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CCMA migrates to a modernized and more secured IT monitoring platform

Blog CCMA migrates to a modernized and more secured IT monitoring platform

“Broadcasting being an essential public service, our migration project needed to be failsafe. Working with IThinkUPC and the Centreon IT Edition, we were able to launch our new IT monitoring platform with full confidence, with exactly the right configurations, and today, the ability to build on a more secure and scalable IT monitoring platform.” – Josep A. Pavón, telecommunications and sysadmin engineer at CCMA

The project in a few words

CCMA is the public broadcaster of Catalonia, Spain. Supported by the IT service company IThinkUPC, CCMA migrated its crucial but dated self-built Centreon open-source IT monitoring platform to a modernized Centreon IT Edition solution, ensuring reliable and holistic IT monitoring and paving the way for constantly evolving IT monitoring and technology needs.

Business objective: Ensure a seamless, secure migration to a modernized IT monitoring platform

  • Ensure the full IT environment is monitored, to safeguard a consistent user experience.
  • Modernize the IT monitoring platform to match evolving digital and security needs.
  • Ensure continuous and optimal IT service.
  • Promote collaboration across the various IT teams using a unified platform and common IT monitoring practices.

ITOM objective: Adopt a centralized, connected, and secure IT monitoring platform

  • Benefit from a fully supported solution.
  • Transition to an easy to update and configure IT monitoring platform.
  • Secure the IT monitoring platform and enhance overall IT security.
  • Maintain a fully operational IT monitoring platform throughout the preproduction, testing and launch phases of the new platform.
  • Simplify and optimize processes with automatic configurations.
  • Bridge the old and the new, building on the team’s current expertise and valorizing historical data, graphic views, and dashboards from the previous platform.

The Centreon solution

  • Centreon IT Edition
  • Access to 500+ ready-to-use connectors (Plugin Packs) and AutoDiscovery Engine
  • eLearning for the Centreon IT Edition and its web interface

Main benefits

  • The new platform is consistent with the previous one—no loss of expertise for the team, nor loss of configurations or other monitoring assets—while providing a future-ready environment.
  • Security risks from outdated open-source software were alleviated, and the platform is now fully supported with the latest software updates.
  • The team can now unlock the power of connectors and auto-discovery engine to reduce manual work, extend IT monitoring beyond on-premise assets, and automate processes.
  • A single source of truth and unified practices for IT teams.

The full story

Employing 2,312 people, the Catalan Audiovisual Media Corporation (or CCMA) is the public body that manages the audiovisual media of the Generalitat de Catalunya, the Televisió de Catalunya channels and the Catalunya Ràdio group of stations, in addition to the digital content generated by these media. This public service is a rallying point of Catalunya culture and social life, with its widely watched, not-to-be missed daily newscasts.

Tuning in to the specific needs of a public broadcaster

Like any broadcasting organization, CCMA depends on a complex mix of technologies, spanning decades of innovation —from the year it was founded in 1983, up to the launch of their latest digital viewing or listening platforms. IT monitoring is therefore a crucial part of ensuring continuous IT service delivery, mitigating downtime risks.

At CCMA, IT monitoring is a shared commitment. CCMA’s central IT department is responsible for the platform maintenance, configuring the different checks and commands, while IT stakeholders in the various departments have final responsibility over monitoring their own infrastructure, principally at this point, networking, on-premise, and legacy equipment. Over the years, CCMA had developed a robust IT monitoring system based on the free open source Centreon platform, covering a good part of its IT estate. But this crucial platform was getting dated and was not a supported software version, presenting security risks. Also, it could not be built upon to further extend the monitoring scope.

