AUG 21, 2008 7:01pm ET

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Tiscali Tracks Customer Traffic Performance and Quality of Service with Sawmill

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REVIEWER: Gian Luca Corso, Marketing and Sales, Tiscali Italia Spa.

BACKGROUND: Tiscali Services is an operating business division of Tiscali Italia Spa, which is one of the largest ISP/Telco companies in Italy and has a significant presence in Europe. Tiscali provides IT services to the Tiscali subsidiaries in Italy, the UK, other major European Telco companies and B2B services to smaller companies that outsource their IT to a reliable partner. Streaming media hosting is one of our core services, and we need to maintain a high quality of service (QOS). We needed a robust and proven statistical reporting tool to track the achieved traffic performance of our customers, to monitor our QOS and to provide a billing infrastructure platform. Another key requirement was that the tool be affordable and flexible at both the user and the system administrator level and provide user security for each of our customers. After extensive comparative and on-project live testing, we chose Sawmill Enterprise V7.

PLATFORMS: We installed a single copy of Sawmill on a server dedicated as our statistics server. The server is a quad-core server running Red Hat Linux 3.4 with 4GB RAM. We are currently running approximately 50 Sawmill profiles on this single copy of Sawmill.

PROBLEM SOLVED: We needed a tool that was highly configurable with a customizable user interface (UI) to project the Tiscali image to our customers. The tool had to have wide log format support and a pricing structure that did not penalize us for increased use. The tool also needed to give us highly detailed live data when required, but present users with a simple overview. We needed a tool that could run all profiles (typically one profile per customer) concurrently and could create custom reports with calculated columns. We needed a tool from a supplier committed to product development and enhancement, listening to its customers and implementing customer requests. The standard Sawmill Enterprise product from Sawmill Analytics met all of these requirements at a very low entry price and with no recurring license fees (other than optional annual maintenance).

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: Sawmill provides a secure login and password for each report or profile as well as the possibility to manage more reports and profiles with an account. You can select a range of days or a single day to use as the date/time filter, and you can zoom a report view and filter the report with another report view. If alerting is used, the incoming log files are scanned before processing for the presence of alert triggers. An alert can be set to locate any data in the incoming log file. You can also export data as static reports in various formats including Excel and HTML.

STRENGTHS: Sawmill Enterprise has many strengths including: completeness of the reports, ease of adding new custom formats, existing library of more than 800 supported log formats, scalability from small to the largest requirement, live data reports that are drillable (zoomable) with dynamic filtering, real-time alerting, user interface customization under standard license, supplier support and flexibility, price and good support.

WEAKNESSES: The MySQL implementation is not as reliable or as fast as the internal Sawmill database. Performances are very different, and the internal database is much quicker. Some bugs and minor issues were quickly resolved for us by the Sawmill technical support team.

SELECTION CRITERIA: We chose Sawmill based on several factors, including price, product flexibility, scalability, UI customization, supplier flexibility and support.

DELIVERABLES: All Sawmill software is delivered by download of the trial version, which runs as a fully functional product for 30 days. Once we decided to purchase, we were supplied with a perpetual license key by email. There are no physical deliverables. Installation was straightforward and intuitive. Adding more profiles was achieved by adding a new activation key into the existing copy with no disruption whatsoever.

VENDOR SUPPORT: Although the regular license fee includes standard support (email support including minor updates and bug fixes), we decided to upgrade our support to premium care, which gave us priority access to Sawmill support engineers plus free access to all updates, including major releases. We have benefited considerably under premium care with a close working relationship with Sawmill engineers.

DOCUMENTATION: Sawmill Enterprise Edition is intuitive in use. Documentation is simple and essential and is contained within the product.

Sawmill Enterprise Edition
Sawmill Analytics
Mulberry House
Swindon, Wiltshire UK SN4 9LZ
+44 (0) 870-741-8787
http://www.sawmill.co.uk/

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