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Why one of Europe’s leading telecom operators switched from Nagios to op5 Monitor

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Tele2 is one of Europe’s fastest growing telecom operators, with 15 million customers in 10 countries and €3.5 billion in sales. They offer products and services in fixed and mobile telephony, broadband, data communication networks, cable TV and content services.

The IT environment is spread over eleven countries. They primarily monitor servers (with all types of operating systems imaginable) and applications. This monitoring involves everything from hardware components to user emulation. In total, there about 2000 monitored servers and just as many monitored applications.

 

Change of monitoring system

Tele2 previously used Nagios as its monitoring tool, but in 2010 they chose to switch to op5 Monitor – an open source code-based refinement of Nagios.

 

“We chose to change monitoring system because we were looking for better support and a product that would do a better job of keeping up with development trends.”

says Charlie Candergart, developer and monitoring technician at Tele2.

 

With the help of op5, commissioning of the new system went very smoothly. op5 Monitor is highly compatible with Nagios, so most customers can make a smooth transition. “We definitely got a much better product than we had in Nagios. At the same time, op5 Monitor provided a number of new functions and has a much better look” says Charlie Candergart.

 

Over time, Tele2 has developed a number of its own plug-ins. Their adaptations have primarily been related to various user emulations, but they also developed some for monitoring e.g. databases and I/Os.

 

In-house developed user emulation

Based on requirements from Tele2’s server and system administration, the company developed user emulation for its most critical systems. The emulation serves to gather statistics regarding different systems, at which time their operational reliability is ranked with availability number. This makes it possible to monitor the availability of the company’s internal systems and applications from a user perspective.

 

Monthly availability targets have been set for each system. Trends are followed on an ongoing basis throughout the month to make it possible to remedy any problems as early as possible.
The system owners have been provided monitors to keep tabs on “their operating parameters”. This has enabled the company to tap into the workers’ competitive nature – everyone wants to be on top of the rankings. Even though the monitoring screens are jokingly referred to as the “black list” internally, the system effectively cultivates the quality work of the organization.

 

“The best thing about op5 Monitor is its flexibility. It is so easy to monitor exactly what you want to. There is an abundance of ready-to-use plug-ins on the web. At the same time, it is simple to modify or develop our own modules” says Charlie Candergart.

 

“As a company, op5 has extremely talented and alert employees. Over the years, we have had a lot of contact with developers and support staff, all of whom have been very pleasant and helpful. They even have testing environments, so they can quickly reproduce our problems and find solutions.”

 

About Tele2

Tele2 is one of Europe’s leading telecom operators, offering mobile services, fixed broadband and telephony, data network services, cable TV and content services. We have 38 million customers in 11 countries, whereof 35 million in our mobile operations. In 2011, net sales amounted to SEK 41 billion and reported operating profit (EBITDA) amounted to SEK 10.9 billion. Tele2 constantly seeks selective growth opportunities that meet our strict financial targets and fit our corporate culture.

 

Quick facts

Challenge: To monitor a complex IT system and at the same time keep 38 million customers happy.  The move from Nagios to op5 Monitor in an international environment with inhouse-developed plug-ins.

op5 Solution: op5 Monitor with 2000 monitoring devices.
Result: Through stimulating competition between the different Tele2 departments, the company has been able to improve the quality in their operations.