IT infrastructure management

Thorp Reed & Armstrong is a leading law firm headquartered in Pittsburgh, having more than 100 expert lawyers in the practice areas of business law, litigation, labor and commercial and public finance. Established in 1895, the privately held company has more than 250 employees and is the 7th largest law company in Pittsburgh. The company also has branches in Philadelphia, Princeton and Wheeling.

The challenge : Managing growing networks, and keeping it simple

"You can't put a price on the reliability that OpManager has on the alerting capability.. I realize it is a completely robust application. It's a fabulous product."
Randy S. Hollaway.
Thorp Reed & Armstrong, LLP and OpManager

Thorp Reed's gradual expansion to the three locations and the resulting addition of networking and server hardware required a monitoring and management solution that could sit at headquarters and tell the IT team what is happening across the whole network. They needed a solution that could monitor availability and performance of their multi-vendor network devices and servers, monitor bandwidth usage, help in troubleshooting network glitches and eventually help manage their complete IT aided by a common helpdesk system.

The company's infrastructure consisted of Cisco routers and firewalls, Nortel switches, over 50 Windows servers and applications such as Microsoft Exchange and Active Directory - all spread across the four branches over a MPLS VPN. Randy S. Hollaway, the Senior System Administrator at Thorp Reed & Armstrong, preferred a network management tool that was web-based, agentless, and easy to use. Any personnel in the IT team placed out of the branch locations needed to be able to quickly access the tool and investigate on assigned network hiccups. He also wanted the tool to be comprehensive and vendor-independent as the company's IT infrastructure was diverse.

The solution & implementation

Randy was lucky in his search for the right network management vendor and solution. His wife, coming from a networking background, works for a Managed Services Provider company which uses ManageEngine's flagship network management solution - OpManager, to manage its customers' complex, remote networks. Randy evaluated OpManager live on his network to experience what he had heard from his wife and was impressed by how comprehensive yet easy it was.

"OpManager helped us pinpoint issues and find problems on the network and as a result fix it and provide better services for our end users."

Deployable in less than one hour, OpManager is an easy-to-use network monitoring application that offers much more than device availability and performance monitoring. Randy said, "I also appreciate the fact that it's watching traffic loads on our switches and routers and many times we get alerts from a port or a switch that's over utilized. That's helped us pinpoint issues and find problems on the network and as a result fix it and provide better services for our end users."

Randy's implementation of the reports and alerting notifications had been so intuitive and robust that he has not had to revisit certain reports even after two years of using OpManager.

The results

Randy and Thorp Reed have been hugely benefitted by OpManager's alerting and troubleshooting capabilities. Asked to speak on any specific incidents, Randy said that they recently went through a router upgrade and OpManager signaled him of the router not being back into operation even past the vendor's promised service delivery time. Randy said "you can't put a price on the reliability that OpManager has on the alerting capability. I gave that one example, but we've had many examples where we've had services go down where OpManager has given us the heads-up". He also heavily uses OpManager's integration with other solutions from ManageEngine to troubleshoot network faults. "The fact that I can drill down and look at our traffic internally and pinpoint where it's coming from has been a huge benefit. You take the piece of information that you get from Firewall Analyzer and it sort of will steer you where you to need to go look in OpManager."

"All the reports that I need or desired have been there. I sort of don't have to ever go back to the reporting feature because I have them all scheduled to email me."

Thorp Reed reaps fruits from a decision made back in 2006 Thorp Reed today has plans to move to a complete VoIP system based on Cisco infrastructure and Randy is eager to try out OpManager's NetFlow plug-in with the VoIP Monitor to get him through all the stages of the VoIP rollout. He also plans to augment OpManager's fault alerting by automatically creating trouble-tickets into his helpdesk system - ManageEngine ServiceDesk Plus.

Randy began his relationship with ManageEngine for his network monitoring needs in 2006 by purchasing a 150 device license pack of OpManager with the Microsoft Exchange add-on. Since then, he now has Firewall Analyzer for firewall log analysis and reporting, ADManager Plus for Active Directory management, Desktop Central for desktop management and ServiceDesk Plus, an ITIL-ready helpdesk - all from the ManageEngine suite.

About OpManager

OpManager is the flagship network management software from ManageEngine, the low cost leader in enterprise IT management. OpManager offers comprehensive network fault and performance management functionality that covers availability and performance management for routers, switches, firewalls, servers (both physical and virtual servers), applications, websites and other infrastructure devices such as printers, UPS, etc.. Additional modules include network traffic analysis, network configuration management, WAN RTT and VoIP QoS monitoring to provide visibility needed for complete enterprise network management. The software further extends its capabilities by integrating with other solutions from the ManageEngine suite. More than 8500 businesses from 93 countries use OpManager to keep their networks up and optimized. For more information, please visit www.opmanager.com.

About ManageEngine

The ManageEngine suite offers enterprise IT management solutions including Network Management, HelpDesk & ITIL, Bandwidth Monitoring, Application Management, Desktop Management, Security Management, Password Management, Active Directory reporting, and a Managed Services platform. ManageEngine products are easy to install, setup and use and offer extensive support, consultation, and training. More than 36,000 organizations from different verticals, industries, and sizes use ManageEngine to take care of their IT management needs cost effectively.

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