“Our Centreon-based IT monitoring platform is among the most critical assets in our IT department, providing visibility over servers and networks. We notice that the bigger percentage of infrastructure we’re able to monitor, the greater the number of helpdesk tickets originating from an alert in Centreon, rather than from users reporting an issue. End-to-end IT monitoring essentially allows maintaining a consistent user experience.” – Josep A. Pavón, telecommunications and sysadmin engineer at CCMA

Bridging the old and new for a seamless transition

Maintaining a complex IT monitoring platform and keeping it up to date in a constantly changing IT environment involving multiple IT stakeholders was becoming a burdensome process for the broadcaster, dependent on a diversified technology stack to support business workflows. A modernization project was thus launched with an overarching objective: ensuring the continuity of monitoring and preserving previous monitoring expertise and data. The modernization initiative also provided the occasion to enhance the security of the IT monitoring platform while paving the way to extend IT monitoring to other on-premise assets and beyond, preparing for a truly connected IT monitoring experience.

IThinkUPC, a Spanish IT managed service provider and system integrator was tapped to support CCMA in this high-stake modernization project. A Centreon partner, the IT consultancy counts on a 250-strong team, including three Centreon-certified consultants. IThinkUPC was selected for their broad expertise in system integration, IT monitoring, as well as for their robust track record serving public organizations.

A parallel environment for preproduction and training purposes

The IThinkUPC team recommended building a parallel IT monitoring platform based on the Centreon IT Edition, which was deployed on 2500 hosts, while the main platform kept running. This solution presented many advantages, including the ability to train the team on using the upgraded Centreon platform and its web interface, and ensuring “in vivo” that all the checks and overall configuration were working optimally, without affecting ongoing monitoring.

Key benefits of the new solution

  • IT Monitoring platform is now secured and entirely supported for updates.
  • Simplified and optimized processes through automatic configurations.
  • The various teams can collaborate on a single, common interface—and they continue working within an environment they were familiar with, and on which they can build improvements as they go.
  • Previous monitoring configuration, historical data, graphical views and dashboards were maintained.

“We now automatically discover items; some we did not even know existed! Before, to monitor new hardware, we had to design and create templates and develop plugins. Migrating to the Centreon IT Edition brought us ready-to-use connectors which facilitate and expedite monitoring for a wide range of IT equipment—translating into more accurate monitoring and huge time savings.” – Josep A. Pavón, telecommunications and sysadmin engineer at CCMA

Outlook: Extending the monitoring scope

While the team benefited from the parallel system to get used to their new monitoring environment, the preproduction platform will continue to be used as CCMA pursues the modernization of their IT monitoring platform, taking advantage of the Centreon IT Edition functionalities such as the Auto Discovery engine and connectors (Plugin Packs) to extend the monitoring scope and automatically deploy monitoring for a range of new services such as Windows, Linux, virtual hardware, san storage, networking equipment, up to cloud environments, such as AWS. CCMA will use this strong base to constantly evolve its practices and the monitoring environment to further integration and automation, for constant monitoring accuracy and seamless IT operations. Another objective in the longer term is to gain more perspective on operational performance, through the Centreon Business Edition and its advanced capabilities.

“The Centreon platform is to become a common tool for tech teams across CCMA departments. We’re building a more interconnected environment, for example integrating Centreon with our ticketing software for more automation, fully exploiting Centreon’s connectors (Plugin Packs). Further down the road, we’ll transition towards business-aware IT monitoring, along with sophisticated graphical views and reporting.” – Josep A. Pavón, telecommunications and sysadmin engineer at CCMA

The expert’s perspective: IThinkUPC’s Advice for a seamless migration

In a highly complex organization, making good use of a pre-production environment provides IT monitoring users more control and security. Both systems work in parallel and not only does this allow for training, but it also allows for rigorous testing, reducing the risk of service interruptions or loss of key data or configurations.

“Dated or unsupported software presents security risks, yet over the years, organizations invest time and effort in customizing their IT monitoring platform. When modernizing, there are ways you can preserve and valorize these assets, while also thinking of the future. As we delivered a seamless migration to a modernized, future-ready platform, we had to ensure uninterrupted IT monitoring. Our strategy involved building a pre-production environment which was run and tested in parallel, allowing for training and guaranteeing optimal functioning prior to final launch—giving full confidence to the client and their teams.” – Toni Naspler, Consultant, Cloud & Managed Services, IThinkUPC


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