ANS Sings LM Config’s™ Praises on LinkedIn

In a recent blog post announcing some exciting updates to our configuration management product LM Config™, we featured a podcast interview with Chris Hodgson, Service Delivery Director at ANS Group.

Chris followed up on LinkedIn with an article of his own, offering further insight into why, armed with LM Config™, this UK-based, award-winning Cloud Services Provider, is “better placed than ever before to support customers’ business-critical infrastructure around the clock.”

Find the article in its entirety below:

Your Business-Critical Infrastructure has Never been in Safer Hands

Chris Hodgson
Service Delivery Director at ANS Group

A couple of weeks ago I sat down with LogicMonitor to discuss how LM Config is enabling ANS to monitor our customers’ critical IT infrastructure in real time, reducing the mean time to resolution, which is becoming a major value add for our customers.

As the Service Delivery Director at ANS, I have witnessed the company progress and develop our award-winning Managed Service offerings over the years and with our investment in LM Config, I am confident that we are better placed than ever before to support our customers’ business-critical infrastructure around the clock.

You can listen to the full podcast interview here. Alternatively, if you’d rather not listen to my voice (I can’t blame you) then check out the highlights below!

So what type of devices in particular do you focus your configuration monitoring on?

ANS is a major Cisco partner, so around 70% of all the infrastructure we manage is Cisco technology. We use UCS as our main server offering and all of our network devices are pretty much Cisco. So in terms of what we actually monitor, it ranges from technology such as switches, ASAs, ASRs and even Nexus.

Who at ANS is using the platform on a daily basis? Is it across all of your teams, or is there a dedicated config monitoring and managing team?

It’s mainly used by the Service Desk, so our Level 2 and Level 3 Technical Analysts will be using it as part of our incident management process. If a customer experiences hardware failure for instance, our focus is to keep the mean time to resolution to an absolute minimum.

How frequently do you see configuration changes as a root cause of performance impacting events?

To be honest, quite a lot! Our Managed Service offerings are separated into two main categories, the first one being Enhanced, where we’re supplementing the customer and the other being a Managed offering. If the customer is on a Managed contract, configuration changes are completely out of their control so in that case, config is very rarely the cause of an issue because of our strict and rigorous change control process that we have in place.

Issues caused by config changes are therefore more likely to be experienced by our Enhanced contract customers as their change request process may not always be as robust as ours.

We find it incredibly useful to be able to access a snapshot of where the customer was yesterday. From a problem determination perspective, we can quite easily flip back or at least be able to see what has changed because we know exactly how the world was yesterday, or this morning when it was still working. In this scenario, it makes it easy to rule in or rule out issues when you’ve got it in front of you in black and white.

How does it help or change the way you do things that it is built into the rest of your monitoring platform?

We use LogicMonitor as a problem determination tool. LogicMonitor is the first tool we turn to when our customers experience an issue. We will log in to identify the problem and ask some key questions such as are we seeing IPCU? Are we seeing high bandwidth? Are we seeing a storage issue? It’s crucial that we are able to quickly find answers to all of these questions in a single platform. This may seem like a small thing, but it really helps us to reduce the mean time to resolution even further which could be absolutely critical for our customers.

How does LM config compare to what you were using before?

Before LogicMonitor we used to use Nagios. We created our own config technology which we bolted into this programme. But the difference was that every time Cisco or NetApp released new kit we had to recode and rebuild. LogicMonitor is a great solution to these issues. Our techies are already trained on the platform and are using it day-in-day-out and as it’s a SaaS-based platform you guys do all the work for us so all we have to do is use it!

We’re proud to be an early adopter and we were in fact involved in some of the development so it’s great to see that part of the product progress and grow. It has also allowed our teams to focus on what they’re good at which is looking after our customers.

If you want to shape the future and increase efficiency and flexibility through user productivity, then click here to find out more about our award-winning Managed Services. Alternatively, to take a sneak peek inside our secure operations centre where we monitor our customers’ critical infrastructure 24x7x365 click here.

Interested in learning more about LM Config™, our dedicated configuration management product? Try LogicMonitor free for 14 days.