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Monroe City District Ramps Up Network Monitoring

A Louisiana school district has gone public with its February 2011 implementation of a new network management system that's helping its IT crew reduce the amount of travel it needs to do to diagnose network problems. Monroe City School District, with about 9,000 students, adopted Orion Network Performance Monitor from SolarWinds to detect, diagnose, and resolve network performance problems and outages. It also uses IP Address Manager from the same company to be able to view IP address allocations from a dashboard.

"Being a school district spread out across 21 different schools and district offices, we had no way of knowing and monitoring that range of IT equipment," said MIS Administrator Josh Leporati. "We needed an agentless IT management solution to help us keep an eye on our total network health, and to allow us to be proactive in diagnosing network health issues and resolve them before they affect the users and students."

The IT team supports 3,500 computers, printers, and peripheral devices, as well as 50 servers among the networked sites.

Leporati had used SolarWinds applications previously in other jobs. He chose them for his latest work, he said, because "SolarWinds offered a competitive priced product that could manage and maintain our entire infrastructure all within one common suite."

The network monitor provides an accurate view of network health, particularly useful to IT when it receives calls from a given site that the network is down. Likewise, the IP address manager replaces a ping-oriented approach to viewing the status of IP leases and available addresses.

Referring to the SolarWinds software as an "IT department's Swiss Army knife," Leporati noted, "We've experienced a 100 percent improvement in our network management and historical metrics tracking. We are now able to proactively detect problems in the network."

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a writer who covers technology and business for a number of publications. Contact her at dian@dischaffhauser.com.

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