Fibre Excellence professionalizes its critical IT equipment and application monitoring with Centreon.

Challenges

  • Centralizing and professionalizing critical equipement and application monitoring in multisite environment
  • Respecting the economical constraints by opting for an open source model
  • Improving competence on monitoring solution

Solution

  • Centreon + User training

Customer Benefits

  • More efficiency and responsiveness for IT Teams being more serene and proactive
  • Visibility on all IT equipment and applications
  • Better communication tools with Business users, General Management and Head Office

IT monitoring, open source monitoring

The Full Story

Fibre Excellence SAS brings together companies specializing in logging and paper industry. Both industrial sites in Saint-Gaudens and Tarascon mainly produce pulp, which is the raw material for paper producers. In order to allow the IT Department to centralize its critical equipments and application monitoring, the company choose to rely on a professional software with Centreon solution.
At the same time, seduced by Centreon’s open source model and the power of the solution, Fibre Excellence Networks and Systems team progressively upgraded its skills in order to respect the organizational, budgetary and technical constraints of the company.

“A professional IT monitoring solution is essential to centralize the monitoring of our critical information systems which are distributed over several sites. “

Fibre Excellence’s IT Department manages Information Systsems for two industrial sites (Saint-Gaudens and Tarascon), together with several subsidiaries and the head office located in Labège. The production sites operate 24/7 and require constant monitoring of IS excluding industrial production (managed separately). The different sites are linked together by VPN. The group operates an ERP whose server is located at the parent company. The availability of the VPN connection with the SAP server is therefore fundamental as the ERP controls deliveries and production data.
In 2008, to handle the increasing quantity and complexity of IT equipment to be monitored, the IT Department decided to deploy a dedicated tool. “It became essential for us to centralize  IT monitoring over our different sites with a professional,  automated approach,” recalls Nicolas Lussier, Systems and Networks Manager of Fibre Excellence. “We needed a solution that could handle multiple sites and heterogeneous environments (Linux, Windows, Unix, etc.). As a priority we sought an open source solution, the most adapted model to guarantee the control of our budgets and the evolution of the tool at our own pace.”

“Centreon, with its GUI, functional power and reliability of collected data, allowed us to rapidly monitor all our equipment and applications, while improving communication with management and Head Office.”

The Nagios solution was considered but not initially adopted because the team sought a more graphical approach with more advanced management of historical data. It is at that time that Nicolas Lussier discovered Centreon. “The solution was easy to download and immediately usable! We could easily trial Centreon to verify if it could meet our needs,” explains Nicolas Lussier. ” Thanks to Centreon’s ease of use, we quickly deployed the monitoring on the first tests.”

By deploying Centreon, Fibre Excellence industrialized the monitoring of all of its equipment and applications (excluding IS industrial production). Some areas have a high level of criticality according to the company activity, such as secure VPN connections, servers of business applications as well as some networks and PC interfaces directly related to production. Others, less critical, are monitored for better visibility.

The solution is also used to facilitate communication with other services, such as the Fibre Excellence laboratory, responsible for pulp quality analysis. “After a 30 minute training, users were independably able to perform some basic remote tasks to resolve outages reported to them, thanks to Centreon mail alerts,” said Nicolas Lussier.  The site of Tarascon can also access Centreon’s indicators.

Another key benefit of the solution is the option for the IT Department to exploit data and the Centreon GUI to exchange and share information between the branch and the parent company. Confirms Nicolas Lussier: “we are able to send monthly reports about  business financial management, plant managers and branch. Excellent graphical ouput greatly facilitates communications with our parent compny. A picture speaks better than words!

“With the IT Centreon monitoring solution, we are calmer, more reactive and  proactive, either to  prevent malfunction,  manage on-call situations as well as our relationships with our suppliers.”

Centreon’s solution  enabled the team to work in a relaxed way. New equipment or site additions (such as the Tarascon factory) is easy to manage. The team is more proactive because of the indicators and very precise data provided by Centreon. “Diagnosis is easy, allowing us to troubleshoot faster, or even to anticipate situations,” Nicolas Lussier says. “When a server is unavailable, we immediately know why. When a connection is failing, we provide reliable diagnostic data to our service provider in order to resolve the failure. With Centreon, we have a differently way to manage incidents and save time!”

Centreon’s interoperability is also an important part of the monitoring mechanism. To monitor the temperature of the server room and ensure the alert in case of dysfunction, Centreon has been interfaced with telecomms software dedicated to managing  on-call 24/7. For example, in the case of  atemperature variation, a voice mail message is automatically sent to an on-call technician who can immediately respond or intervene.

In addition to the functional power of Centreon, Nicolas Lussier also appreciates the quality of  software developer services, in particular training. “We started by using the solution without assistance and have now implemented our monitoring tools. Two years ago, we invested in training with Centreon and we don’t regret it. We improved our monitoring skills and efficiency.  While it used to take us half an hour to add a host, it can now take us a minute and a half!

This very positive experience enabled Nicolas Lussier to think about other uses for Centreon, especially for topics like internal audits. “Modeled on Sarbanes Oxley audits, we plan to implement  internal audit processes for which we recognize that Centreon would be very helpfull.” Another possible evolution: to implement a Business Intelligence (BI) solution dedicated to monitoring. The approach already exists and could be optimized, automated and secured with Centreon MBI. Nicolas Lussier enthusiastically recommends the solution and the open model source of Centreon, which, according to him “allows us to benefit from a cost efficient, complete monitoring solution and to invest in higher value-added functionalities such as BI .”

 “Centreon’s open source model gave us to have a cost efficient solution that was quickly operational.” We  invested in training two years ago, resulting ins real skill improvement for the team. Next step: use the Centreon MBI possibilities and implement an audit system based on Centreon!

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