Proactive IT operational support for Trent and Dove Housing Association


Over 6 monitoring and alerting platforms consolidated into 1 with A4S Monitor providing real time monitoring and alerting across cloud and on premise solutions. Technologies covered include: Azure IaaS, on premise servers and storage, CISCO switches, VMWare VSphere and Azure AD and on-premise AD security events.
Trent and Dove Housing is an ambitious housing sector provider with 6000 homes, in order
to improve their services they’ve recently grown their IT services with significant investments
in areas such as Dynamics 365 combined with repairs solutions, have replaced their on-premise IT infrastructure and have worked with A4S to deliver their Azure based hybrid cloud environment.
Due to the rapid scaling of their IT infrastructure and applications their IT team were becoming increasingly frustrated with their legacy monitoring solution and its inability to easily provide insights into their existing and new systems, they needed a single pane of glass to give detailed visibility into their new environment.
Having visibility of your entire IT application and infrastructure estate in one solution sounds difficult to achieve, how about adding in bespoke requirements such as detecting authentication failures for different remote access platforms also?
For our client Trent and Dove Housing we now provide a real time monitoring and alerting service that gives IT administrators comprehensive realtime end to end visibility and notification across their on premise and cloud based environments, this includes Azure, Dynamics 365, WAN connectivity, storage area network, VMware and much more using A4S Monitor.
The Problem
Due to a rapid scaling of the client’s IT infrastructure that included a new on-premise HP based hypervisor and storage as well as a new cloud environment delivered by A4S; TDH IT found it increasingly difficult to maintain a proper visibility of their environment, this meant systems could run out of space, or unknowingly be experiencing excessive demand and performance impact. Traditionally their existing monitoring solution would not provide the insights needed and was not reporting and alerting on their cloud environment, visualisations were also very limited.
Quick & Easy Setup
A4S Monitor is quick and easy to setup, following a short and detailed investigation by A4S it was decided to deploy A4S Monitor to report on the client’s Azure environment, their on-premise VMWare Hypervisor and storage, their Windows infrastructure and wide area network connectivity.
External networking was presenting various performance challenges hence this was focused on first, the visualisation below was delivered to give the client a clear insight into the areas that matter to them, this includes VPN, Azure Front Door and external RDS Gateway connectivity:
Previously the client had no visibility into their internal CISCO networking hence this was also quickly delivered, now they have detailed insights into switch performance to the port level:
Remote Desktop Services
The client had recently migrated from Citrix to RDS as part of a consolidation exercise hence needed detailed alerting to provide IT admins with specific insights such as CPU performance, connected sessions, RAM utilisation and more, below are extracts of the dashboard provided providing critical realtime information:
Sometimes users will accidentally lock their accounts, however with more public facing services than evers such as remote access services, Azure AD and RDS a business needs greater visibility of logon attempts, for that reason we provided a dashboard showing logon failures for Azure AD, on-premise AD and RDS, we used a simple timeline to highlight activity, these visuations were also supported with table views showing exactly which accounts and what activities are happening:
VMWare Hypervisor
Underpinning the client’s Windows servers is a farm of VMWare ESXi hosts, previously the client had to access VCentre to obtain a clear view of any performance usage or issues, so using A4S Monitor and custom on-premise probes we provided an extremely clear view of their ESXi estate:
Alerting For Current & Historical Problem Analysis
A4S Monitor allows the client to view current and historical events either visually or using data tables, all information can be exported to excel or CSV for deeper analysis.
Reducing the Number of Monitoring Solutions Needed
Due to large amount of integrations provided by A4S Monitor; only one monitoring and alerting solution is needed, even alerting is pushed into
Microsoft Teams and Outlook.
Our monitoring visualisations for web applications, networking, servers, storage, Azure, Dynamics 365 is now all in one place within A4S Monitor.
Custom Monitoring and Alerting
The client had a need to report on specific account lockouts, A4S were able to quickly deliver the customisations needed to provide this information to to allow TDH IT to have deeper insights into logon activities affecting their users.
Summary of Benefits
In summary, Trent and Dove Housing IT now have a deep and real time visibility into the environment they need and in one location, whether being used for historical trending, problem analysis or seeing how many users are accessing their systems now; A4S Monitor ensures TDH IT can clearly visualise the information they need to make the right decisions.
Sophie Geehan TDH IT Systems Leader explained how the TDH IT Team had found the solution invaluable:

“At Trent and Dove Housing we now use A4S Monitor see real time performance needs as the scale up and down, we needed a solution that could give this information across all of our environments from network, to storage, to VMware and through to our Azure cloud environment.”

“Our main focus was to ensure our new repair solution delivered through Dynamics 365, an integration engine and through Azure could be monitored for any issues, A4S Monitor gave us this and more.”

Sophie Geehan TDH IT Systems Leader
A4S Managing Director Jason Birchall explained:
“We wanted to give the Trent and Dove Housing IT team a solution that was secure, scalable and would provide great visualisations to clearly identified the client’s systems and how they were performing, the A4S Monitor solution is designed to give real time and historical visualisations across a range of platforms including CISCO, Azure, VMWare, Dynamics 365, Windows Server and much more.”

“Finally we ensured alerting was provided into the client’s Microsoft Teams channel and also using a specific mailbox for record.”

“We thank Trent and Dove Housing for the opportunity to deliver our A4S Monitor Solution and hope it continues to become even more valuable and time progresses”
Jason Birchall A4S Managing Director
Would you like to know more about our approach to monitoring and alerting and this delivery?
Feel free to email me at [email protected]