Knowledge IT is a value added reseller (VAR), managed service provider (MSP) and Internet service provider based in Tyne and Wear, with a Tier Three data center in North Tyneside. The company has long used WhatsUpGold to monitor its own network internally as well as acting as an Ipswitch reseller for the product. Today, the MSP utilizes WhatsUpGold to offer a monitoring service to its customers.
Mike Hoy, service director at Knowledge IT says that the decision to offer WhatsUpGold as a service to his customers was an easy one:
“We have been using WhatsUpGold for nine years simply for self-monitoring, so we have a lot of faith in the product. When we decided to offer network monitoring as a service, WhatsUpGold was the only option we seriously considered. WhatsUpGold is compatible with products from many vendors, unlike some solutions that are vendor specific, therefore it can be used to monitor all our customers signed on to the service. In the time we have used WhatsUpGold ourselves we have never needed to call for support.”
The main challenge, which Hoy needed to overcome, was to be able to monitor multiple networks without being connected to any of them. The solution was to apply probes to act as virtual engineers on-site, which communicate with and are monitored by the MSP version of WhatsUpGold back at Knowledge IT’s office. This offers two layers of monitoring, preventing any downtime, which Hoy refers to as “watching the watcher.”
As WhatsUpGold monitors the probes, rather than the 4,000 devices connected to the network, the solution is easily scalable. When a new customer signs up, another probe can easily be added to the monitoring dashboard, and it takes just two weeks for full monitoring to be set up.
Hoy’s 20-strong team at Knowledge IT regularly monitors the WhatsUpGold dashboard, which shows a geographical view of the customer’s probes. Each probe is represented in green if there are no issues, and a red light indicates that there is a problem communicating with the probe that needs investigation. The staff are also alerted via an audio alarm and via a paging system out of hours, to ensure that all issues are dealt with promptly.
For example, Knowledge IT was alerted to a fault in the network of a premier football team, just before kick-off. The timeline of events leading up to the failure was tracked and the geographical location of the fault identified. An engineer was quickly deployed to the correct location, already aware of the nature of the fault. The issue was resolved before the half time whistle was blown.
The MSP version of WhatsUpGold has created a new revenue stream for Knowledge IT and an expanded portfolio to offer to customers, but that is not all. Hoy also appreciates the higher service level his company can offer.
“As a WhatsUpGold user for many years, I have always had confidence in the product. This means that we can offer our customers a service that we know inside out and know to be reliable. The license pricing structure results in cost savings per device, and also allows easy monitoring of multiple networks, regardless of the network provider. WhatsUpGold’s alert system means that we are always able to quickly respond to any issues, often before users are aware of any problems.”