Resource, Infrastructure, Infrastructure Performance Monitoring, Experiments, Success Story
Because receiving advanced notifications about the release of prisoners or knowing their current whereabouts can literally be a matter of life and death, Appriss demanded a cost-effective, easy-to-use and comprehensive monitoring platform. Travis Ackert, Manager of Infrastructure Services, and his team must ensure that servers and networks in over 2,000 jails nationwide are up and working. The team strives for 99.95% uptime. In 2013, Ackert took over management of Appriss’s infrastructure services, including the network and all customer serving application servers and databases. He recognized substantial drawbacks to his existing monitoring solution, CA Spectrum.
Manager of Infrastructure Services, Appriss
“Spectrum needed multiple resources to manage it – at least two people if not a full team,” Ackert said. Not only did Spectrum devour man-hours. It also was a burden on Appriss’s infrastructure with a full 10% of the machines on its servers dedicated to CA Spectrum. Because the incumbent monitoring solution was based on-premises, if Appriss’s infrastructure suffered downtime, no alert or monitoring data would be available to speed the resolution of the issue. Ackert and his team began the search for a replacement to deliver the crucial monitoring they needed without requiring excess management or infrastructure. They wanted a cloud-based solution intuitive enough to use that the whole team could benefit from its data.
The Appriss team selected LogicMonitor because of its impressive ease-of-use and intuitive interface. “Even an intern can use it,” Ackert remarked. “When I hired a new intern, the first thing I assigned him to was learning LogicMonitor. He made a big contribution almost immediately.” Preconfigured alerts based on manufacturer best practices acted as the intern’s guide.
LogicMonitor’s intuitive design has helped Appriss widely deploy it across the entire organization from the technical operations teams to its management. LogicMonitor delivers information in a clear, comprehensible format to provide a snapshot of key performance indicators. “If there’s a particular area of interest for my manager, I can easily whip up a dashboard,” reported Ackert. “[My boss] wanted to see a cluster of servers running GlassFish. [With LogicMonitor] he can easily see CPU load of all nodes at once and he can even drill down to find out where problems are. It’s easy enough where even a manager like myself can get in and tweak things.”
The platform’s incorporated templates and automated configuration and alerting thresholds relieve Appriss’s Tech Ops team of the hassles of staying up-to-date on monitoring best practices and continually updating and adjusting the software. Instead, Ackert’s team can concentrate on proactive planning and ensuring outstanding system performance rather than on administering the monitoring software. LogicMonitor’s automated capabilities allowed Ackert to reduce the dedicated headcount assigned to managing the platform from two full-time staff to less than a quarter full-time equivalent. Using LogicMonitor, Appriss rapidly set up monitoring of 2,000 devices. Appriss developers integrated their software into LogicMonitor via the LogicMonitor API so that critical issues are quickly identified and resolved.
“The Customer Support at LogicMonitor has been stellar,” said Ackert. “I had to fix one (monitoring) issue and it was important to hit a deadline.” Using LogicMonitor’s “Chat with Engineer” function, Ackert communicated with LogicMonitor’s support engineers through the night, mobilized the required development resources on his side and fixed the problem. “LogicMonitor pulled out all the stops to work with me and to get it done, so that we could meet our deadline.”
LogicMonitor delivered significant savings over the prior solution. In contrast to CA’s heavy infrastructure burden, LogicMonitor only requires a lightweight Java collector running on a VM or server.
LogicMonitor saved Appriss an estimated $40,000 in hardware, $60,000 savings in license costs and $150,000 annually in reduced manpower expenses. The savings are massive. “With the reduction in over a quarter of a million dollars in expenses associated with the previous CA solution, we’ve covered the LogicMonitor solution a couple of times over,” said Ackert. “Because we can monitor everything so easily and the solution is so comprehensive,” Ackert concludes, “we’re far happier with LogicMonitor.”
Founded in 1994, Appriss provides state-of-the-art technology and data-driven solutions that help thousands of local, state and federal agencies, insurance companies, healthcare providers, pharmacies and retailers – 24x7x365. For more information on Appriss, visit their website.
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