Doing More With Less

Nuremberg, Germany and San Francisco, Calif., March 9, 2009 – Paessler AG, a leading provider of bandwidth monitoring tools - the PRTG Network Monitor - for use on Windows systems, offers a strategically valuable tool for capturing and analyzing available bandwidth and maximizing data utilization, allowing organizations to realize outstanding network optimization.

Many network monitoring solutions are often used solely to provide advanced warning of failures or bottlenecks. The Paessler PRTG Network Monitor provides much more - it offers a broad range of useful features to optimize networks. PRTG allows for the long-term collection of data and detailed analysis which can then be used as a basis for effective planning of investments in network infrastructure as well as optimal utilization of hardware and virtualized environments.In this way PRTG supplies the basis for in-depth data analysis so that the root causes of network problems can be identified.

Dirk Paessler, President and founder of Paessler AG, says the monitoring of data collected over time is the ideal basis for network optimization. “In developing PRTG, our goal was to put the most powerful solution of this type possible into our customers’ hands,” said Paessler. “This specially-developed database format, optimized for storing monitoring data - as well as comprehensive analysis and visualization options, make recognizing trends simple, quick and convenient.”

An example of the effective use of the PRTG Network Monitor can be found at one of Northern California’s most well-known health clinics. During the social revolution of the 1960s, Haight Ashbury Free Clinics was established to help the thousands of young people on the streets of San Francisco’s Haight Ashbury district whose lives were affected by drug and alcohol abuse as well as mental and physical problems. With nowhere to turn, the young people found treatment and support when traditional services turned their backs on them. Since then, the Clinics has grown to become one of the largest multi-service healthcare providers in Northern California with eight offices and 180 professionals.

Using Paessler’s PRTG Network Monitor, Haight Ashbury Free Clinics’ sole network administrator, Adam Eckstrom-Browne, is now able to reduce network delays which extend patient waiting times, cause system downtime and result in a loss of productivity.

Often the cause of the network problems is an over-utilization of hardware resources. If problems occur, rapid action is required to determine the source and eliminate potential causes such as viruses or malware. PRTG continuously monitors the network and alerts IT staff of problems in real time.

PRTG also collects long-term data about The Free Clinics' processor and RAM utilization, available hard disk space, and line load and transfer volume information. This information is invaluable and allows facilities the optimization of network usage within the limits imposed by the hardware and maximize bandwidth use. PRTG Network Monitor allows users to determine if network bottlenecks are caused by system inadequacies or by a less significant issue such running system backups at peak times.

At Haight Ashbury Free Clinics, thin clients run software programs that handle everything from sending and receiving of email to billing and patient/client scheduling. The thin clients connect to a single network that also supports Internet and phone usage for all users. The nine offices are supported by a hybrid phone system that combines digital and VoIP technologies. At the main site there are 70 users, with an additional 110 spread over the eight other sites. Two Primary Rate Interface (PRI) lines each support 46 simultaneous calls, a T1 line for VPN traffic, and a DSL for Internet.

“When a lot of people are checking their voicemail, it puts a great deal of stress on the T1 line,” says Eckstrom-Browne. “PRTG helped me watch usage of various communications modes supported by the network, and I could then detect trends of high usage. I am now able to determine how much of my bandwidth is actually being used to make better decisions on upgrading/downgrading Internet connections.”

Eckstrom-Browne notes that PRTG informed him that the network has the highest usage mid-morning when people are logging on to check their emails. He says that there were times when he detected a spike in usage and subsequently was able to increase bandwidth so the network wouldn’t perform sluggishly.

Eckstrom-Browne adds that he received an unexpected benefit from PRTG when he found that he could determine server loads and printer usage with the PRTG WMI manager.

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