Indexis is an independent service company, commissioned by
netoperators Eandis in Flanders, ORES in Wallonia and Synergird,
in charge off treatment and exchange of market data between
the market parties in the free electricity and gas markets.
Indexis support within its scope the management of market data for each
connection point electricity and natural gas. We exchange, on a confidential and
impartial manner, information between all market players involved. In this way,
we contribute to a correct working of the energy market. Indexis is bound to technical rules defined by the government
about delivering and getting data to and from the market, including gas consumption of big users on an hourly basis.
Indexis’ IT infrastructure is distributed over 2 datacenters and counts over 200 servers (massively
virtualized) and has connections to all service providers and other 3rd parties.
Why Performance Vision ?
Indexis had already invested in network & application performance monitoring a few years ago, but our team felt that it was critical to enlarge the scope of analysis of our existing solution, get better retention times and adapt our tooling to a datacenter which is now mostly virtualized. It was also important for our team to rely on a solution which would be able to cope with the volume of data of our datacenter and offer a much more intuitive access to troubleshooting data.
With the experience we already had, the objectives were clear:
- Be able to troubleshoot reactively (with relevant data on past degradations)
- Analyze usage and performance trends through time
- Get an instant overview of the status of the critical applications
- Provide other teams (systems, application) with relevant data to optimize performance
- Help migration and changes with clear network usage information to facilitate the configuration of network devices (firewalls and filtering in the datacenter)
This need became urgent and we decided to take a new look at the market and realized that we could get a much better service than the one rendered by our Visual Performance Manager tools, at a much more favorable rate.
We went into a test phase to look at different products in parallel and Performance Vision cumulated many advantages compared to its competitors:
Extended scope of analysis :
- Get performance metrics and transaction level information beyond HTTP and SQL
- Retain troubleshooting information for 72 hours (compared to 30 minutes with our current solution)
- Benefit from new metrics which helped understand the behavior of specific applications carrying large files (Data Transfer from the client side)
- Name resolution performance (for DNS and WINS)
Enlarged visibility :
- Extensible number of network interfaces which made it possible for us to capture a wide range of traffic flows with only 2 devices
- A vision of IPv6 flows (we could not see through Netflow v5)
- The possibility to collect traffic within the ESX hosts with VMware native tools.
A better integration with the rest of our tools and especially with Solarwinds through SNMP.
The decision has been easy to recommend to our management as, on top of all these advantages, Performance Vision could do much more for much less.
We realized that we could get a much better service than the one rendered by our Visual Performance Manager tools, at a much more favorable rate.
How do you use Performance Vision?
We use Performance Vision on a daily basis. We have a monitoring screen which displays the performance status of our critical applications and network links. With the simple color code, we know immediately if an application gets degraded.
Performance Vision is our primary tool for troubleshooting; there are many cases in which it gave us a clear diagnostic, which we would not have achieved without such a tool.
For example, here are the latest findings we got out of it:
- We had some complaints for a slowdown on a specific server; within minutes, we noticed the presence of TCP retransmission for that specific server. We discovered that this server had its virtual port channel misconfigured and we had our systems colleagues to fix it within a few minutes.
- We also detected problems from our customer’s side: one of them reported a slow performance when accessing one of our HTTP servers. Very quickly we have been able to understand that this traffic was not routed appropriately on their end and that their proxy was rerouting that traffic through their Internet line instead of the private circuit.
- We fixed many configuration issues on the name resolution service: as an example, one server was requesting the same DNS resolution 40 thousand times an hour to access its database server; we had the DNS cache configuration fixed and improved its performance dramatically
We also use Performance Vision to help our team take better decisions, based on actual facts; as an example, we had a certificate issue with Google Chrome. This was not an issue at the time we launched a service, given the small market share of this browser. With Performance Vision, we have been able to show our development team that it became an issue given the share of this user agent among our actual users.
We use Performance Vision on a daily basis. We have a monitoring screen which displays the performance status of our critical applications and network links.
After a few months of use, what are the conclusions you draw out of Performance Vision?
After a few months of use, our feeling is strongly positive. I would recommend Performance Vision to any IT manager in charge of a critical architecture. It improves our efficiency, helps deliver better service every day and guides us to the right decision.
Furthermore the Post Installation Follow-up Service, we get from SecurActive’s partner, iBO Solutions, is excellent, and brings the adequate support to extend the use of Performance Vision; we can confirm that the training and certification of their integrators is rigorously done and translates into good service.
We also appreciated receiving a new major version (with no extra cost) with great new features no more than 3 months after the integration of the solution. Performance Vision’s HTTP performance module has a very strong value for Indexis and this confirms that we made the right choice by switching to Performance Vision and that we shall benefit from the continuous improvement of their solution.
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