“NetCrunch acts as another member of staff, keeping a constant eye on our wired and wireless network infrastructure and server estate.”
Peter Symonds College
The college IT Services department supports over 100 virtualised servers, two SANs, about 1,600 PCs and laptops, a campus-wide wireless service and some 80 switches for the college’s 4000 users. They have a small team of only six IT staff to manage this infrastructure so they need effective and easy-to use systems to help them keep it working effectively.
“We have been using AdRem’s products since 2005, initially to manage Netware servers, but now we use NetCrunch to monitor all our critical devices across the network. As soon as we first tested it, NetCrunch provided us with instant benefits and after identifying and scanning our LAN, the software (using its built-in monitoring policies) immediately identified a number of issues on our network such as servers that were at risk crashing due to a lack of free disk space. We had looked at various other network management tools, but AdRem certainly gave us the best combination of features, ease-of-use and value-for-money of all those we tried” – says Charles Parish, College’s Director of IT.
“Prior to NetCrunch we were dependent on our users notifying us of issues on the network, today NetCrunch acts as another member of staff, keeping a constant eye on our wired and wireless network infrastructure and server estate.” – he adds.
“AdRem have continued to develop NetCrunch since our initial introduction, and we find the newer features, particularly the very nice web console, extremely useful for checking on network services (HTTP, HTTPS, etc.) and when away from the College. We are impressed with the modest system requirements to host NetCrunch, running it on a Windows 2003 SP1 desktop PC where it monitors 78 network switches and 110 servers. NetCrunch automatically performs regular backups of its database.” – Mr. Parish continues.
He also mentions, why he finds NetCrunch helpful for him and his colleagues: “One feature we find particularly useful is NetCrunch’s Monitoring Policies. These policies apply to different types of devices, so when we add new devices to NetCrunch they are automatically configured with a monitoring policy – there is no need to configure a new set of monitoring rules for each new device.
NetCrunch alerts us to events on the network in a variety of ways. Emails are sent to interested team members (you can configure groups of addresses) and we have the NetCrunch console displayed on a large screen in the office. If any nodes are showing any problems they will automatically pop up on the screen. NetCrunch’s reporting features enable all of us to provide 'up time' reports to managers as required. We also use these reports for future capacity planning.
In summary, we are very satisfied with NetCrunch as it helps us keep our complex network running efficiently and enables us to provide an excellent reliable service to all our teachers, students and support staff.”
Peter Symonds College is the largest publicly-funded sixth form college in the UK. It offers a broad choice of courses for 3,600 16-19 year olds from the city of Winchester and its environs. Some of these students board at the college, frequently to those from UK forces schools abroad as well as youngsters from the Falkland Islands. The main focus of the College is Advanced Level courses for full-time learners but there is also a smaller Adult Education site for part-time adult students.