G4S_(logo)

Soluciones outsourcing

Data Pandora
Data Pandora
G4S_(logo)

Soluciones outsourcing

Data Pandora
Data Pandora

“We totally rely on Pandora FMS and it has not let us down.”

Michalis Kamprianis. CISO, IT Projects & Applications Manager in G4S Greece.

COMPANY’S PROFILE

G4S is the global leader in providing secure outsourcing solutions, having operations in more than 125 countries and 620.000 employees. G4S Greece, a G4S Plc Group company, has a history of 35 years and a Nation Wide Network all over the country, operating in 33 cities with more than 2.500 employees.

G4S_(logo)

The company provides Total Secure Solutions to public, private and corporate customers. Its activities include Manned Services, Aviation & Ports Security Solutions, Cash in Transit and Cash Handling Services, Electronic Security Systems and 24h Alarm Receiving Center Services. Its infrastructure consists of over 50 servers with enterprise and operational applications, and an MPLS network that extends to over 15 places in Greece.

STARTING POINT

Why did you decide to install a monitoring tool in your systems? In the process of the modernization of the IT Division, the need for a monitoring tool that would provide alerts in time for problems that might affect the infrastructure or the provided services was imminent. Until that time, the IT Division would normally get notified for availability incidents by the end – users, which did not allow for proper availability and capacity management. Additionally, a monitoring tool would also satisfy the need to minimize unscheduled downtime.

What was the monitoring tool selection process like? It was the time that we started formulating the IT policies and procedures. These procedures included the solution selection among others. As such, we gathered together, older personnel and newer additions to the team, having different experience on different systems, and we developed a set of functional requirements through some brainstorming sessions. These requirements ranged from the type of devices, operating systems and vendors that needed to be supported, up to experience and familiarity of the support personnel with different environments. The requirements that were formed indicated a product that would have a graphical user interface for management and everyday use, would support a range of data collection methods, such as SNMP and local agent, and would integrate with other systems such as SMS gateway, corporate ticketing tool and active directory for user management.

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“During the pilot, Pandora FMS proved to be the easier to configure in this price range, and the most complete in terms of features and functionality required in our environment.”

Michalis Kamprianis

“During the pilot, Pandora FMS proved to be the easier to configure in this price range, and the most complete in terms of features and functionality required in our environment.”

Michalis Kamprianisia

How did you get to know Pandora FMS? After the functional requirements were gathered, we started searching for the products we had used in the past or had in mind already, and those that were referred to as competitors or alternatives in specialist forums. Pandora FMS was indicated at the time as a probable alternative for Nagios, and the screenshots from the user interface indicated a product that our support personnel would get easily accustomed to. The feature set looked promising, so the product was included in the pilot we run for proper evaluation of the advertised functionality.

Why did you discard the rest of monitoring tools? Some of the most widely known and proven monitoring tools were discarded due to budget constraints. Some other tools were discarded as being focused on system availability, not being able to monitor application availability or systems other than Windows.

Why did you choose Pandora FMS?
During the pilot, Pandora FMS proved to be the easier tool to configure in this price range, and the most complete in terms of features and functionality required in our environment. The price was within our budget, and we received some positive feedback from the support personnel. Overall, Pandora FMS was the most competent tool of the ones we ran a pilot with.

How was the deployment of Pandora FMS in your systems? Pandora FMS agent was gradually installed on all servers of the company. Alerts were defined on a second stage, while massive operations such as alert copying between servers helped the initial setup to be faster. Nowadays, the installation of the latest PandoraFMS agent is part of our standard server setup procedures.

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BENEFITS OBTAINED

What were your expectations before starting to use Pandora FMS? We were in the search of a monitoring tool that would inform us on network, server and application interruption as soon as possible. Ease of use and configuration was also an important factor, as was the capability to monitor a complex network such as ours. Starting from a point that we monitored very few systems, with a very non-sophisticated way that would provide many false alerts, any improvement would be beneficial.

What do you think about Pandora FMS now? Pandora FMS has been proven one of the most valuable and important tools in our environment. Nowadays we monitor the entire infrastructure, using SNMP, WMI and ICMP monitors as well as server-based agents. We also monitor our applications and we get notified in time whenever a problem occurs.

The product has matured significantly during the last years, and it now has more options than we use. That gives us the opportunity to perform more intelligent monitoring, minimizing the false alerts and subsequently having the engineers work on the servers only when needed. We totally rely on Pandora FMS and it has not let us down.

What devices, apps and technologies do you monitor with Pandora FMS? We currently monitor virtual farms (VMWare), with over 50 virtual and physical servers on Windows, and over 50 network devices and appliances of some Linux flavors. For the
majority of these systems we monitor system availability and performance. We also monitor SQL server and Oracle databases, legacy applications, specific services and web-based, multiple tier applications for availability. We currently have over 1500 monitors in over 85 agents.

What adventages and benefits have you obtained with Pandora FMS? PandoraFMS has been successfully integrated as much as we needed in our environment. We use Active Directory for Authentication. Pandora FMS uses the corporate Exchange server for sending mail alerts, and a SMS gateway for SMS notifications whenever needed. Alerts from Pandora FMS are forwarded to our ticketing tool which helps us maintain historical data for incidents.

Pandora FMS provides timely alerts on availability incidents, a functionality that actually allowed us to develop a 24/7 policy regarding service availability. Our unscheduled downtime has been reduced significantly due to timely notifications, and the user perspective of the service availability has also been improved due the timely resolution.

What features do you like most about Pandora FMS? The flexibility and plethora of monitoring methods is a significant feature required by any monitoring tool. We haven’t found a device yet that we can not monitor somehow; that is important for us. The ability to remotely configure the agents is also very important, since we don’t want to log into every server to make trivial changes. The “Module Templates” allow for speedy addition of servers and network devices, while the “Services” concept that allows for service-based monitoring, instead of server-based or even application-based is a much needed addition for business reporting, and proper SLA definitions and monitoring.

“The product has matured significantly during the last years, and it now has more options than we use. That gives us the opportunity to perform more intelligent monitoring, minimizing the false alerts and subsequently having the engineers work on the servers only when needed.”

Michalis Kamprianis

What do you think about the technical support and the relationship with Ártica PFMS? Every time we needed Technical support from Artica PFMS, we were very satisfied by the speed of the problem handling and resolution. Technical support personnel is very capable of identifying the root cause of the problem, as such providing the correct solution fast. The business relation regarding invoicing and renewals is also flawless, transparent and flexible, keeping our involvement to administrative issues to a minimum.

 What does Pandora FMS mean to your business? G4S Hellas operates 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. The system, server, network and application availability are crucial elements to us to be able to provide that service to our customers. As such, Pandora FMS with the monitoring capabilities that it has and the information that provides to our support personnel helps us meet these availability requirements, ultimately improving the customer experience.

“Every time we needed Technical support from Artica PFMS, we were very satisfied by the speed of the problem handling and resolution. Technical support personnel is very capable of identifying the root cause of the problem, as such providing the correct solution fast.”

Michalis Kamprianis

ARTICA PFMS & PANDORA FMS

Artica PFMS is an innovative company that develops its own solutions and is also the company behind the development of Pandora FMS, as well as other software solutions such as Integria IMS. Pandora FMS is one of the most flexible solutions on the market for system and network monitoring.

Pandora FMS is used in different organizations’ and companies’ data centers… as well as multinational companies in the IT and communication sectors. It has thousands of users and customers spread across five continents.

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