The internal IT team running an Australian State Government’s extensive network, application and security infrastructure has gained visibility and reduced MTTR with the Riverbed Unified Network Performance Monitoring (UPM) platform.
The Queensland government agency is responsible for managing and growing the state’s extensive transport network – covering road, rail, air and sea. With over 200 sites, its ICT infrastructure is managed and continually developed by an in-house team.
After experiencing performance issues across its then Telstra communications network, in 2015 it commissioned consultants to review its infrastructure and provide advice on improving it. One challenge was gaining visibility over its hybrid technology, including NPL, MPLS, ADSL and NBN services. It was also planning to migrate services from Telstra to the CITEC Queensland Government Regional Network (QGRN) which offered a widespread environment for its over geographically dispersed sites.
Another particular challenge was performance across its many portable offices – with no way of quantifying performance issues or pinpointing them to applications or the network itself.
The agency team sought help from Riverbed, initially deploying our NetProfiler hybrid network traffic monitoring tool, an integral part of the Riverbed Unified Network Performance Monitoring (NPM) platform. It enables network teams to gain a true understanding of what is happening to data and applications – both in real time and for later forensic investigation.
This ‘full-fidelity’ monitoring gives support teams the capability to proactively identify performance and security issues – so they can quickly troubleshoot and resolve them. It is very useful too in a multi-service provider environment, when the only way to resolve an issue fast is to present definite proof when the root cause is beyond the corporate network.
NetProfiler has greatly assisted the agency as it has moved from an on-premises to hybrid cloud infrastructure. It is used daily to identify issues, often before end-users even notice.
Since 2016, use of the tool has been extended over different areas of the agency’s hardware and cloud environments. It has proven invaluable in simplifying the planning and execution of cloud migrations – enabling the agency to map application transactions in advance and ensure adequate bandwidth capacity when moving applications to the cloud.
From the start, Riverbed performance consultants worked closely with the agency to continuously improve the monitoring of its rapidly evolving network – and it has remained an ongoing relationship.
Recently, the agency formed a new group of network and security specialists called the Reliability and Identity Engineering Team, with the responsibility for maintaining visibility over its complex hybrid network and application infrastructure. Just one challenge the Riverbed Unified Network Performance Monitoring platform has been able to resolve was users being unable to gain access to systems. The platform identified the problem in certificate validation – in that certificates held were invalid or expiring, with the result that user accounts were being removed. Once identified, easily solved.
An evolving solution for an evolving multi-cloud infrastructure
The agency’s ICT organisation and its Reliability and Identity Engineering Team need new ways of harnessing their fast-growing environment. Working with their trusted Riverbed team, they are continually looking for new opportunities to enhance their troubleshooting capabilities.
One of the tools they are exploring within the Unified NPM platform is Riverbed Portal – which provides tailored visualisations to each of their technical subject matter experts according to their need. One example is the support of users at remote branches experiencing application performance issues, when both network and application teams can collaborate to isolate root cause for its resolution.
Offering a series of highly pertinent dashboards, Portal gives these experts the ability to drill down and see what traffic is traversing to Azure, AWS or the internet, and precisely which devices and firewalls are involved. This in turn provides for rapid troubleshooting and faster resolution, whatever the cause of performance issues.
With plans to further transform its network topology through SD-WAN technology, the agency expects to be working with Riverbed to further enhance the performance, resilience and security.
With a rapidly growing and evolving government network, the in-house team uses Riverbed NetProfiler daily to identify and troubleshoot issues impacting user and citizen experience
Australian State Government Agency
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