Case Study

Medical Supplier Gains Complete Visibility Into Distribution Facilities With NETSCOUT

Medical Supplier Gains Complete Visibility Into Distribution Facilities With NETSCOUT


The Challenge
  • Service outage disrupted distribution operations
  • Blind spots in distribution environment jeopardized business delivery reliability
The Solution
  • Enhanced nGeniusONE® server appliance
  • NETSCOUT® Certified InfiniStreamNG® software appliances supporting 40GB network speeds
  • nGenius® Packet Flow Operating System (PFOS) for Certified 5000 Series Packet Flow Switch
  • vSTREAMTM virtual appliances
The Results
  • Smart visibility into distribution operations promoted proactive monitoring required for sustained customer order fulfillment
  • Standardized go-forward NETSCOUT build offers enhanced processing, eliminates IT silos, improves service delivery

Customer Profile

This leading medical supplier’s business has experienced sustained growth, with year-over-year revenue increases. Recent acquisition activities enabled the company to expand its product portfolio, service delivery capabilities, and market reach.

In supporting millions of customers, the supplier operates a national distribution network, with regional facilities’ coverage designed to assure quick fulfillment of online orders for customers requiring these highly specialized and frequently critical products.

The Challenge

One of the supplier’s strategic acquisitions had resulted in their company merging with a former competitor and subsequently functioning as the corporate parent for these consolidated businesses.

As the supplier’s leadership team began an audit of the respective solutions in the two companies’ real-time monitoring environments, there was an early realization that while they were each using NETSCOUT service assurance and smart visibility solutions, these environments were highly varied in terms of configuration profiles and information technology (IT) team usage.

For example, the IT team at one of the supplier’s newly acquired distribution facilities was relying on a legacy InfiniStream® to reliably generate packet capture (PCAP) exports used in their post-incident forensic analysis activities. While the InfiniStream supported IT’s forensic troubleshooting efforts in that manner, the appliance was not deployed in a solution architecture equipped to passively monitor the high-volume, north-south network traffic required for proactive nGeniusONE monitoring or provide visibility across the server, network, data center, and cloud/virtual service edges.

This limited-use profile became problematic when a distribution outage was experienced at the very location where this legacy InfiniStream appliance was deployed. While the local, experienced IT team alleviated this issue with a reboot of their network switch environment, business leadership’s overnight assessment considered several factors:

  • Distribution operations had not been adversely impacted, thankfully, due to a daily order backlog.
  • While delivery to customers had not been disrupted, the supplier’s efforts in reconciling downtime required scheduling of significant labor hours.
  • Local IT operations needed access to a NETSCOUT service assurance and smart visibility footprint similar to that used by IT teams assuring business service delivery across other supplier facilities – otherwise, additional distribution disruptions could happen in the future.

Solution in Action

The supplier is assuring increasingly reliable business operations at the distribution facility by collaborating with their NETSCOUT business partners to redesign their service assurance and smart visibility solution to include:

  • An nGeniusONE server appliance offering enhanced processing, memory capacity, and Unified Communications (UC) analytics support.
  • NETSCOUT Certified InfiniStreamNG (ISNG) software appliances supporting 40GB network speeds, which use patented Adaptive Service Intelligence® (ASI) technology to generate the NETSCOUT smart data required for continuous and uniform visibility across their enterprise environment. The nGeniusONE platform’s smart analytics consume this smart data to supply the IT team with real-time performance analytics identifying “situations to watch” and contextual workflows available to pinpoint root cause and cut mean-time-to-repair (MTTR) cycles.
  • The nGenius PFOS for Certified 5000 Series Packet Flow Switch appliances support 40GB network speeds, while optimizing the flow of packets from the supplier’s network to ISNG appliances and downstream third-party security tools.

Under this procurement, the IT leadership decided to future-proof the IT environment at the distribution location by deploying vSTREAM virtual appliances that deliver smart visibility into cloud and virtual environments. With this data source integrating with ISNG and PFS software appliances, the IT team is able to deliver a unified visibility architecture covering north-south and east-west network traffic.

The Results

The supplier’s IT leadership team realized the following benefits by extending and updating their organizational commitment to NETSCOUT’s smart visibility and service assurance technology:

  • Transitioned to a proactive monitoring model at the distribution facility, with local IT operations using real-time dashboard/monitor views, alerts, and key performance indicator reporting to identify emerging issues before they impacted production operations.
  • Improved post-incident troubleshooting capabilities, with nGeniusONE workflows offering contextual drill-downs into session records and packet decodes, all without the need for PCAP exports.
  • Provided executive-level visibility into distribution operations and business service performance, taking advantage of high-level nGeniusONE Service Dashboard views and reporting.
  • Met cost containment guidelines with software-based and virtual data sources, while reducing operating expenses with single-vendor solution approached.

In moving to a standardized NETSCOUT build already offering production-proven value to enterprise locations across the business, the local IT team has access to a future-proof solution that supports visibility into cloud and virtual platform access at the distribution facility.