RelayWare is a software service company based in California, USA and Oxford, UK, that provides Partner Relationship Management systems. With products running in the cloud and delivered as SaaS (Software as a Service), RelayWare helps companies address the complexity of an indirect sales model by providing centralised communication, management and reporting applications to support partner sales, marketing and program management. In this way it enables manufacturers and other vendors to manage their sales channels, right up to the end user.
"It is important that we are able to know and report on whether or not our customers' systems are working optimally. We need to be alerted to availability issues so that we can rectify them as quickly as possible," says Chris Blackmore, Infrastructure Manager at RelayWare.
Relayware also provides a hosting service for most of its customers.
The business case for proactive network monitoring
As a SaaS vendor on whom millions of end customers depend, it is vital that RelayWare uses network monitoring software proactively, rather than as a reaction to a specific problem. RelayWare relies on Paessler's PRTG Network Monitor to monitor its own internal networks as well as its hosted services, including its servers, processes, network devices, site availability, front login transaction checks and virtualisation software.
PRTG is ideal, because it covers all necessary monitoring in just one solution which is easy to configure, easy to keep an eye on, and easy on the eye as well, with a small footprint for quick installation and setup.
The company currently runs an installation with about 1,000 sensors. With an update to the latest PRTG version, the company will benefit from many new sensor types, which will extend the monitoring to additional applications, such as Microsoft SQL, SMTP and POP3 Round trip, IMAP and remote Desktop monitors.
RelayWare uses PRTG in a mixed environment - both physical and virtualised, as it is currently transitioning to a fully virtualised environment. All of its new customer systems are being virtualised, and it has a project going on in the background aimed at allocating resource in the new environment.
RelayWare uses PRTG's HTTP advanced and Full page sensor. Other sensors it uses include Citrix, bandwidth, plus they set up remote probes checking for user experience across the internet.
Chris says, "PRTG allows us to respond very quickly to customer problems, observe trends in customer systems and take appropriate action. For example, if a customer's CPU is experiencing increased usage, we are alerted to this and we are able to look and see if it is something we need to act on. It might not just be an increase in traffic but another more serious problem. Being able to do this has been a godsend and alerted us to problems before our customers experience any impact."
PRTG also allows RelayWare to monitor its back-up system in the office, and get alerts if there is a problem. PRTG's remote probes capability has enabled RelayWare to monitor its SaaS offering from different locations in the world such as from its sites in Singapore and Ireland.
Chris says, "PRTG has allowed us to free up time, it provides the mechanism to automate many tasks that would have to be performed by hand. Downtime for all our customers will cost them money. PRTG helps to keep us proactive in our response, and if an incident happens we can minimise any possible downtime. This benefits all of our hosted customers."
Chris adds, "For us the most important feature of PRTG is the text messages. An alert has to be instant and delivered 24/7 as the RelayWare engineer needs to take action and respond to availability issues as soon as they occur."
Paessler has recently released version 9 of PRTG, which Relayware was quick to upgrade to. "We have just upgraded to version 9 of PRTG, and so far we are finding it far better. In particular, the automatic upgrade is a great feature, and setting up notifications and upgrading remote probes has become a lot easier to do."
Chris concludes, "PRTG is a great tool and I would recommend other companies to implement such a valuable, and competitively priced application. We have used PRTG for many years and found this was the best tool out there. In PRTG we have found an automated off the shelf solution which has helped us increase our proactive measures."
List of Sensors in Use
- Network Ping
- CPU Load
- Memory Page/Second
- Memory Available Bytes
- Disk Space
- Disk Time
- Disk Current Queue Length
- SQl Server
- HTTP Transaction
- HTTP Advanced
- HTTP Content
- HTTP Full Web Page
- Event Log
- WMI Exchange Server 2007
- Log file content check
- POP3 Email count
- VMWare Host Hardware
- Windows wmiprocesssensor
- Windows service monitor
- Folder sensor
- Zen Virtual Machine
- Remote Probes