50% reduction in IT troubleshooting times
Better support for diverse technologies
More efficient use of university bandwidth
The university's 50-person IT organization supports a patchwork of departmental applications, as well as web-based services such as email; the university's portal for students, faculty, and applicants; and a Blackboard online learning management system.
Nearly every service and application at the school ties back into a central administrative system based on Banner software, which stores student, alumni, financial, and personnel data in an Oracle database. If one application uses that database inefficiently, such as with poorly written queries, it can impact the performance of other applications that also rely on the database. But understanding how applications interacted with the Banner system was a major challenge for their IT team.
"Over the years, we had tried to install monitoring software for Banner, but none of them ever made it past the testing stage because either the agent caused an issue or there was a fear that they could cause an issue in production," says their senior manager of network infrastructure services.
We installed the ExtraHop appliance and within 30 minutes I was able to show the DBAs which tables were being used, by which applications, and which ones performed most slowly.
Sr. Mgr of Network Infrastructure Services Boston-based University
When this manager heard about ExtraHop, he jumped at the opportunity to gain visibility into the Banner application without invasive agents. "The big selling point for me was that ExtraHop did not require any agents," he said. "We installed the ExtraHop appliance and within 30 minutes I was able to show the DBAs which tables were being used, by which applications, and which ones performed most slowly. Getting deep visibility that quickly was phenomenal."
Correlated Visibility Across Tiers
With ExtraHop, application support teams at the university have real-time visibility into all wire data—that is, all L2 to L7 communications between systems—so they can see how their applications are using the Banner database, as well as network services such as DNS and the network itself at the TCP layer.
"ExtraHop provides value to multiple groups at the school. I have developers who are using it, I have email administrators, the Blackboard administrator, the database administrator," explains the manager. "Equipped with ExtraHop, these constituencies know how well their applications are performing across all tiers and they can troubleshoot problems themselves, without immediately blaming the network."