Kent County Council Streamlines Support to 600+ Schools with SolarWinds Network Monitoring and Management

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Proactive analysis of remote servers and network infrastructure helps deliver reliable filtered Internet access to over 50,000 students across the county.

SolarWinds, a leader in network management software, with their partner Kenson Network Engineering Limited, announced today that the Kent Community Network, a Kent County Council Project, relies on SolarWinds Orion and its integrated modules to maintain the health of its network, servers and applications at more than 600 schools across the county that are connected to the Kent Community Network.

"Ensuring reliable Internet access is provided to schools across the county is essential, as more of the curriculum is delivered online," explains Marc Turner, WAN Development Officer for Kent County Council. "Our wide area network has grown extensively over the last few years and based on our previous good experiences with the SolarWinds Engineers Toolset product; in 2002 it was felt that an upgrade to Orion would help us with both day-to-day management and proactive support across the 600+ schools internet connectivity that we look after."

Orion is deployed at one of the Kent Community Network's resilient datacentres in Maidstone and actively monitors 981 nodes and a total of 5260 network elements at over 600 schools across the region. The system is used by the WAN development and helpdesk teams for network performance metrics and SNMP monitoring. "Utilisation and latency are key factors for us," explains Mr. Turner. "We routinely act on reports generated by the system to make improvements to our network provisioning to ensure that each school receives the high quality service they expect."

Orion is also used as an assessment tool to ensure that the Council is getting agreed service levels from its managed network services provider Unisys.

Tom Bell, Service Desk Manager for the Kent Community Network adds, "the loss of Internet access or a failure of the filtering software can completely ruin a lesson and we actively try to spot potential problems before they escalate - this is a task particularly suited to Orion."

Bell highlights a recent incident where an automated patch process on a number of Windows servers located onsite failed to correctly initialise an essential service for a number of schools. "In this case, the alerts defined in Orion notified us before the school had even opened, allowing us to solve the problem remotely before the school was even aware of an issue."

The success of the deployment has now prompted the team to look at other areas where SolarWinds can provide benefit. "We are now considering a pilot to expand the monitoring to cover the school LANs, and giving the local IT manager visibility of the statistics which will assist schools' network managers in supporting their networks " Marc concludes.

About SolarWinds
SolarWinds is a leading provider of Windows-based network management, network monitoring and network discovery software. SolarWinds products are geared to customers who need a scalable, easy-to-use network management solution for 250 to 10,000 managed elements at an affordable price point providing quick time to value. More than 45,000 customers spanning the military, mid-market businesses, government agencies and education institutions have chosen SolarWinds to reduce network downtime, monitor network performance, manage network compliance and change and improve staff efficiency. For more information, please visit

About Kenson Network Engineering Limited
Kenson, one of the UK's most respected suppliers of network management tools, expertise and support, is a SolarWinds UK Reseller and European Training Partner. Kenson offers a unique range of value added Support services and Training options based around the SolarWinds product range, including the SolarWinds Certified Engineer accredited qualifications. For more information please visit

SolarWinds, and Orion are registered trademarks of SolarWinds. All other company and product names mentioned are used only for identification purposes and may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies.

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