More Effective Regional Government: Netreo Helps Keep Networks Up and Running for Johnson County, Kansas
Johnson County is an important part of the greater Kansas City metropolitan area, encompassing many of the region’s affluent southwestern suburbs. At just over half a million people, it is the most populous county in Kansas.
Johnson County network system administrator Vicky Logan explained that the county had been struggling with puzzling latency on some of its IT networks.
“Originally, all county departments were organized into one core group. A few years ago, the departments were split out so each was run independently. While they were later consolidated again, many departments retained some of their own IT infrastructure, including network monitoring tools. It took us a while, but we finally realized that with each department independently pinging the network, our monitoring pings were actually creating enough traffic themselves to cause network latency. We decided we needed to invest in a single enterprise monitoring solution for everything.”
Drawing people from each group that would use the solution, including databases, applications, and WAN groups, Logan formed a team to develop a list of critical requirements and evaluate appropriate vendors.
Departments that require 24×7 availability are as diverse as parks and recreation, emergency services, the homeland security office, and the county’s crime lab, which is frequently accessed by the FBI and other agencies. Even on internal applications, downtime can have a serious impact, since public services and safety are involved. If the server that runs the payroll application goes down, county employees would not receive their paychecks.
Logan’s teams reaped an even larger benefit besides eliminating network latency — Netreo’s ability to prevent many incidents, and more quickly resolve the incidents that do come up.
“We really trust Netreo,” Logan said. “If there’s an alert that goes off, we trust the fact that there is a problem, and we know we need to look at it, rather than disregarding it because it went off six times yesterday for no reason. We do not want one of our applications people, for example, calling us and telling us that a server is down. We want to know about the outage first, so we can get the system back up before anyone even realizes it was down. And Netreo lets us do that.”
“For the first time, our applications people are able to monitor their web servers — they were not able to do that in the past. Now, if one of our many websites goes down, they are notified about it immediately by Netreo, even if it’s the middle of the night, and they can quickly fix the problem. This kind of continuous monitoring and alerts are important because there are departments in the county that function 24×7, and those systems have to be up and running without any issues,” she said.
Netreo also monitors the health of many of the county’s VoIP resources. Setting up telephony network monitoring is a complex and time-consuming process, but the county is making good progress on this, with Netreo’s assistance.
With so many diverse departments using Netreo for different purposes, configurability and proper implementation were key issues for Johnson County. In the vendor selection process, one of the areas where Netreo excelled was in the support they deliver to every customer.
“When we benchmarked Netreo’s total product and services solution against the cost of purchasing support from other vendors, and we understood the superior quality of Netreo’s support, it was very convincing,” Logan said.
Johnson County did a five-year cost projection for each of the vendors they evaluated for both software and support, and Netreo was the clear winner.
“Netreo did an absolutely outstanding job at supporting us from the very beginning of our relationship,” Logan revealed. “They assisted us with the implementation, got all of our devices migrated, and helped us figure out the best way to organize our environment. They very professionally guided the process to make sure every group was getting precisely what they needed.”
Benefits to Johnson County, Kansas
- World-class support for implementation and ongoing operations, augmenting their small internal team
- Enables separate departments to configure monitoring specifically for their needs and devices
- Enterprise monitoring tool eliminates network latency issue caused by multiple point solutions
- Continuous, 24x7 network monitoring and proactive response to emerging problems
- Quality monitoring of all email and text alerts sent through county networks