Peterborough City Council is investing in a new management suite to improve the control and optimisation of its network assets.

The council needed to update the management of its corporate and educational networks, including 65 primary and 15 secondary schools and nine libraries, to facilitate the applications delivering services such as high-speed internet access, video conferencing, secure data transfer and VoIP. These capabilities will provide the foundation for technology-based educational approaches such as a virtual learning environment where students can electronically attend classes at campuses across the city, forming part of Peterborough’s community strategy goal to increase the provision of high-quality, accessible higher education.

“Several strategic growth plans for the city through 2011 require state-of-the-art network connectivity,” said Paul Barnes, the Council’s networks and schools technical manager. “EYE gives us the ability to proactively provision our network to efficiently deliver not only today’s IT services, but future capabilities as well. This allows us to manage the resources for Council corporate needs and for the growing educational needs of the community.”

The authority also needed a set of management tools that were easy to deploy and that delivered real-time operational analytics and in-depth network service management reporting. It selected the EYE management suite from vendor Entuity and discovered several previously unknown areas of concern within its network allowing operations personnel to proactively take corrective action.

In one example, the council was able to identify and isolate transmit errors between the one of the main libraries and the Town Hall. The network support team was able to correct the cause of this issue and the resultant latency in the network.

“Our goal is to identify and fix network related issues before our users even know there is a problem,” said Ataf Mahmood, senior communications analyst for Peterborough City Council IT department. “EYE lets us set our own threshold levels for various device attributes and actively alerts us if they are exceeded. In conjunction with the fault and root cause capabilities, we can minimise network latency, ensure proper bandwidth utilisation, and pre-empt brownouts to keep our phones from ringing.”

Mahmood said the new management capability has enhanced productivity and efficiency by providing detailed network information, helping IT operations personnel manage key processes more efficiently with fewer resources, resulting in reliable service delivery, increased productivity, and greater cost efficiencies across the network. The EYE auto-discovery functionality will be used to baseline infrastructure asset inventory to simplify capacity planning and hardware maintenance expense.