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Fulham FC perfects IT network operations with Paessler's PRTG
Thu, 29th Feb 2024

In what is no small feat, Fulham Football Club (FC), the oldest active professional football club in London, manages to organise its extensive and complex IT network spanning several locations, thanks to Paessler’s monitoring software, PRTG Network Monitor. The club, founded in 1879 and currently playing in England's second top-tier league, utilises this tool to keep an eye on its substantial IT network that serves as the operational heart for over 250 workers and to ensure the smooth run of its home games bi-monthly.

Alex Malinov, Head of IT at Fulham FC, expressed that despite being a football club, the organisation operates all year round and the need for a functioning IT network is paramount. If any systems fail, the club's operations can run the risk of severe disruption, which might even result in game cancellations. Hence, an effective monitoring solution is critical.

The club's IT infrastructure encompasses two data centres spread across three different locations. It is sustained by a host of components, including VMware components, EMC storage units, Juniper switches, and a Veeam solution for backup and off-site replication, along with a complex virtual private LAN service (VPLS) solution from British provider Exponential-e. Managing this intricate network necessitated a failproof monitoring solution, which the club found in the PRTG Network Monitor developed by Paessler.

Malinov was in the market for a cost-effective solution, offering diverse features and usability. He considered a few other solutions, including OpManager, SolarWinds and Nimsoft. However, he found PRTG, recommended by a colleague and already employed by many notable companies, to be exemplary. Impressed by its affordability, ease of use and positive customer reviews, he evaluated the software and found it met all his requirements perfectly.

Not limited to monitoring the overall status of the infrastructure, the Fulham FC IT team uses PRTG to monitor and gather a wide array of other data by way of predefined queries or 'sensors'. These sensors monitor various parameters of infrastructure components such as devices, applications, and systems, and the information is sent to the core PRTG server.

PRTG also scores for its user-friendliness. The PRTG web interface and the iOS app enable real-time monitoring of the network, even on the go. It sends out alarms if there is any exceedance in the threshold values set for each component, immediately alerting the team to potential problems. Malinov applauds the tool, stating that it is impossible to imagine operations without PRTG as it provides vital insights into their infrastructure.

Malinov also tailors PRTG as per his IT team’s needs. He configured the alarm system to send an email in case of downtime or other serious failures. Additionally, he set up a large screen in the office to display the entire network's topology and the status of all installed sensors, allowing his team to detect any problems instantaneously.

With PRTG, Fulham FC has an effective tool that keeps track of everything, from the stadium lights to the turnstiles at the entrance and the smallest desktop PC. The software ensures that all business processes run seamlessly and, true to its principle, keeps the ball rolling at Fulham FC.