When the number of monitoring templates matches the same number of systems to be monitored, it is high time to homogenize everything. That is exactly what HDI Systeme AG did. Together with Fujitsu, the company successfully implemented a standardized platform for monitoring all systems: a cross-provider single source of truth for all important parameters of the IT infrastructure.
A great many heterogeneous monitoring tools make operating the IT infrastructure complex and susceptible to errors
Standardized, cross-provider server monitoring
with ManageNow from Fujitsu
By standardizing our server monitoring activities, we were able to reduce the number of malfunctions by one third.
Jochen Schulze, head of Infrastructure Integration and Product Management, HDI Systeme AG
IT infrastructure components of different providers are monitored uniformly and transparently with Fujitsu ManageNow.
HDI Systeme AG is the IT service provider for the Talanx Group, the third-largest insurance group in Germany. With more than 1,000 employees in Hannover, Cologne, Hilden and Hamburg, HDI Systeme AG bundles the IT services of the Retail Germany and Industrial Lines divisions, the Talanx Holding group functions, HDI Service AG and the asset management companies.
A heterogeneous environment makes for enormous complexity
Smart monitoring that guarantees server availability at any time is the linchpin of complex IT infrastructures, like those found in global insurance companies. To maximize efficiency, all necessary information is ideally accessible in standardized form from a single source. HDI Systeme AG set out on the way to achieving this state with approximately 6,000 systems, which were monitored by more than 1,500 monitoring templates. The goal was to simplify and homogenize this highly complex system.
A systematic approach to consistent IT monitoring
After having gained good experience with Fujitsu in operating its BS2000 system, HDI decided to hire Fujitsu as the solution partner for building a control center and handling the cross-provider monitoring of its IT infrastructure as part of an invitation to bid in 2018.
The first step on the way to homogenizing the system was to take a fundamental and critical inventory of the systems and monitoring tools used up to that time. "At this point, the outsider's perspective that Fujitsu brought to the project was a big help in gaining a better understanding of our situation," says Jochen Schulze, head of Infrastructure Integration and Production Management at HDI Systeme AG. The success of such an ambitious standardization project requires an enormous amount of transparency and dedication on the part of both parties. "Fujitsu invested a great deal of time and energy in smooth communication and went the extra mile to provide us with support," says Schulze, praising the partnership.
Ready for the cloud
Since the middle of 2019, HDI Systeme AG has been using ManageNow from Fujitsu as the central, cross-provider IT management platform as well as ServiceTrace for monitoring the user experience and Splunk as the data analysis tool. Fujitsu is operating all three solutions. The process of monitoring the complex IT infrastructure has therefore become a sure-fire success. If irregularities occur in the uniformly monitored server parameters, ManageNow automatically generates tickets and sends them along predefined escalation levels for processing. Meanwhile, ServiceTrace helps monitor and improve the user experience. For this purpose, a software robot carries out established workflows in the systems, for example the early morning check. Splunk is used for application monitoring and application logging and thus, combined with ManageNow, makes it possible to keep an eye on application performance.
"ManageNow gives us a good basis for further development, especially as we move toward the cloud," says a pleased Jochen Schulze. After all, most public cloud operators offer proprietary monitoring tools for their cloud servers. With Fujitsu ManageNow, it is possible to integrate this information into the regular monitoring process and thereby establish a single source of truth regarding the state of all servers. In looking to the future, Schulze characterizes the exchange of information with Fujitsu on regular architecture boards as highly productive. "When it comes to
further developing ManageNow, Fujitsu takes user requirements very seriously, enabling us to grow and make progress together."