“Thanks to the Centreon IT monitoring platform’s flexibility and scalability, we meet our clients’ latest IT and business requirements. Using just one solution, we manage legacy and cloud environments, automate all our processes, and provide highly visual dashboards to technical and managerial profiles alike.” – Thierry Del-Monte – Director of Engineering – ITS Integra.
The project in a nutshell
The MSP’s business challenges
- Evolve IT monitoring so it can reach newer infrastructure types (i.e., containers, PaaS, microservices, etc.)
- Meet emerging client demands in terms of business indicators
- Simplify and optimize IT Team training using a single IT monitoring solution
The MSP’s ITOM challenges
- Monitoring heterogeneous infrastructure (i.e., AS400, microservices, private and public cloud services, Office 365, VPNs, etc.)
- Simplify technology deployments for clients
- Integrate IT monitoring and security directly into DevSecOps processes
- Automate ticketing processes by connecting IT monitoring and ITSM tools
- Build observability through robust IT monitoring integration
- Introduction of new value-adding services (dashboards dedicated to top management)
- Elimination of blind spots through complete IT visibility
- Highly accurate view over service quality being delivered and SLA conformity
- Improved MSP reputation thanks to dashboards and KPIs on service delivery
Case study – the full story
ITS Integra, ITS Group’s multicloud-dedicated subsidiary, developed a robust expertise in the outsourced management of ultra-secure IT environments. The Centreon IT monitoring platform has been at the heart of the company’s infrastructure strategy for over 15 years. The long-standing relationship between ITS Integra and Centreon is based on Centreon’s ability to constantly meet the challenges of ITS Integra’s clients and on the ability of ITS Integra’s teams to leverage the full benefits of the Centreon solution.
ITS Integra: a key player with over 20 years of existence
Founded in 1997, ITS Integra posted revenues of €25M in 2020. These results rest on the expertise of 170 employees and superior service, which their ISO 9001, ISO 27001, and France’s Health Data Hosting (HDS) certifications further demonstrate. ITS Integra’s service center provides robust, high availability infrastructure to enterprises, SMBs, public, as well as healthcare organizations. ITS Integra’s expertise spans four main areas: IT operations management, cloud services management, IT automation, as well as security and compliance management.
ITS Integra’s aim is simple: ensure the successful digital transformation of about 300 clients through expertly managing 3 datacenters, 10,000 hosted servers and 15,000 managed servers. To achieve this, ITS Integra has been relying on the Centreon IT monitoring solution since 2006 to manage the performance and monitoring of the entirety of client environments (both shared and dedicated), as Thierry Del-Monte, Director of Engineering at ITS Integra, explains:
“Over the years, the evolution of our IT monitoring platform has followed each of Centreon’s new feature introductions. Today, we can monitor the full scope of our shared and dedicated platforms, representing on average 10,000 hosts and 120,000 services.”
Meeting rising clients’ expectations for cloud technologies and business-aware IT monitoring
At ITS Integra, the approach to IT monitoring is meticulous. It’s an integral part of the service portfolio, just as backups are, ranging in complexity levels to better match clients’ requirements. Thierry Del-Monte notes clients are increasingly interested in and aware of the performance of their managed IT services:
“More than ever, clients are asking for IT monitoring to provide a perspective on how well applications are performing. They no longer want to talk about infrastructure in the technical sense, but rather about the availability of their applications from a business standpoint. They’re looking for other types of data which are enabling observability, as well as dashboards and KPIs, some of which are intended for non-technical managers. Our IT monitoring platform meets these new requirements.”
Although clients still expect their MSP to monitor infrastructure to be alerted when an issue comes up and be guided on how to remediate it, they also look for more sophisticated IT monitoring. They want indicators on service availability and resource consumption and, more recently, they want their monitoring to be business aware. “Our clients want more than availability rates and RAM consumption out of their monitoring,” explains Thierry Del-Monte. “They want to understand how their IT is monitored, and they need to plan anomaly detection thresholds, and such.”
Managing the impacts of a global health crisis is another area of focus. With widespread telecommuting, the IT system is constantly being scaled to optimize access, and therefore monitoring remote connections counts more than ever before. In the most mature digital businesses, there are new IT monitoring requirements, as Thierry Del-Monte is well aware:
“Our most digitally-mature clients are asking us to deploy microservices or to operate new SaaS solutions like Office 365. We now deploy containers instead of VMs. IT monitoring is essential for failproof execution, so this means we’ve had to adapt and scale our IT monitoring platform and strategy.”
