Case Study: Uptime Infrastructure Monitor

IDERA Helps Blevins Pinpoint System Issues and Improve Customer Service

Overview

Blevins, Inc. is one of the nation’s leading wholesale distributors for the manufactured housing industry. The company’s products include heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment, storage sheds and setup materials for home installations. Based in Nashville, Tennessee, Blevins has more than 350 employees located across 14 distribution centers and serving 31 states. The company’s success can be largely attributed to a continued focus on providing superior customer service and quality products for fair prices.

Challenge

To run its IT operations and online store, Blevins has 30 servers, 92 percent of which are virtualized with Microsoft HyperV. The company’s systems and 200 internal users throughout the country are supported by Jim Barber, Information System Manager at Blevins, and two other system administrators.

One of the challenges Blevins’ IT team faced was supporting users and systems during times of performance issues. “Around 2:30 pm every day we would have a system slowdown that almost brought the company to a standstill. We couldn’t answers questions about why it was so slow, where the problem was occurring or if we could add more RAM, processors or bandwidth to solve the problem. It was really frustrating,” said Jim Barber.

For the company to operate efficiently, the IT team had to figure out what was causing the issue, why it was happening and where it was located.

Solution

Blevins needed a software solution that could address these issues in a way that was easy to use, provided granularity and worked well with its existing Microsoft environment. The IT team evaluated products from Packeteer, SolarWinds and IDERA, and eventually chose IDERA’s Uptime Infrastructure Monitor because it performed the best in the testing phase and they could see more relevant use cases right out of the box. Blevins also had a strong, established relationship with IDERA from using its SQL Diagnostic Manager and SQL Check products, both of which had been extremely effective for years.

Benefits and Outcomes

Working with IDERA, the Blevins IT team installed Uptime Infrastructure Monitor to monitor server utilization, system services, ERP performance, bandwidth usage, and circuit utilization. Because the product integrates with their Palo Alto Networks firewall, they were able to achieve additional granularity in monitoring each person’s usage, setup and devices.

Using Uptime Infrastructure Monitor, the Blevins IT team quickly identified core issues as they occurred and implemented a plan of action to fix recurring problems once and for all. Uptime Infrastructure Monitor also helped them establish baseline data to know what processes or applications are running hot and when, so they can restart them as necessary. This keeps Blevins’ systems running smoothly, and helps the company serve employees and customers more effectively.

“Uptime Infrastructure Monitor allowed us to finally pinpoint the exact reasons for our system slowdowns,” said Barber. “It gives me an intuitive dashboard to monitor our systems and flag issues when they pop up, replacing frustrating guesswork with solid data that shows exactly where our issues are. As our network and the ability to identify problems become more complex, I’m looking forward to seeing how Uptime Infrastructure Monitor grows to help us meet our needs.”

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