City of Geel cuts troubleshooting by 50 percent

The City of Geel, Belgium, is using the ExtraHop wire data analytics platform to manage the performance, availability, and security of dozens of critical municipal services applications, cutting troubleshooting time by 50 percent in the process.

With the help of SMT, ExtraHop’s first partner in the Benelux region, the City of Geel selected ExtraHop to ensure delivery of critical municipal services to its citizens, businesses, and visitors.

Located in the Belgian province of Antwerp, Geel serves as a regional agricultural, industrial, and commercial centre. While Geel has over 40,000 residents, the city relies on a lean staff of just seven IT professionals. This small IT team is tasked with ensuring the performance and availability of systems ranging from financial accounting and enterprise resource planning (ERP) to an emergency response system.

“With scarce human resources, the City of Geel’s IT department needed a solution that could provide visibility across the entire IT estate and offer them the prescriptive guidance necessary to resolve issues quickly and with minimal resources,” said Jurgen Wagenaar, Business Development Manager for Benelux, ExtraHop. “Their IT services provider, SMT Simple Management Technologies (SMT), recommended ExtraHop to provide the cross-tier visibility they required with minimal overhead.”

“We are tasked with managing a diverse array of critical applications running on disparate – and in many cases, legacy – hardware systems, and now in the cloud as well. Before ExtraHop, there was no central application that offered visibility over all these domains,” said Rob Lenaerts, Computer Scientist at City of Geel.

During a recent VDI deployment, having that cross-tier visibility became mission critical for the Geel IT team. In the first wave of migrations from dedicated PCs to virtual desktops, users were experiencing login times of up to 15 minutes. Slow logins hadn’t been a problem during the proof of concept and test phases, but now they were threatening to derail the entire effort. The team turned to ExtraHop. By digging down into the wire data, the team at Geel discovered that the root cause of the slow logins was due to a communication problem between a centralised client on an application server, the antivirus scanner, and a router configuration. The team was able to resolve the issue, saving the deployment and helping to ensure its long-term success.

The City of Geel is also using wire data analytics from ExtraHop to monitor critical services on a continual basis, such as version upgrades, application migrations, and new application rollouts, as well as streamline interactions with their IT suppliers.

“In the past, assumptions led to a lot of unnecessary changes, costly upgrades, and also the risk of creating new problems,” said Lenaerts. “With ExtraHop, we can now determine the root cause of problems twice as fast as before and with more certainty.”

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