PRTG goes to the top of the class for Network Monitoring

As school IT networks become bigger, the management of those networks becomes ever more vital to the education of students

When they work with tablets as much as with pen and paper and when their teachers mark their work and take the register electronically, schools can’t afford anything less than a smooth-running network. 

Over 1,000 pupils aged 11-19 attend The Westgate School, an academy in Slough, and 140 staff work there. Chris Green, IT manager of The Westgate School, is the person responsible for keeping the academy’s IT network running seamlessly. 

As the school’s network grew, Chris soon realised that he needed a software tool that could help him fix problems before users discovered them – something that would make his life much easier. On the recommendation of reseller Krome Technologies, Chris decided to invest in PRTG Network Monitor, a Unified Monitoring tool from German software developer Paessler. It met all his requirements: PRTG would provide proactive monitoring; it would not bombard him with alerts, and was available at a reasonable price. Chris purchased PRTG with a 2,500 sensor licence, and had it installed and working for him very swiftly.

According to Chris, PRTG has already made a tangible difference to his day-to-day work. Before he started using the software, network downtime was caused by things as simple as a full hard drive. Where previously he found himself trying to solve problems that were only apparent once the network was down, or when staff or pupils told him about it, Chris can now use PRTG to act as an early-warning system.

“I could see the benefit of having PRTG immediately. We had experienced some downtime in the past which had inevitably caused us issues. Having a tool that alerts you behind the scenes before the issues become critical is invaluable.”

One specific example of PRTG’s early warning capability sticks out in his mind. Over the course of a weekend, the school’s SQL database upgrade began an auto-backup without warning. The sheer size of the database meant that the process would have filled up the hard drive very quickly. However, PRTG gave Chris the warning he needed to remedy the situation, avoiding any downtime during school hours. Had Chris not been alerted in advance, pupils and teachers would have had multiple issues in the morning and would not have been able to access so much as the basic school software.