Dorset Police has responsibility for a resident population approaching 700,000 people, spread over 1000 square miles with 170 miles of coastline. It employs 2500 people and operates from 40 sites. Over the last 18 months the Police force has undertaken a project to replace network devices from numerous manufacturers with an end to end Cisco solution. Whilst this has improved the reliability of the network, it has also thrown up some challenges for Andy Davis, Network Analyst.
“Previously to the network upgrades, we relied on users calling the help desk to advise us of problems on the network. With such an investment, user expectations were rightfully high and it was clear that we needed to improve our management capabilities. All servers are based at our head office site, so in the event of WAN links going down it could create some serious problems”.
Davis wanted to investigate a management solution that would help to reduce downtime by alerting him when utilization thresholds are approached, or when an error is reported. This would act as an early warning system and allow the organization to deploy engineer expertise swiftly and to the right area. As well as looking at servers and network devices, Davis also wanted to monitor WAN links and ISDN backups.
Three solutions were considered, including Cisco’s own CiscoWorks platform, but only one had the level of alerting that was desired.
“Having used Castle Rock’s SNMPc product in a previous role, I downloaded an evaluation version to see if it could solve our problems. Setup was intuitive and I quickly configured the system so that it would email me whenever there was a problem or a potential problem on the network.”
UK Castle Rock partner Teneo was on hand to offer documentation and assistance throughout the period of the evaluation. Having deployed SNMPc Enterprise version 6, the Police force is now using the Castle Rock product to provide capacity planning information. Creating link usage reports offers critical intelligence on how effectively WAN connections are being utilized. This gives the force the ability to make informed decisions about links that can be upgraded or downgraded, ensuring that budgets are used in a cost effective manner.