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How CDK Global, an MSP, Proactively Ensures a Positive VMware End User Computer Experience for their 27,000 Auto Dealerships

cdk-global-goliath-technologies-vmware“We wanted a product for our VMware environment that was very competitively priced, had great flexibility, a complete feature set and was easy to implement and manage. We found it in Goliath Performance Monitor”

-Mike Musgrove, Product Development Consultant, CDK Global


The Organization: CDK Global

About the Organization: CDK Global is a $2 billion global provider of IT and digital marketing solutions to 27,000 retail automotive locations in 100 countries. CDK Global has been in business for over 40 years.

The Organization’s Infrastructure: VMware, Citrix XenDesktop 7.6 and Citrix XenServer

The Organization’s Performance Monitoring Product: Goliath Performance Monitor


The Business Challenge: Anticipating & Remediating End User Performance Issues

I was tasked with evaluating and testing various IT performance monitoring products to manage our complex IT infrastructure.

Specifically, we needed deeper visibility into VMware server performance so our IT Operations team could increasingly anticipate potential end user performance issues and avoid them if possible by proactively deploying remediation actions.

But if issues did occur that compromise the end user computing experience, to have the right visibility and VMware server performance data to quickly troubleshoot and resolve before our end users complained.

Two key requirements in our IT performance monitoring product selection criteria:

  1. The product must cover a broad range of platform servers because at CDK Global we use a wide variety of operating systems such as UNIX, UnixWare, AIX, Microsoft and various forms of Linux servers all on VMware.
  1. The product must have the same functionality for both physical and virtual environments, and local and remote monitoring.

Additional requirements in our selection criteria:

  • Easy to use
  • Flexible installation and deployment on the various platforms we maintain
  • Easy to manage
  • The ability to simultaneously alert and run self-healing programs to automatically remediate problems without the need for user intervention or having the software change something in our environment

The Solution

I evaluated many different products at various price ranges. The exhaustive evaluation included, but wasn’t limited to, HP OpenView, SolarWinds, Nagios and Kaseya. The decision to choose Goliath Performance Monitor was made for the following reasons:

  • Ease of configuration: Goliath Performance Monitor comes with hundreds of preconfigured watches that make it very easy to set up and begin monitoring VMware.

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  • Schedule reports: We also found that Goliath Performance Monitor offered us the ability to run or schedule reports on WMI objects, enabling us to not only monitor for faults but also to detect and tune systems for peak performance, and automatically detect where bottleneck or performance issues were occurring. This is especially useful for intermittent faults as these can be brought to our attention without the need to logon to a suspect server and waste time watching for events or problems.
  • Agent or Agentless monitoring: The capability of managing our VMware servers in real time with either an agent or agentless solution offered great flexibility. It is easy to capture key metrics from the virtual machine, host or hypervisor.
  • Real time visibility: Comprehensive reports and interactive alert screens offered real time visibility into the performance of our VMware server farms.

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  • Master “Intelligent” Agent: The Goliath Performance Monitor’s Master “Intelligent” Agent functionality allows one agent at a remote site, behind the firewall, to be designated a Master Agent and receives alerts from all the other agents deployed at that site. The Master “Intelligent” Agent will then send status and alerts back through the firewall to the remote Goliath Performance Monitor server. This made monitoring our remote locations very easy and efficient from a resource and management perspective.
  • vCenter Plugin: Goliath Performance Monitor has a VMware vCenter plugin that provides a single pane of glass dashboard from which you can monitor the physical and virtual infrastructure in vCenter.

vmware-vcenter-plugin-goliath-performance-monitor

The Results

For our VMware environment we are now using Goliath to monitor 1,700 servers both in our data centers and on customers’ remote sites.

We can automatically log calls on our own bespoke call control system and allocate engineers to rectify problems on servers, sometimes even before the customer is aware that a problem exists. All the statistics from Goliath Performance Monitor are fed directly to our Extranet to give our customers a real time view into the health of their own servers.

Excellent Customer and Tech Support

Obviously, with the quantity of servers we have it was crucial that we had access to vendor support should a problem come to light. Support is something Goliath Technologies takes very seriously!

Solutions to queries on the product or features were quickly responded to and rectified by the Goliath team. Also, when necessary the Goliath team added enhancements in a very professional and timely way.

We wanted a product that was very competitively priced, had great flexibility, a vast host of features and was easy to implement and manage. We found it all in Goliath Performance Monitor.

Learn More on this On-Demand VMware Troubleshooting & End User Experience Webinar

Watch this on-demand webinar to see the same technology CDK Global and other managed service providers use to meet their SLAs and proactively ensure a positive VMWare end user computing experience: How to Get Visibility into VMware App & OS Data to Proactively Remediate Performance Issues.

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About 

The team members collaborated to bring together this blog post by calling on their past Customer Experiences and Expert Knowledge of Citrix Troubleshooting. Beyond writing technical documents this team supports Goliath Customers and provides product feature/function guidance to development.

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