Case Study: Diné College

“My supervisor is the Vice President of Administration and Finance he reports to the College President. If he calls me with a question about something that is not working, I want to tell him ‘this is what’s happening, this is why it’s happening, and this is what we’re doing to fix it.’ With Netreo, I have the visibility to do that.”

— Francesca Shiekh, IT Director
Diné College

Diné College Selects Netreo to Reduce Costs and Downtime and Increase Quality of Service for Eight Geographically Dispersed Facilities

Business Need

Encompassing more than 27,000 square miles of pristine, red-rock canyons and ancient, high-desert terrain in Arizona, Utah and New Mexico, the Navajo nation, or Diné Bikéyah, is geographically larger than the ten smallest U.S. states. Diné College, chartered in 1968, has eight campuses and community centers serving approximately 2,000 students spread across the expanse of the Navajo Nation. The college applies the native traditions of Nitsáhákees (thinking), Nahatá (planning), Iiná (living) and Siih Hasin (assuring) to encourage excellence in lifestyle and academic performance.

Diné College IT Director Francesca Shiekh sought a way to improve the planning, monitoring and quality assurance of all of the college’s IT systems, networks, devices and applications.

“We looked at other network management solutions, but didn’t find any that were as affordable and easy to implement as Netreo,” Shiekh said. “All we had to do was create a spreadsheet with basic information about our networks and Netreo started working immediately. We didn’t need to input lot of details or change settings on the servers or set them up one by one. Netreo was very fast to install, the user interface was really easy to use, and it gave us precisely what we needed.”

Shiekh likes Netreo’s secure appliance architecture and Web-based interface, because they allow her to set the tactical overview screen as the homepage on her browser. She and her staff can get instant status updates on their various servers and network nodes, and proactively address any developing issues before they become problems.

“The first thing I do every morning is open the Netreo dashboard and click on the warnings and alerts to see what’s happening with our systems and networks. If there’s a developing issue, I’ll call our systems administrators or network administrators and find out what they are doing to address them.”

IT Need

Internet service and email was not always reliable in the past, but now the college’s connectivity is very closely monitored and maintained.

“Netreo advises me when thresholds are reached or surpassed on our Internet links, and the built-in reporting tools give me the data I need to make the case for an increase in bandwidth. It also tells me which of our eight campuses and community centers need attention and where the most serious issues are.”

Diné’s IT staff can also set hard drive parameters and determine whether storage capacity in various servers needs to be increased and when that has to be done.

“One of my biggest issues was imminent hard drive failure on RAIDs that we wouldn’t notice. We almost lost a server because a second drive started failing and we hadn’t realized that the first one had already died. If you lose two drives in a RAID, you’re done for. Now, as long as we look at the Netreo interface, it’s nearly impossible for something like this to get by us,” Shiekh said.

Netreo Solution

“I did an analysis of what Netreo would cost us over time and weighed that against the benefits our department would gain, and all the numbers added up. It made perfect sense. I had a long discussion with my supervisor on what we would get from Netreo and what kind of recurring costs there would be, and we decided it was very worthwhile.”

Netreo is now paying for itself by reducing system downtime and delivering convenience and reliability to Diné’s students and faculty, system-wide.

“We had an outage affecting our remote centers on a Sunday afternoon that ordinarily would not have been noticed, because the remote centers are often closed on Sunday. Netreo saw the problem and sent me an alert that I received at home. I called our network administrator, he called the phone company and they got it fixed in a few hours.”

Benefits to Diné College

  • The industry's most affordable network management and monitoring system with licensing terms that fit well with college budget cycles.
  • Extremely fast and easy to install with simple inputs about network resources, no lengthy setup of routers or inconvenient changes to servers or networks.
  • Provides 24x7 monitoring of all servers, routers, firewalls, devices and wireless access points for all eight campuses.
  • Alerts system managers about potential or existing email or Internet access issues before users even realize there's a problem.
  • IT staff members on the main campuses can easily view instant online status updates for all servers, routers, network nodes and other devices, and proactively address any developing issues before they become problems.
  • System managers can set parameters for RAIDs and hard drives and determine whether storage capacity needs to be increased and when.
  • Diné College has achieved a good return on investment in the form of less network and email downtime, lower administrative costs, better quality of service, and a more productive faculty and student body.

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