Magazine / IT Infrastructure Monitoring Nov 30, 2022 8:30:00 AM

Dynatrace and advanced monitoring for universities: a successful Italian case study

The use of Dynatrace for advanced monitoring has seen a fruitful collaboration between Beta 80 Group and Catholic University of the Sacred Heart. The latter, Europe's largest Catholic university, was founded in 1921 and today has 5 campuses: Milan, where the headquarters are located, Brescia, Cremona, Piacenza and Rome. The partnership with Beta 80 in the ICT field dates back more than 10 years and, over time, has been enriched in line with the changing needs faced by the university. In particular, in 2017 the university's IT department expressed the need to adopt a new observability platform capable of taking into account the architectural complexity reached by the infrastructure, networks and application park. In essence, it was necessary to find a solution that would not only be able to report any anomalies on the IT systems as soon as possible, but also to automatically identify the root cause to act quickly in order to continue to guarantee high service standards.

Why Dynatrace was chosen as the observability platform

The choice of Dynatrace, a platform that Gartner has so far ranked among the leading vendors in its Magic Quadrant for Application Performance Monitoring (APM) for 11 consecutive years, came after a comparative POC with a competing solution. The “Proof of Concept” that Beta 80 proposed to the Catholic University was based on in-depth knowledge of the APM software landscape, thanks to which the market-leading solutions that best met the university's needs were selected. In the end, Dynatrace was chosen as the all-in-one intelligence software platform for a number of converging considerations. The first was its easy installation and configuration of OneAgent, followed by its flexibility in integrating with new software and a competitive licensing model. Finally, the evolutionary propensity demonstrated by Dynatrace, and acknowledged by Gartner, led to its adoption.

Dynatrace for full-stack monitoring of the Catholic University's Student Information System

After the software selection phase, Beta 80 dealt with the implementation and development of Dynatrace for full-stack monitoring of the Student Information System (SIS), integrating the APM with the IT Service Management (ITSM), IT Business management (ITBM) and Governance Risk and Compliance (GRC) modules of the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart. It also provided Help Desk and H24 continuous monitoring support. At the same time, the foundations were laid to better manage the move of part of the IT infrastructure to the cloud, a move made compulsory by the acceleration towards the digital transformation of the education sector also because of the pandemic. Dynatrace, in fact, in addition to guaranteeing the “observability” of the entire technological stack, allows the governance of hybrid on-premise and multi-cloud environments to be simplified, automatically verifying the degree of efficiency and performance of the applications migrated to the cloud compared to those installed locally. A feature that proved invaluable, for example, during lockdown periods for the optimal management of lessons and exams remotely and for the enhancement of digital secretarial services.

The Agile Software Factory as a result of partnership

Currently, thanks to Dynatrace, the performance management of the Catholic University's applications covering the student's academic life is ensured. In this way, any anomalies or malfunctions are detected before a degradation in performance is experienced by the end user. In addition to this, since monitoring takes place continuously, without date or time limits, remediation interventions, when required, are immediate. Finally, as anticipated, Dynatrace lends itself to use beyond pure observability, for example in the analysis, development and application release phases during which it helps to identify in advance possible vulnerabilities and bugs in areas of code that need to be resolved. Its use, in essence, is part of the partnership between Beta 80 and the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart which revolves around an internal Agile Software Factory model whereby digitalisation becomes an essential lever in offering increasingly student-friendly services.

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