May 16, 2020

7 unexpected benefits of infrastructure monitoring

Infrastructure Monitoring
Manufacturing Sof
Glen White
3 min
7 unexpected benefits of infrastructure monitoring
When the global manufacturer Innovia Films signed up to Aurora365 it was expecting a cost-efficient infrastructure monitoring and management service tha...

When the global manufacturer Innovia Films signed up to Aurora365 it was expecting a cost-efficient infrastructure monitoring and management service that would help free up valuable IT department time. However, since first deploying Aurora365 at the start of 2015, Innovia Films has uncovered at least seven unexpected cost, security and risk management benefits as a result of more effective monitoring across the company’s global network.

“Since signing up to Aurora365, we’ve not only been impressed with the service, but within just six months of deployment, the company has also benefited from additional unexpected business benefits,” said Graeme Coulthard, Group IS/IT Manager of Innovia Films. “With production sites in the UK, USA, Belgium and Australia our IT network is vast - connecting our expanding infrastructure of sales offices, agents and distributors worldwide. Prior to engaging with Aurora365 we believed there were clear opportunities to improve the monitoring of our IT performance – however, with its infrastructure monitoring and management service in place, we’re not only taking advantage of the proactive information it generates but have also identified a number of key business benefits.”

“With Aurora365 we now enjoy full visibility across all of our switches, giving us a more meaningful understanding of just how our IT infrastructure is configured and a consequent awareness of the likely impact of any changes,” added Paul Carrick, Global Systems Analyst of Innovia. “Whether it’s more effective cost analysis, more efficient operational IT processes, more secure back-ups, or greater online safety, Aurora365 gives us a fantastic overview of our worldwide IT estate - enabling us to make smarter decisions for higher productivity, risk and cost savings going forward.”

7 savings and security benefits of infrastructure monitoring

Cost Savings - Innovia Films’ existing Multi-Protocol Label Switching (MPLS) provider levied a charge for basic connection monitoring and reporting. Switching to Aurora365 removed this requirement and related spend.

Time Saving for Planned Network Changes - As part of an ongoing programme of change to improve Innovia Films’ network infrastructure, Aurora365 enabled planned switch changes to be distributed automatically. This saved the Innovia Films’ team 12 hours of work and reduced the risk of human error during configuration. The team expects to see further time saving benefits as the network improvement programme continues.

Reduced Complexity & Support Burden - The RVA VPN provides a cost effective redundant connection between Innovia Films and its Aurora365 solution. This reduced complexity has reduced the support burden associated with multi-site VPNs.

Removed risk of not performing routine Back-ups - Due to the time involved network configuration backups were not previously routinely performed. This introduced risk and uncertainty in the event of potential network equipment failure. Since the rollout of Aurora365, Innovia Films has been able to replace multiple platforms with minimal fuss or disruption to its operations.

Safeguarding uptime for Users Globally - During the rollout of the Aurora365 solution to the Innovia Films operation in the Americas a file server was discovered that had a failing RAID (Redundant Array of Independent Disks ) configuration. The server subsequently failed – but the early identification of the risk by Aurora365 enabled the company to mitigate its impact to users.

Visibility into Internet Traffic - Through the use of Aurora365’s NetFlow capability, Innovia Films has gained visibility into Internet activity across its public Wi-Fi network. This intelligence has helped Innovia Films in ensuring that untoward online activity is not being conducted across its network.

And for the first time – a holistic view of switches - Often a vital piece of missing information for many IT departments, with Aurora365, Innovia was able to gain a holistic view of their switches for the first time.  Before Aurora, Innovia planned to document their switches manually as part of an ongoing process. The real-time insight Aurora now provides means that this headache has gone away, leaving Innovia confident to make the right moves, adds and changes.

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Jun 8, 2021

IMF: Variants Can Still Hurt Manufacturing Recovery

Elise Leise
3 min
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) claims that while markets are rising and manufacturing is coming back, it’ll push for global immunisation

After a year of on-and-off manufacturing in the US, UK, and the eurozone, demand for goods surged early last week. Factories set growth records in April and May, suppliers started to recover, and US crude hit its highest price point since pre-COVID. As vaccination efforts immunise much of the US and UK populations, manufacturers are now able to fully ramp up their supply chains. In fact, GDP growth could approach double-digits by 2022

Now, the ISM productivity measure has surpassed the 50-point mark that separates industry expansion from contraction. Since U.S. president Biden passed his US$1.9tn stimulus package and the UK purchasing managers index (PMI) increased to 65.6, both sides of the Atlantic are facing a much-welcomed manufacturing recovery. 

Lingering Concerns Over COVID

Even as Spain, France, Italy, and Germany race to catch up, and mining companies pushed the FTSE 100 index of list shares to a monthly high of 7,129, some say that UK and US markets still suffer from a lack of confidence in raw material supplies. Yes, the Dow Jones has made up its 19,173-point crash of March 2020, and MSCI’s global stock index is at an all-time high. 

Yet manufacturers around the world realise that these wins will be short-lived until pandemic supply chain bottlenecks are solved. If we keep the status quo, consumers will pay the price. In April, inflation in Germany reached 2.4%, and across the EU’s 19 member countries, overall prices have increased at an unusual pace. Some ask: Is this true recovery? 

IMF: Current Boom Could Falter

Even as Elon Musk tweeted about chip shortages forcing Tesla to raise its prices, UK mining demand skyrocketed; housing markets lifted; and the pound sterling gained value. The International Monetary Fund (IMF), however, cautioned that manufacturing recovery won’t last long if COVID mutates into forms our vaccinations can’t touch. Kristalina Georgieva, Washington’s IMF director, noted that fewer than 1% of African citizens have been vaccinated: “Worldwide access to vaccines offers the best hope for stopping the coronavirus pandemic, saving lives, and securing a broad-based economic recovery”. 

Across the globe, manufacturing companies are keeping a watchful eye on new developments in the spread of COVID. Though US FDA officials don’t think we’ll have to “start at square one” with new vaccines, the March 2021 World Economic Outlook states that “high uncertainty” surrounds the projected 6% global growth. Continued manufacturing success will in large part depend on “the path of the pandemic, the effectiveness of policy support, and the evolution of financial conditions”. 

Mathias Cormann, secretary-general of the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) concurred—without global immunisation, the estimated economic boom expected by 2025 could go kaput. “We need to...pursue an all-out effort to reach the entire world population”, Australia’s finance minister added. US$50bn to end COVID across the world, they imply, is a small investment to restart our economies.

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