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Aardman picks Observer for net monitoring

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Aardman Animation has bought network monitoring gear from Network Instruments to help detect and fix problems on the high-bandwidth links that connect its four sites in Bristol.

The company says that, as well as handling CGI files and database replication, its 10Mbit/s extended LAN supports a wide variety of creative applications and also carries internet traffic for its 250 users. In future it will carry VOIP traffic too, making network performance even more important.

Aardman's new head of IT, Howard Arnault-Ham, said he had already used NI's Observer software in a previous job, so he knew it would be able to track network performance and spot network and application issues before they get too serious.

"We have an incredible volume of bandwidth-intensive applications shared across a complex environment," he said. "We needed a solution that could handle our systems. I knew Observer was user-friendly and extremely reliable and therefore had no hesitation in recommending it to the management team."

Having called in networking specialist Open Reality to install and test the latest version, Observer 12, Aardman said it now plans to go back to NI and buy Observer hardware probes as well. These will let Arnault-Ham's team monitor multiple links simultaneously, in support of Aardman's plans to install VOIP and expand its network capacity.

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