MHH Logo

Hannover Medical School (MHH) - NetCrunch Success Story


Medizinische Hochschule Hannover

Even though we were searching for a long time we did not find anything as good as NetCrunch on the market. NetCrunch helps us make sure that external contractors working on various jobs in our network do not create unintentional loops or cause IP address duplications. Furthermore, it also helps us maintain data security.

Ralf Dakau, Technical Building Management, MHH, Germany

Key Benefits:

  • comprehensive monitoring of the whole campus (48 buildings)
  • easy pinpointing and localizing high traffic devices
  • tracking unauthorized devices and users in the network

Overview of the MHH campus

The Challenge

With 400.000 square meters and 48 buildings, the campus of the Hannover Medical School (MHH) is larger than 50 soccer fields. Accordingly, the complete campus network is exceptionally big: all technical devices and systems that can be found on such university campus are a part of this network. This also includes the building control systems, the technical equipment and all automation stations that ensure and support the day-to-day-live of the MHH.

Ralf Dakau from the MHH technical building management explains: “The overall network of the MHH is maintained and monitored by the IT Department. Our department Building Control Technology monitors the devices of the building control systems in the school’s data network, throughout the entire campus. Because it is altogether a highly structured network, the subnetwork building control system had an unfortunate position in the technical operations. Issues and disturbances were rectified by the IT department, but this was not always transparent in the building control systems network.”

“Because we are a public institution, jobs to expand and maintain the network are assigned to different external contractors who then work simultaneously in the network. Thus, it happens that loops are created unintentionally or IP addresses are duplicated in the network. Also it is important to monitor the data security, for example, if unauthorized devices and users are in the network. Additionally, due to the continuous extension and modernization, the volume of devices keeps growing larger and more extensive. Hence, a separate structure and separate monitoring solution became necessary, which is why we decided to deploy NetCrunch as monitoring tool.”

“Our subnetwork contains VLANs and other segments where the parameters of TCP/IP, SNMP3 and the traffic of the data connections has to be monitored. The greatest attention is given to the building technology systems computers, automation stations switches and to the uninterruptible power supply throughout the complete property. Furthermore, the monitoring of the connections to devices in our network and data security are a crucial part of our responsibilities.”

The Solution

“When we started using NetCrunch, we noticed that some automation stations caused a high traffic in the network. This resulted in reports arriving in the control center with a significant delay. However, though further analysis of the BACnet data protocols it was possible to resolve the issue quickly. We have had some suspicions about such problem beforehand, but no possibility to investigate it further.”

“Now we can easily avoid the accidental building of loops and IP duplication problems. The graphical representation allows us to locate and resolve the is issue quickly. The use of the SNMP3 protocol in NetCrunch especially facilitates the localization of problematic devices, e.g. discharged UPS batteries or automation stations with memory or system problems. In such an extensive network it is really helpful to be able to exactly determine the number of the building, floor and room on the property, as well as the defective device.”

“In NetCrunch we found a great and software tool, which is above all available in the German language. Even though we were searching for a long time, we did not find anything equivalent to NetCrunch on the market. Before buying the program, we informed ourselves in the weekly Webinars about the functions and features, and after finishing our research we chose NetCrunch.”

About Hannover Medical School

The Hannover Medical School was founded in 1965 and has grown continuously since. The approximate 3,000 enrolled students (2012) and nearly 7,600 full-time employees (2013) in various divisions are doing their best to make the time as pleasant and short as possible for the ambulatory and stationary patients. Furthermore, the MHH offered around 600 apprenticeship positions in different fields during the year 2013. MHH is Germany’s biggest transplantation center with 423 organ transplantations in the year 2012.