The German milk industry’s slogan -- “It’s the milk that does it!” -- is recognized by people everywhere in the country. But if the milk is to reach the customer in tip-top condition all of Gropper Dairy’s cogs must mesh perfectly. To ensure that the IT cog works perfectly, the well- known dairy relies on WhatsUp Gold from Ipswitch, using this network monitoring system to manage its IT resources and keep track of network load.
Gropper was founded in 1929 in Berg, a district of the city of Donauwörth in Bavaria. In 1973 it moved to the nearby town of Bissingen. The family firm, which began as a cheese making business, now employs more than 500 people and has become of the leading German providers of retail brands. Its core business involves not only producing these brands but also producing and packaging for companies that sell branded goods and manufacturing products sold under the Gropper brand name. The dairy specialist’s product range includes milk and milk drinks, yogurt and desserts as well as instant coffee and fruit juices.
Philipp Gerstenberger is Gropper Dairy’s network and system administrator. When asked to name his biggest wish for Gropper’s IT he replies, “As little down time as possible.” Gerstenberger joined the dairy only recently, but he immediately embarked on a major project of ensuring efficient network monitoring. Gerstenberger uses Windows Server 2008 and relies mainly on virtual servers arranged in two server rooms so that all systems can be run on a redundant basis. About 500 clients work on the company’s premises, with some staff working from home. Because the telephone system is based on VoIP, there are 131 access points in the building. The switches and routers are from Cisco.
Up to this point, Gropper had used individual solutions to monitor IT, so there was one module for servers, one for switches and so on. The company needed a simpler and more efficient way of viewing and managing the network as a whole, monitoring network load as well as servers, clients and access points. Moreover it had to be Cisco- compatible.
Especially important, Gerstenberger needed to ensure there would always be sufficient bandwidth. “Without adequate network performance the VoIP system does not work properly,” he explains. “And without the telephone the company’s sales department quickly grinds to a halt.”
Gerstenberger had successfully implemented a similar solution in his previous job using Ipswitch WhatsUp Gold. Because And since WhatsUp Gold met all Gropper’s requirements, the decision to purchase it was made quickly.
The IT service provider treeConsult assisted with implementation. The company, which is based in Freising, advised on the precise need and the mix of solution components and worked with Gerstenberger to implement WhatsUp Gold. They chose WhatsUp Gold Premium for 300 devices combined with WhatsUp Gold Flow Monitor for the existing core switches and the WhatsUp Gold Application Performance Monitor. The user-friendly Application Performance Monitor provides comprehensive information about the network and adaptable automations; it makes it possible to assess the impact of problems, rapidly identify their causes and alleviate performance bottlenecks, so that all business-critical applications function smoothly.
Gropper took advantage of the option to test the solutions in the company’s own environment for thirty days without obligation. Actual implementation of the solution was achieved in just two days. Stephan Wohlfelder, treeConsult’s project manager said, “Mr Gerstenberger already had considerable experience of WhatsUp Gold and with our staff the solution quickly went live. Everything had been well prepared. If any queries or problems arise in future, we will provide support.”
Gropper has used WhatsUp Gold since October 2013 and it has been completely stable. Gerstenberger is happy: “WhatsUp Gold provides us with comprehensive monitoring of our networks, systems and applications together with incident recording. We now monitor the network proactively and can prevent failures.”
The new solution has already been put to the test: shortly after implementation there was a power failure in a network cabinet that affected two switches with eight connected access points. “No time- consuming fault diagnosis was needed. WhatsUp Gold showed us where the problem was straight away. We were able to respond so quickly that the staff barely noticed that anything was happening.”