Case Studies

Texas State Guard Prepares for Any Emergency with WhatsUp Gold

WhatsUp Gold allows the TXSG IT staff to easily keep tabs on the network from any remote location, including mobile phones.

As a branch of the Texas Military Forces, the Texas State Guard’s mission is to assist state and local authorities during emergencies. The TXSG works through four sub-commands: Army, Air, Maritime and Medical, protecting the public during hurricanes, floods and other natural or manmade disasters.

New Information Officer Discovers an Unmonitored Network

When Mark Bell joined the TXSG about a year ago, he realized that the Guard’s statewide network had no automated monitoring in place. “Shortly after I joined we had an e-mail server that stopped working, but we didn’t know it until we started receiving phone calls from users,” Bell explains. “That’s when I realized we needed a monitoring solution in place.”

The TXSG network, headquartered at Camp Mabry near Austin, Texas, serves personnel in 11 remote units around the state. Most users access network resources through VPN or Web-based services and use these to facilitate communications within the TXSG and other agencies. That's why 24x7 network access is critical to the organization's response time.

“The remote structure of the network, plus the sporadic nature of active duty, is the reason why waiting for users to report problems simply will not work,” comments Bell. “By the time users realize they are unable to use e-mail or access other resources, it’s too late. You don’t want to find out from a field unit actively involved in an emergency that they aren’t able to communicate. We need to know as soon as a problem occurs so it can be addressed before it impacts our users.”

Fortunately for TXSG, Bell’s background was in IT systems and consulting. He had used WhatsUp Gold and recommended it to his IT clients for 6 years, and he instantly knew it could make the TXSG network more available and reliable.

Bell contacted his commanding officer. He explained the problem and proposed WhatsUp Gold as the solution. The commander said: OK, do it.

A Quick Installation and Immediate Benefits

Bell contacted Ipswitch and WhatsUp Gold was installed within three weeks. “WhatsUp Gold demonstrated its value immediately, and it continues to prove its worth,” says Bell. He estimates a 25% improvement just in systems availability since the installation “plus the immeasurable comfort of knowing that our systems are being 'watched' 24x7.”

WhatsUp Gold has also identified potential network issues such as low disk space. “The monitoring software alerted us and we were able to resolve the issue before there was any impact on our systems or users,” reports Bell.

The Web interface of WhatsUp Gold allows the TXSG IT staff to easily keep tabs on the network from any remote location including mobile phones. Upon receiving an alert from WhatsUp Gold the staff accesses servers or network equipment remotely to diagnose and remedy the issue.

“A year after installation, WhatsUp Gold continues to work perfectly,” Bell says. “When you have a monitoring system that’s working the way it’s supposed to, you don’t get a lot of alerts. Everything is going along just fine, and that’s exactly what we require.”

Benefits to Texas State Guard (TXSG) of WhatsUp Gold 

  • 24x7 network monitoring of an always-on statewide network
  • Easy remote monitoring of network status
  • No longer dependent on users to identify problems
  • Potential network issues noted and fixed proactively
  • An estimated 25% improvement in resource availability
  • Confidence that the network can support emergency response

    As a branch of the Texas Military Forces, the Texas State Guard’s mission is to assist state and local authorities during emergencies. The TXSG works through four sub-commands: Army, Air, Maritime and Medical, protecting the public during hurricanes, floods and other natural or manmade disasters.

    New Information Officer Discovers an Unmonitored Network

    When Mark Bell joined the TXSG about a year ago, he realized that the Guard’s statewide network had no automated monitoring in place. “Shortly after I joined we had an e-mail server that stopped working, but we didn’t know it until we started receiving phone calls from users,” Bell explains. “That’s when I realized we needed a monitoring solution in place.”

    The TXSG network, headquartered at Camp Mabry near Austin, Texas, serves personnel in 11 remote units around the state. Most users access network resources through VPN or Web-based services and use these to facilitate communications within the TXSG and other agencies. That's why 24x7 network access is critical to the organization's response time.

    “The remote structure of the network, plus the sporadic nature of active duty, is the reason why waiting for users to report problems simply will not work,” comments Bell. “By the time users realize they are unable to use e-mail or access other resources, it’s too late. You don’t want to find out from a field unit actively involved in an emergency that they aren’t able to communicate. We need to know as soon as a problem occurs so it can be addressed before it impacts our users.”

    Fortunately for TXSG, Bell’s background was in IT systems and consulting. He had used WhatsUp Gold and recommended it to his IT clients for 6 years, and he instantly knew it could make the TXSG network more available and reliable.

    Bell contacted his commanding officer. He explained the problem and proposed WhatsUp Gold as the solution. The commander said: OK, do it.

    A Quick Installation and Immediate Benefits

    Bell contacted Ipswitch Inc.’s Network Management division, and WhatsUp Gold was installed within three weeks. “WhatsUp Gold demonstrated its value immediately, and it continues to prove its worth,” says Bell. He estimates a 25% improvement just in systems availability since the installation “plus the immeasurable comfort of knowing that our systems are being 'watched' 24x7.”

    WhatsUp Gold has also identified potential network issues such as low disk space. “The monitoring software alerted us and we were able to resolve the issue before there was any impact on our systems or users,” reports Bell.

    The Web interface of WhatsUp Gold allows the TXSG IT staff to easily keep tabs on the network from any remote location including mobile phones. Upon receiving an alert from WhatsUp Gold the staff accesses servers or network equipment remotely to diagnose and remedy the issue.

    “A year after installation, WhatsUp Gold continues to work perfectly,” Bell says. “When you have a monitoring system that’s working the way it’s supposed to, you don’t get a lot of alerts. Everything is going along just fine, and that’s exactly what we require.”

    Benefits to Texas State Guard (TXSG) of the WhatsUp Gold Network Management Solution

  • 24x7 network monitoring of an always-on statewide network
  • Easy remote monitoring of network status
  • No longer dependent on users to identify problems
  • Potential network issues noted and fixed proactively
  • An estimated 25% improvement in resource availability
  • Confidence that the network can support emergency response
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