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Al Jazeera Balkans streams daily news with no disruption using OpManager

A globally renowned News and Media channel streams daily news with no disruption using OpManager

Organization: Al Jazeera Balkans
Industry: Entertainment/Media/Publishing
Using OpManager since: 2011

About the company:

Al Jazeera Balkans is an international news television station specialized in cable network programming, direct broadcast satellite (DBS), television, new media, and multicultural education worldwide. It is part of the Al Jazeera Media Network. The station broadcasts news analysis and features as well as documentaries, live debates, current affairs, business, technology, and sports highlights.

Business Challenges Faced by the Network Team

Imagine not being able to receive critical and timely news about sociopolitical issues. Whenever a broadcast delay happens, the news channel would suffer a severe loss of credibility. It's vital that Al Jazeera Balkans, an internationally renowned DBS TV station company, maintains network uptime to keep pace with news-stream editing, backups, scheduling shows, etc.

(A mock block diagram of Al Jazeera Balkans's network)

The IT infrastructure consists of over 150 servers, 500 network devices, and close to 40 racks of switches. They also require monitoring metrics for 50 storage devices and file systems. Network uptime, health, performance and availability are crucial for undisputed information exchange to make sure no media content is clipped or distorted. Edin Hodžić, senior IT systems engineer in the technology and operations department, and his team of eight IT admins handle security, networking, IT infrastructure and multi-media management. Initially, they used agent-based black box solutions. However, with such a large hybrid network, the average time to troubleshoot network issues wasn't optimal, and the performance of these tools was unsatisfactory.

Hodžić and his team needed a unified solution to monitor their broadcasts and the corporate infrastructure in their hybrid IT environment, while focusing on every aspect of security, multimedia management, and infrastructure uptime. This is when they started searching for a solution. They evaluated PRTG, APC InfraStructure View, SCOM, and ManageEngine.

The ideal solution

CPU memory, disk usage, and device availability are business-critical performance metrics that need to be monitored on a daily basis. In order to ensure streaming continuity and continuous uptime, they needed an agentless and user-friendly tool that could monitor router and switch performance, server performance, services, networks, processes, files/folders, virtual devices, databases, URLs, and storage capacity. And all of it needed to be available on a single pane of glass.

The Extra Mile with OpManager

Hodžić says, "Every needed feature was offered by ManageEngine OpManager on an integrated platform. Being able to create bulk thresholds for device templates made it easier to create and deploy monitors as per the organization's needs. Threshold-based alerting, workflows, and business view maps are the application's most loved features."

Hodžić monitors Hyper-V virtual machines using threshold based alerts; he set up a health monitor for a Dell Equallogic SAN as well as status checks and alerts for Oracle databases.

Additionally, Hodžić monitors DNS statuses and file consumption statuses with OpManager. His team has automated Level-1 tasks, like restarting failed services using workflows. "Notification profiles are of utmost importance for the infrastructure's smooth functioning," Hodžić points out. "Insight of power consumption, cooling, and environmental data for the data center is a game changer in keeping network uptime. Workflow automation options triggered by event/alarm has turned out to be a big plus for Al Jazeera Balkans."

The Plug-in/Add-on Advantage

Al Jazeera Balkans uses another ManageEngine product for storage monitoring, the OpStor plug-in. The new build of OpManager offers built-in storage monitoring with significant benefits including robust management of storage devices, real-time notifications, and extensive reporting capabilities.

An ROI and TCO Improvement

Al Jazeera Balkans estimates it has saved $300,000 a year by increasing network uptime; they've reduced spending on additional hardware by $20,000 annually, and they also no longer need to allocate $10,000 each year for maintenance expenses.

About OpManager

ManageEngine OpManager is a network management platform that helps enterprises, service providers and SMEs manage their data centers and IT infrastructure efficiently and cost effectively. Automated workflows, intelligent alerting engines, configurable discovery rules, and extendable templates enable IT teams to set up a 24/7 monitoring system within hours of installation. Do-it-yourself add-ons extend the scope of management to include network change and configuration management, IP address management, as well as monitoring of networks, applications, databases, and virtualization. For more information about OpManager, visit manageengine.com/opmanager.

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