NSW Rural Fire Service
"Dynatrace’s unique ability to test from the last mile perspective provides a critical view for our organization."
Ashley Van Amstel, IT Manager
Company: NSW Rural Fire Service Industry: Emergency Services
The NSW Rural Fire Service is the world’s largest volunteer fire service with 72,000+ members responsible for more than 95 percent of the landmass of the state of NSW, Australia. Up-to-the minute, accurate incident communication is essential during peak fire season. Online and mobile applications are critical tools when it comes to alerting and informing the public.
In October 2013, the NSW Premier called a State of Emergency as NSW experienced 627 fire incidents. 1300 fire fighters were deployed to combat the fire, which spanned more than 400 acres. Concerned residents turned to the NSW RFS website and mobile app to keep up-to-date. There were 14.1 million hits to the website and over 200,000 fire searches via its smart phone application.
The biggest challenge for NSW RFS lies in the proper scaling of performance to meet 100% uptime during very intense demand. Applications are more than business critical during peak fire season. If users aren’t aware of a fire in their area, it may put lives at risk.
To prepare for peak traffic periods, a monitoring tool was required to ensure the website and mobile applications could withstand significant spikes in traffic. Because fires can happen anytime, NSW RFS, in order to ensure availability, needed a tool that was able to test 24 x 7 from multiple locations. It was also essential that the monitoring tool could drill down into user experience and be tested on various ISPs, using remote nodes, rather than a ‘data center to data center test.
The decision was made by NSW RFS to deploy Dynatrace for Mobile and Web.
Acting as a first alert for any issues effecting customers, NSW RFS uses the Dynatrace integrated platform to monitor and measure critical applications for response time and availability. They’re able to accomplish this by running homepage tests from backbone locations and user journey tests from both backbone and Last Mile (real consumer PCs) within NSW.
"The unique ability of Dynatrace to test from the Last Mile perspective provides a critical view for our organization, because the people most affected by bush fires are not those using high speed Telstra connections," says Ashley Van Amstel, IT Manager, NSW Rural Fire Service.
"The use of Dynatrace Monitoring has grown from a simple tool to understand performance, to an integral part of our monitoring suite. Without it, we would not have the visibility into end user performance that is critical to the work that NSW Rural Fire Service performs—which is keeping NSW safe from bushfires," says Van Amstel.
NSW RFS can also measure its third-party hosted solution by testing specific IP addresses to check performance of its separate data centers. "It’s also great to have our own information on what goes on in third-party black boxes throughout the application delivery chain," said Van Amstel.
With a unified view across the entire application delivery chain, NSW RFS has complete visibility into application health and can proactively resolve performance issues before peoples’ lives are put at risk.