How IT monitoring supports École Polytechnique organizational excellence

“Public service, quality of delivery and user experience are our core values. About 6,000 people depend on constant IT service on campus: teachers, students, researchers, start-up incubation and acceleration program staff… We’re responsible for an extensive network that’s very much like a city grid. IT monitoring is critical to ensure everyone gets optimal service.” – Loïc Pasquiet, Networks and Telecom Manager, École polytechnique. 

The project in a few words

Business Objectives

  • Preserve the School’s reputation and leadership.
  • Support the institutional policy for excellence in teaching, research and innovation.
  • Develop entrepreneurial activity at the innovation center

ITOM Challenges

  • Secure the IT system
  • Ensure infrastructure and network high availability
  • Manage the obsolescence of older IT system layers
  • Maintain the IT system operational
  • Guarantee user experience excellence, aiming for flawless IT service quality
  • Develop and operate a future-ready IT system, key to the school’s attractiveness

The Solution: Centreon EMS 

Main Benefits

  • Improved responsiveness in detecting incidents or service degradations
  • Real-time visibility on the status of the IT system across campus
  • Improved communication with 6,000 users through the sharing of a simplified IT monitoring view, accessible to all from the School’s portal
  • Systematic integration into the monitoring perimeter of any new IT equipment

 

The Project in Numbers

  • Monitored sites: the campus’ 100 buildings
  • Monitoring scope:
  • Infrastructure supporting applications and related IT layers on which 6,000 students, professors, researchers and start-up teams depend daily, and open a communication channel with those 6000 users.
  • 100% of IT equipment purchased by the IT Department, including network and telecom domains, such as 300 switches batteries, 10,000 copper ports, 2,500 IP phones, Wi-Fi in 100 campus buildings (700 monitored terminals); the Research Department’s dedicated data center and their 23 laboratories; all the IT resources made available to the start-ups in the School’s business incubator and accelerator…
  • Centreon metrics: 530 hosts, 3,000 services, 1 central server, and 2 pollers
  • Number of IT department “clients”: 6,000 people on campus to serve (students, teachers, researchers and startups personnel)  

 

Summary

Among the top 100 of the Times’ Higher Education Ranking of the best universities in the world and one of France’s top engineering schools, École Polytechnique (a.k.a. the X), is driven by a vision of excellence. The pillars supporting this vision are a higher education institution; a research center reputed internationally—it was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 2018; a network of worldwide alliances with other reputed universities; and a constantly growing entrepreneurial community, through technological start-up acceleration and incubation programs housed in the DRAHI—X Novation Center, which was created in 2015.

École Polytechnique is also a founding member of the Institut Polytechnique de Paris (IP Paris) alongside four other prestigious institutions ENSTA Paris, ENSAE Paris, Télécom Paris and Télécom SudParis). The cocreation of a world-class science and technology institute signals intensive future growth in the near future, for which the IT department needs to be prepared.

Established in Saclay, in the greater Paris area, which presents a concentration of research and high learning institutions, the X campus is in itself a small town in which the IT system and the quality of IT services are vital to 6,000 teachers, students, researchers or start-ups employees that are part of the Institution’s incubation programs.

In order to meet the security and high availability standards that come with supporting an institution devoted to excellence, the IT department must keep abreast of the most recent trends in IT. Confronted every day to the issues of obsolescence and the necessity to adhere to the latest technologies, the Technical Services team relies on Centreon EMS to monitor all of its IT equipment and networks, IoT included. Capitalizing on Centreon EMS’ interoperability and on its mapping module, the Technical Services team focuses more specifically on real time monitoring of network equipment and the Internet, two critical elements on which the daily activities of the 6,000 users on campus depend.

Monitoring efforts benefit both the Service Desk, which uses network monitoring views for level 1 incident management, as well as teachers, students, researchers, and resident start-ups who access a user network monitoring view on the School’s portal. Through regular, widespread IT monitoring, the X’s IT Department improved the teams’ responsiveness as well as communications with end users. Widely adopted, the IT monitoring platform now plays a central role in new connected building initiatives, a natural evolution in a leading, internationally reputed campus.

Read the Full Case Study.

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