After running into control problems with its Zoo mobile portal two years ago, which caused angry customers to scream about offline services, Optus decided to invest in new monitoring software.
Optus told CA Expo 2010 that it had used Wily Introscope software to detect mobile web portal issues before they happen. (Credit: Optus)
In 2007, the Optus network operations centre was notified of a problem only after a server had stopped responding. Technicians then analysed lengthy server logs and CPU threads manually to identify and repair the fault — a process that often took hours.
Optus portal management became a reactive process, with Java applications running in a "black-box" environment.
This led, in some cases, to unhappy customers. In an attempt to improve the Optus experience, the company decided to implement new network monitoring software called Wily Introscope from CA Technologies.
"The implementation of network monitoring tools means that we break down the black-box mentality surrounding network management. It gives us the ability to maintain our customer experience," Richard Cahill, Optus portfolio lead for online and application technologies, said at the CA Expo 2010 in Sydney today.
The software allowed the company to set up a real-time network alarm system for its portal management. If a server starts running abnormally slowly, the network operations centre is notified and the problem can be rectified within minutes — often without Optus customers realising that an issue has occurred.
Instead of analysing code logs, tier one technicians are able to look inside the processes and determine what is wrong.
"Reaction times have improved from a matter of hours manually sorting through code logs to a matter of minutes as Introscope tells us what's happened in our Java applications," Cahill said.
Optus has reported a 60 per cent increase in the response time of its Zoo mobile portal over the last three years. Cahill said that the speed increase had come from better reporting of system information.
"We're able to trim the fat by looking inside our network infrastructure to see how the system responds to Java requests through the portal," said Cahill.
Optus also uses Introscope as part of its quality assurance measures to ensure that applications work well on its mobile portal before it goes live.