Case Studies

Province de Liège

The Province de Liège, the easternmost province in Wallonia and Belgium, offers numerous and diverse services to its citizens, including agriculture, tourism, education, training, health, culture, and sports. In this context, the Province has identified five priority areas: educational and professional development, cultural and sports development, health prevention and social outreach, sustainable territorial development, and support for municipalities and municipal associations.

The mission of the Province de Liège’s IT department is to provide support to all of the Province’s services. Its area of operation covers more than 4000 users at about 80 sites with more than 400 buildings (e.g., administrative internal users, cyberclasses, provincial educational PCs, etc.). The progressive deployment of a global Wi-Fi network (the Eduroam project in particular) will see the number of users connected to the network infrastructure increase by a factor of ten!

Why Skylight ?

Here is what Jonathan Reginster, IT Manager at the Province de Liège, said: “Before implementing the Skylight solution, we were repeatedly faced with user complaints; our teams often found them difficult to analyze (due to a total lack of visibility of network activity at remote sites) and resolve quickly (for want of a tool enabling them to quickly identify the source of performance degradations).

Questions such as “For which applications and which users is the network used?”, “Do slowness problems really originate from the WAN?”, or “Should we therefore invest to increase capacity?” remained unanswered.

Therefore, we set a goal of deploying a network performance management solution and application that would meet the following objectives:

  • Achieve a clear view of network resource usage (by which users, on what bandwidth, when, for which applications, etc.)
  • Be able to identify degradations across all 80 sites and accelerate our capacity to solve any problem reported by users
  • Use a unified tool for better collaboration between network teams and systems teams on one hand, and the Province de Liège’s team and software publishers on the other hand

While we were faced with a performance problem at our Malvoz site, we commissioned the Liège-based company abNETWORK, a specialist and longtime Accedian partner, to perform a diagnostic procedure. One of our applications crashed in a totally random manner, making the analysis of this phenomenon very difficult.

We had already attempted to solve this problem by ourselves over several weeks by analyzing the network with monitoring tools such as What’s Up Gold, Nagios or Wireshark, but none of them provided an adequate answer.

While the diagnostic procedure was focused on our Malvoz site, Skylight quickly allowed us to identify a broader issue with the routing. A redistribution of BGP routes into EIGRP tables caused a definition of sub-optimal routes.

The analysis and conclusions provided by Skylight confirmed our choice of this tool.”