”The return on investment for the op5 Monitor was evident after the first system down time”
Arla Foods in Götene is responsible for the IT-network of the local production. Previously, documentation and monitoring platforms were partly absent, which resulted in difficulties in monitoring the production environment and delays in troubleshooting. Arla Food was looking primarily for a monitoring system for the network itself; however they discovered that op5 had a platform that could handle so much more, as well as compile everything into one place.
Today, one center has been established that monitors two sites in Götene:one production facility and one warehouse. A total of about fifty IP-addresses are monitored consisting of switches, firewalls, and virus-scanning servers, wireless points of access, servers, as well as a blade enclosure and SAN-switches. Even the control system (PLCs) of the production facility are being monitored.
In addition, nearly 700 services are controlled via SNMP. You can see that all the switches are active (”alive”) and the exact status of their gateway, among other things. When it comes to servers, the own agents have been added to monitor status and trends with regards to CPU-loads, disk and memory useage, etc.
Monitored services and proactivity
Services within the operative system are also monitored. Log files have been created that are regularly searched through for certain text strings.
In this way, we can quickly access status information concerning monitored processes; a much more reliable method than just checking the “running state”, which does not always promptly send an alarm when a process dies. This means that in most cases the problem will be proactively dealt with to before it affects production and that we have thereby removed short operational stops, which we were previously affected by every week.
”We also run some checks on our SQL-servers, standard checks to monitor the size of the data bases, but also checks to make sure that the back-ups and other maintenance work function properly. These types of jobs are are, of course, monitored in the SQL-server itself, however the op5 provides a central overview”,explained Gustaf Winther, IT-engineer at Arla Foods AB.
”We have created our own SQL-queries which track and warn about differences in the stock map, something which is of great use.”
High costs for system downtime and production stops
For Arla Foods, every production stop means high costs, in a worst case scenario 300 people will have to stop working.
”The time savings provided by op5 in the event of system downtime and other incidents is invaluable. Just one incident is enough to cover the entire investment in our new monitoring platform”, said Gustaf Winther.
op5 Monitor also takes into consideration the internal dependency of different components, which to a great degree speeds up the troubleshooting and improves the decision documentation when prioritizing necessary actions for operational failures.
Smooth implementation and full control
Arla Foods feels that the implementation of op5 was done very smoothly. They began on a small-scale and have gradually increased the monitoring to include more and more components.
”We are extremely satisfied, we receive relevant alarms and things function as we expected them to. Today, it would be unthinkable to work without the op5 Monitor; you quickly get used to having full control”, concluded Gustaf Winther.
About Arla Foods
Arla Foods is a global dairy company and a cooperative association owned by approximately 7,200 Swedish and Danish dairy farmers. They have production facilities 13 countries, sales offices in a further 20 countries and more than 16,000 employees. See www.arlafoods.se