Game Changing ITOA Use Cases

Prevent IT Infrastructure Problems

By Jeremy Littlejohn
Co-founder, RISC Networks

A global luxury consumer goods manufacturer spent several months working with a large IT solution provider to determine the best solution for their growing desktop management problems. The decision was made to roll out a VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure) to their global workforce in a scaled approach. Before the rollout could occur, the performance of the underlying network needed to be improved. According to their network monitoring suite, everything was working optimally, but the solution provider insisted on including ITOA capabilities for the project to make sure the rollout was a success.

Beginning with a complete discovery of the infrastructure and a topology mapping, the global luxury consumer goods manufacturer was able to focus the ITOA capabilities on their most critical areas first. Working with the solution partner, they deployed active traffic simulation probes throughout the network, as well as collected huge amounts of machine data and additional component level performance data through polling. ITOA helped them to correlate the simulation data with existing performance data and determine that while the majority of the environment would support the new load of VDI traffic, there were several areas that would not. Without advanced analytics, sifting through this data to isolate specific paths and locations in the network would have been nearly impossible.

ITOA Discovers Inaccurate Network Capacity Information
In the course of the project, using ITOA, the global luxury consumer goods manufacturer was able to determine that the network capacity information provided to them by their teams in other countries was not correct. In fact, in many cases the network capacity information was off by a factor of 10x, - in the wrong direction! Using patent-pending algorithms to dynamically classify critical interfaces in each location across the globe meant that they could take immediate action to upgrade circuits and remediate problems before their VDI application even left the sandbox. The sheer scale of the environment meant that their traditional monitoring tools could not collect and maintain the level of detail they needed to predict the success of their VDI rollout.

ITOA Tools Detect and Analyze Subtle Detailed Data
Delivering analytics requires that product designers begin with the end in mind. The outputs, and ultimately the outcomes, of the analytics should be predictable and repeatable. For customers, this means that they can rely on ITOA to provide answers in a sea of charts, and to detect traffic patterns and behaviors that are too small to be noticed, until it is too late. In addition, ITOA tools are designed to correlate distinct data sets. Most monitoring tools still silo information and do not take advantage of the value that contextual data, such as location, time, and adjacencies, can bring to an analysis of data.

A Happy Ending
After isolating the issues in the environment, the customer team was able to easily correct them. Once the problem was clear, the solution was quick and painless. ITOA allowed the global luxury consumer goods manufacturer to avoid the disaster of a VDI rollout gone bad, and at the same time improve the overall functioning of their IT operations.

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About Jeremy Littlejohn
Jeremy Littlejohn is a co-founder at RISC Networks, and currently serves as Chief Analyst. Mr. Littlejohn is a Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE) with over 16 years of experience delivering complex IT solutions and has been delivering IT Operations Analytics (ITOA) to enterprise customers since 2007. Mr. Littlejohn has co-authored many patent pending analytics advancements. Mr. Littlejohn lives in Asheville, NC.

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