East of England Co-op Case Study
The East of England Co-op was created in October 2005 when the Ipswich and Norwich Co-operative Society joined forces with the Colchester and East Essex Co-operative Society. Its history goes back as far as 1861.
The East of England Co-op is an independent co-operative business, "built by local people, for local people" and that continues to this day. As one of the largest consumer co-operatives in the UK, they continue to make a growing difference to the region's economy and local communities.
Being a co-operative means it shares its success with its members and the wider community. Every year, part of the profit goes back to members as dividend, some is invested back into the communities they trade in, and the rest goes back into ensuring they can carry on doing what we do for future years to come.
When the Co-operatives merged in 2005 a part of this was the review and update of the IT and infrastructure. Whilst this was being planned it was decided that a monitoring solution was required to keep track of the infrastructure of the business. Mutiny was chosen for its ability to track the current hardware and grow with the needs of the business.
With 150+ locations centralised monitoring and reporting is more important than ever. Mutiny is currently used to monitor around 670 devices. In their head office this includes their servers, switches and other traditional network devices together with their inter-site connections and routers on these sites. They even monitor fingerprint based clocking systems and door locks.
The use of the Mutiny solution allows for a reduction in downtime and increases in performance as potential issues are identified and rectified more quickly. Central to the use of the system is the built-in Wallboard. Running on a large wall mounted screen this gives the team an overview of the devices on their network and their statuses. This provides the team with the information they need and prompts them when issues or abnormal behaviour is detected.
Additionally Mutiny's built in email functionality sends detailed information about the issues directly to the team. John Merry, IT Analyst at East of England Co-op said: The Mutiny Wallboard is set up in our office. It allows us to see the real-time statuses of the devices on the network and it notifies us and flags up when issues are occurring, the system also emails us. Out of hours a similarly configured wallboard provides their security team with visibility. This allows them to alert the IT team at any time 24/7.
The Co-op head office uses Mutiny's temperature monitoring across the server rooms. This is reviewed constantly within the dashboards and failures, fluctuations and trends reported on.
The pro-active element of the system is important to the IT department. The Mutiny system allows them to react to issues before they cause disruption to teams or cause potentially expensive problems. The lack of maintenance means that it simply ticks over and provides them with the core information they need to get the fixes in place. John said: We don't have to worry about it. It's put in and forgetâ€¦It kind of just sits there and tells you if something is wrong, we don't have to worry about it
The systems within the East of England Co-op are constantly changed, reconfigured and upgraded. Mutiny flexes to these needs and as new devices are added the configuration of these is straight forward. John said: If we get a new server, switch or machine it's very simple for anyone to add these. Then they just appear. There is no stress. Even when a device is not natively supported, getting the Mutiny system configured to accept it is easy. John continued: We simply send the file to them and they just look after adding this to the solution. They talk to the vendor and just do it.
After over a decade of use the Mutiny system continues to perform and keep East of England Co-op's systems running optimally. Andy Murray, Technical Director at Mutiny said: The East of England Co-op's use of Mutiny shows just how capable the core solution is. Out of the box, without any customisation, it is capable of monitoring an estate even of this size.