Monitoring AS400 servers and Office 365 with a single solution
One of the main challenges brought by hybrid IT is to have legacy environments and innovative architectures such as PaaS or microservices coexist in the same place and time. ITS Integra needs to monitor both applications in the cloud and AS400 servers, for clients belonging to different business sectors, using a single IT monitoring platform. Thierry Del-Monte points out:
“Client profiles vary widely, and they want us to manage web applications and legacy IT indifferently, including e-commerce sites, where availability is critical to close sales. The Centreon solution meets these requirements, with its flexibility and Plugin Packs. Another advantage of having a single monitoring tool capable of managing all technologies is that you don’t need to train teams on multiple tools.”
The second challenge brought by hybrid IT is directly related to the first one: securing the IT system and guaranteeing availability by automating a maximum of processes and interconnecting the IT monitoring solution with the rest of the ITOps environment.
Promote automation, self-healing, business KPIs, auto ticketing, as well as Kubernetes and Elastic interconnection
ITS Integra’s teams really appreciate Centreon’s ability to meet the new challenges of hybrid environments as technologies are constantly evolving. Using Centreon, it’s easy to monitor in PaaS mode, reaching Kubernetes and microservices.
Centreon is a pillar of ITS Integra’s toolbox, as Thierry Del-Monte emphasizes: “Centreon is an integral part of our processes, and thanks to a high level of automation, our teams can deliver complete client environments that embed monitoring. We’ve always valued the solution’s flexibility, and over the last few years, the progress Centreon has made in weaving in automation capabilities. For the record, we even participated in the development of one of the very first Azure Plugin Packs.”
The Centreon solution is automatically integrated into all client packages, in a DevSecOps approach that is fundamental to ITS Integra. Centreon is also tightly integrated within ITS Integra’s IT system to automate checks, maximize self-healing, and enable auto ticketing in EasyVista. Thierry Del-Monte says such automation goes hand in hand with connecting IT monitoring and observability tools:
“We’ve enabled effective interactions between Centreon and our ticketing tool and recently connected Centreon with Elastic to generate even more accurate metrics. This is how we build observability. We can go back in time through Centreon-collected data and then extract and share the KPIs that are relevant for our clients on a dedicated portal.”
Maximizing economies of scale and keeping top management aware of service quality
On top of helping ITS Integra meet daily operational challenges, Centreon helps them meet HR and other strategic challenges. This is among the many advantages that come with managing all client environments with a single IT monitoring platform. Thierry Del-Monte explains:
“For an MSP like us, Centreon allows to maximize economies of scale while optimizing skills management. Everyone trains on the same tool, we script on the same tool, we deploy using the same tool… Centreon’s flexibility makes this possible and Plugin Packs are there to bridge the gap between legacy environments and containerized architectures and support us, so we provide the best service to our clients. Centreon is truly an ideal solution for MSPs.”
Above the product’s efficiency and reliability, Centreon meets growing expectations from clients wanting more sophisticated KPIs and dashboards. And requests for such insights do not come only from technical profiles but from CIOs and even business managers who understand the value IT-generated analytics can bring to the organization. Thierry likes that providing such dashboards promote their reputation as an MSP, reaching larger ranks within client organizations:
“Reporting adds value to our business and it allows our clients’ top management to answer the question: ‘is my MSP performing well?’ From reports based on monitoring data, they get a very precise snapshot on the quality of service delivered and valuable proof that we’re meeting service commitments.”
Looking forward: Connected and business-aware IT monitoring
The world of IT keeps reinventing itself and teams at ITS Integra are just as ready to monitor tomorrow’s environments, with the added confidence that comes with knowing Centreon’s technical support–which they consider to be highly reliable and responsive–will guide them. Confidence is key when clients trust you with their critical data, such as health data (ITS Integra holds a certification for health data hosting). With Centreon’s added power, ITS Integra can reach new heights in providing sophisticated service levels as well as transitioning towards business-aware monitoring. Clients now want monitoring to provide insights on their ERP rather than simply finding out if a given equipment is working or not.
Such expectations from clients are getting more common now, as their IT maturity expands. They can also trust Plugin Packs and Aauto-Ddiscovery capabilities to deal with microservices or containerization expertly. The long-standing synergy between ITS Integra and Centreon still has a lot of ground to cover, as Thierry explains:
“Why are we still loyal to Centreon after 15 years? The answer lies in Centreon’s agility and flexibility. Centreon can be adapted to achieve whatever we have in mind; this is very important to us because we are constantly trying to connect things to make them work better. Centreon’s teams have accomplished a lot in terms of development, which we directly benefit from, as we’re better equipped to meet clients’ expectations.”