Digital Media and Animation

Enhancing Digital Media Excellence with Netdata

SHED's Story of Optimizing Network Performance.

About SHED

  • Renowned design and animation studio based in Montreal
  • Over 20 years of experience in high-end imagery and storytelling
  • Team of talented artists and technologists in a fast-paced environment


Digital Media and Animation


  • Key improvements: Enhanced network monitoring, reduced downtime
  • Main features used: Real-time performance monitoring, customizable alerts
  • Impact: Improved operational efficiency, better resource allocation

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SHED encountered a critical pain point in swiftly and accurately identifying bandwidth hogs within their network. This was a significant issue, as monitoring these elements was essential to pinpoint devices, applications, or users causing excessive bandwidth consumption. The lack of real-time visibility and comprehensive insights into data transfer rates and traffic patterns was a major hurdle in their ability to proactively manage and optimize network resources. This limitation directly impacted their network performance, leading to potential slowdowns or bottlenecks, affecting the efficiency of their operations. Moreover, this challenge posed risks in resource allocation and maintaining a smooth user experience. Additionally, this issue had implications for security, as unidentified bandwidth hogs could indicate security threats or unauthorized activities. Thus, SHED Montreal’s foremost challenge was the effective monitoring of file server and switch activities to swiftly identify and mitigate bandwidth hogs, crucial for ensuring optimal network performance, resource allocation, and maintaining a secure infrastructure.

As Tristan Théroux, a key IT figure at SHED said:

“When the network gets saturated due to unidentified bandwidth hogs, it leads to slowdowns in operations. This slowdown disrupts workflows, hampers productivity, and can cause delays in tasks and services, ultimately affecting overall business performance.”"

Achieving Operational Excellence with Netdata

The adoption of Netdata marked a significant shift in how SHED approached their network monitoring. Mr. Théroux shares,

“Netdata transformed our monitoring strategy. Its real-time monitoring capabilities and remote accessibility via Netdata Cloud enabled us to oversee file server performance from anywhere, offering insights into resource consumption patterns.”

This comprehensive visibility was key in proactively managing and optimizing network resources.

The implementation of Netdata brought about tangible benefits. Mr. Théroux highlights the key areas where Netdata made a significant difference:

Downtime Reduction:

Netdata’s immediate alerts have significantly minimized potential downtime by enabling swift responses to critical issues, ensuring a proactive approach to system maintenance and reducing the risk of extended outages.

Issue Resolution SLAs:

Netdata’s metrics visibility has notably expedited issue identification and resolution processes. The ability to access real-time data empowers quicker decision-making, allowing us to resolve issues promptly and maintain a high standard of service delivery.

Troubleshooting Ease

Netdata has immensely simplified troubleshooting procedures by offering real-time, accurate insights into system performance. This increased visibility results in faster root cause analysis and quicker resolutions, contributing to enhanced operational efficiency.

Metrics Accuracy

Netdata’s provision of precise, real-time metrics enables a more accurate understanding of system behavior. This accuracy in data collection and representation empowers better-informed decision-making, contributing to overall operational excellence.


Netdata has significantly improved infrastructure transparency by providing clear, real-time metrics. This enhanced visibility across systems fosters better communication and understanding of our infrastructure’s performance, promoting a more transparent and informed operational environment.

Managing I/O Demand Surges

One notable instance where Netdata proved immensely beneficial to SHED, was when the IT team encountered a significant spike in I/O demands on their file servers. As a company heavily reliant on high I/O file servers to manage critical data, understanding and meeting these demands were paramount.

Previously, gauging the real-time I/O requirements was a challenge. However, with Netdata’s implementation, SHED gained an invaluable real-time insight into their servers' I/O performance. This visibility enabled them to accurately track and comprehend the surge in I/O needs as it occurred.

During this incident, Netdata’s live metrics provided the team with a clear understanding of the actual I/O demands, allowing them to take immediate action. By promptly identifying the surges and fine-tuning the resources accordingly, SHED’s team ensured that their file servers operated at optimal efficiency, meeting the heightened I/O demands without compromising performance or risking potential outages.

As Mr Théroux states:

“Netdata’s capability to offer real-time insights proved to be a game-changer for us. It not only allowed us to effectively address the immediate spike in I/O demands but also enabled us to strategize and plan resource allocation better for similar situations in the future.”

Looking forward, SHED plans to extend Netdata’s capabilities, integrating it with VMware and monitoring each server’s IPMI/BMC/iDRAC. “Our objective is comprehensive server visibility” says Théroux. " As a small team, we’re focusing on scaling Netdata’s capabilities across different departments and emphasizing automation to boost our operational efficiency."

Netdata has become an indispensable tool in SHED’s IT arsenal, complementing their existing stack and addressing gaps left by other monitoring solutions. “Netdata serves as our primary tool for real-time monitoring, especially in scenarios that require immediate insights,” Théroux explains. This integration signifies a strategic move towards consolidating SHED’s monitoring efforts into a unified platform, with Netdata at its core.

Mr. Théroux’s piece of advice for prospective Netdata users is straightforward:

“Leverage the simplicity and power of Netdata. Its ease of setup and real-time monitoring capabilities make it an invaluable asset for any infrastructure monitoring needs.”

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