with software and maps from databases such as those of the IGN (National Institute for Geographical and Forestry Information), but above all with "geo-services," a multitude of contextual data that is regularly updated. The availability of this data must be guaranteed and monitoring therefore has a critical role to play.
"We provide our customers with a very complete end-to-end product and service offering, and to facilitate their daily work, we offer them the option of hosting all this data in SaaS / DaaS (Data as a Service) mode on our own virtual servers, equipped with high computing power. As part of our SLA (Service Level Agreement) commitments, it is imperative that we be informed of any service availability problems before our customers, being alerted by the monitoring system" explains Olivier de La Pommeraye, Content and Online Services Operating Engineer.
Esri France thus needs to monitor all its machines to ensure that the CPUs are running properly, that the hard disks are not full and that there is not an insufficient amount of RAM, among other requirements. All this information is made available to customers for their individual visibility.
The choice of PRTG Network Monitor:
proposed by the hosting provider,
the solution was quickly adopted and widely used
Esri France began using Paessler's PRTG Network Monitor in 2012, on the advice of its hosting provider, ipgarde, which was already using it for its own monitoring and that of its customers, particularly for infrastructure networks. Esri France then adopted the solution to multiply its uses and develop its potential.
"PRTG is a very comprehensive tool that offers many sensors for most of our equipment, but we also needed to create very advanced additional sensors for specific uses at some of our facilities. For the management of our geo-services, we have a consistent architecture, with Linux machines with very precise roles, forcing us to set up transverse sensors. And this was done very simply via SSH scripts," explains Olivier de La Pommeraye.
For him and the ten or so people who use PRTG at Esri France, this ease of use is one of the main advantages of the solution: "When you install PRTG the first time in a new system perimeter, automatic scanning saves time, although it is necessary to sort the sensors you want to keep afterwards. In addition, the use is intuitive, efficient and responsive while the update process is simply perfect."
In addition, the engineer particularly appreciates the iterative logic of sensor creation: "When a new problem arises, we qualify it, we try to find an existing sensor, we create a script to highlight the problem encountered and then we deploy this new sensor in a very simple way. This helps us to save time for the same problems in the future and to identify the next ones."
As far as measuring the performance of machines and IT infrastructures is concerned, Esri France has chosen to use the tools of the Elasticsearch servers, which have complete but also complex data. PRTG also has its role to play here by supervising the proper functioning of these control tools in a complementary way, thanks to asynchronous scripts, and by reporting any performance reductions more easily and quickly.
The benefits of using PRTG Network Monitor:
better internal organization and more proactivity towards customers
Esri France has now deployed nearly 750 sensors in all its IT infrastructures, necessary to monitor the availability of its data services and the quality of its managed services. But monitoring is not only useful for Esri France's customers, the internal organisation also benefits from it.
"A key operation for the company's business is to secure the proper recording of customer transaction count logs in SQL databases. Sometimes a daily integration fails, but PRTG is there to warn of the problem using traditional SQL sensors. The solution is also used by our teams to visualize the storage space available in our local servers, in order to be able to copy data there. This information could be accessed in a different way, but we realized that it is with PRTG that we get it the fastest and easiest!" explains Olivier de La Pommeraye.
After several years of use, there is no doubt that PRTG has become a central tool in the daily life of Esri France. Olivier de La Pommeraye confirms: "Thanks to PRTG, we have reduced the number of outages and we have very good visibility on what is happening in real time on our infrastructure. We are alerted just before or immediately when an incident occurs, which allows us to be in a position of proactivity and not reactivity. This changes everything in our communication with our customers and therefore ultimately in the trust they place in us. Honestly, we couldn't do without PRTG."