We have more than 25 dispersed clinic locations connected through a central data center and we run hundreds of critical applications. One of the largest software applications is Epic, which is a huge multi-tiered application suite that includes several smaller applications that all bounce from server to server, gathering data requests from different sources and funneling back responses to our clinical and administrative teams.
Visual TruView uses key data sets (including packet storage, application response time, transactional decode, NetFlow and SNMP) to measure performance of hundreds of applications and then report the results through a single dashboard. The comprehensive overview of both network and application performance provides us with a clear picture of performance and, when issues arise, helps us quickly identify the root cause.
We also use TruView to evaluate top talkers (i.e., applications) on the network, identify unknown applications, identify the most-used at any moment, and measure other indicators of network health. TruView delivers this information via simple graphs and alerts that trigger when minimum performance thresholds aren’t met. It helps immediately narrow down the scope of performance problems, so we can do further analysis on a specific node or server.
For example, when we used TruView to identify which applications were affecting network performance the most, we were surprised to find a marketing screensaver as the main culprit. The screensaver (which runs on hundreds of computer screens and is displayed in every patient room) was not deployed properly. Instead of caching information from each individual computer’s hard drive, it was pulling high-resolution images and marketing materials from remote servers and serving them to desktops. This created a huge amount of traffic every single day. We used TruView to identify this unnecessary bandwidth-intense application as a problem.
TruView helps us tell right away when a problem happens and the scope of the issue. If something is slow, we can tell the location or application affected. When it’s a multi-tier application, we can see which element is the problem and don’t need to involve the vendor – it’s eliminated a lot of the troubleshooting frustrations we used to have.