Meralco: Cost-effective troubleshooting with long-term network reporting & analytics
The Philippines, with over 100 million people living on more than 7,000 islands in the Western Pacific, is one of Asia’s most vibrant nations. Meralco, based in the capital Manila, serves almost six million customers spread across 36 cities and 75 municipalities.
Meralco runs a sophisticated enterprise network that handles all of the company’s critical business operations, customer billing, and other support functions. With continued growth in its customer base and a need for deeper network visibility, the company’s IT team encountered mounting pressure to find tools that could provide accurate, cost-effective troubleshooting of network traffic and application performance while also providing long term reporting and oversight of customer billing processes.
“The biggest needs of Meralco centered around two real-world requirements,” said Chris Bloom, Technology Evangelist for LiveAction. “Part of that was a desire to store and review up to a year’s worth of network performance data in order to understand precisely how the network and its applications were behaving over an extended period. The second requirement, which relates directly to customer service, was the need to support the billing cycle each month.”
“Meralco’s network experiences huge spikes in traffic at specific times of the month,” continued Bloom. “For example, a lot of the customer accounts are automated, so millions of payment transactions from multiple banks flow across the network and need to be processed within a very short period of time. It puts a huge strain on the network, so the company needed to find a solution that provided fast, easy access to network and application analytics while also enabling long-term reporting and trending data to ensure overall network health.”
LiveAction company, provided a solution that could fulfill all of the company’s requirements. An Omnipliance® network monitoring appliance was deployed to handle real-time network analysis and packet capture duties, while two Omnipliance Micro™ mini appliances have been deployed in a cluster to form an ELK database. The advantage of this solution is that any billing inquiries or discrepancies can quickly be escalated from the billing team to the IT team, where they can be resolved by searching for a specific customer’s payment metadata without jeopardizing that customer’s security.
“The beauty of this solution is that it magically scales to any size, right at the data center. This company has found a very elegant solution for a very common problem.”
– Chris Bloom, Technology Evangelist, LiveAction
The integration of Omnipliance and Omnipliance Micro with ELK provides this electrical power distributor with a powerful tool to understand long-term network trends. This makes it possible for the IT team to easily produce concise reports that present network statistics such as average and maximum utilization rates based on flow. In addition, the integration with ELK provides a great deal of flexibility and customization to the user interface, and
allows for future expansion as more storage is required. In fact, this company is one of our first clients to create an ELK cluster using multiple Insight appliances, resulting in superior load balancing and performance between the nodes and the cluster. Offering double the amount of storage of a single appliance, the company is now able to store and retrieve up to a year’s worth of network trending data.
“Whenever Meralco needs to add more capacity, they can simply add more Omnipliance Micros to the cluster,” said Bloom. “The beauty of this solution is that it magically scales to any size, right at the data center. This company has found a very elegant solution for a very common problem.”
LiveAction provides end-to-end visibility of network and application performance from a single pane of glass. We provide enterprises with confidence that the network is meeting business objectives, full network visibility for better decisions, and reduced cost to operate the network.