Open source management software delivers football fans 6 million slices

Papa John’s International relies on OpenNMS, an open source IT management platform, to guarantee online ordering systems can handle the onslaught of requests from football fans.

Papa John’s uses open source IT management platform OpenNMS to monitoring its online ordering system, which is expected to fulfill orders for 750,000 pizzas, or 6 millions slices, and about 1 million wings for Super Bowl XLIV.

As the New Orleans Saints celebrate their Super Bowl XLIV victory, IT executives at Papa John’s International can rest easy knowing football fans enjoyed some 750,000 pizzas, or 6 million slices, and about 1 million wings because the company’s online ordering system didn’t miss a beat during the big game – thanks to open source network management software

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“It’s like having a double company for one day, but we absolutely do not have to double IT staff to support the demand.The network is actually what doesn’t worry me during our biggest weekend of the year. It’s actually the thing I don’t even have to think about,” says Greg Horsman, vice president of infrastructure, security and support services at Papa John’s in Louisville, Ky. “The network, which supports our online ordering system, wasn’t on the radar for this weekend because we always know OpenNMS has it covered.”

Papa John’s, an official sponsor of Super Bowl XLIV, dubbed January “National Football Month” and the company estimated that there were 350 slices of pizza sold per second throughout the month – good preparation for the big game when the billion-dollar pizza delivery service gets put the ultimate test. Yet because the company has been using the OpenNMS platform – open source network management software – since 2004, IT executives didn’t expect the increase in demand for pizza to upset the online ordering system. Papa John’s uses OpenNMS to monitor 816 notes, which corresponds to 1,412 interfaces and 5,747 services. This year the company plans to add OpenNMS monitoring to its more than 3,400 restaurant locations as well, which could increase the number of managed nodes to 30,000.

“OpenNMS is used to monitor our entire network at the corporate campus in Louisville and two other sites,” Horsman explains. “This particular software allows us to monitor the connections of users that log in to our online systems and shows us in a dashboard view at a glance when a system is faltering.”

Despite concerns some may have about using open source network management software, Papa John’s depends on it for the foundation of its online ordering system, Horsman says, because the company works with OpenNMS to get the support it requires to keep the software running smoothly. He explains the cost of commercial support for open source software is far less than if the company had to purchase commercial software, but that the IT team at Papa John’s also doesn’t have to tap the support option that often.

“We are able to manage the system ourselves without their help, but if that does happen, they are always available,” he adds.

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