NECs Fault Tolerant Server Proves Bulletproof for 911 Communications Center
NEC Corporation of America, a provider of IT, network and identity management solutions, announced Monday that Mifflin County, Pennsylvania's Office of Public Safety, responsible for emergency management, public safety and 911 communications, has successfully deployed NEC's Express5800 Fault Tolerant (FT) server. NEC's FT server is primarily designed to provide continuous availability for running large-scale applications and intensive computing environments. With the use of NEC's Express5800 server and Logistic Systems, Inc.'s NorthStar Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) system, Mifflin County has created a robust, fault tolerant and scalable infrastructure for 24x7x365 911 communications.
"NEC completely understood the mission-critical nature of our solution and made sure—from beginning to final checks—that our system would be bulletproof," said Phil Lucas, director for Mifflin County Office of Public Safety.
Mifflin County had several major objectives in assembling the new 911 center. Their primary goal was to consolidate data from several sources in the County network and ensure that information was updated regularly in the Computer Aided Dispatch system. First, they wanted to consolidate multiple applications to gain efficiencies. Secondly, redundancy was needed to ensure there was no single point of failure. Thirdly, they needed to be able to update their systems and information much more rapidly than in the past. Fourth, the system would have to be Windows-based. And last (but not least), they wanted to reduce overall costs associated with the Computer Aided Dispatch system—along with finding robust technology that was cost-effective, Lucas needed to address reducing ongoing operational costs.
To design and implement the new center, Lucas turned to Logistic Systems, Inc. (LogiSYS), an innovative leader within the public safety community known for its pioneering work originally bringing GIS to the public safety world. Mifflin relied extensively on Logistic Systems to provide input on systems available in the marketplace as well as research reliability issues and determine the level of redundancy required in each system in the event of problems.
"Mifflin County needed a robust solution, requiring hardware with processing power to excel in a very intensive software environment," said Charlie Stortz, vice president, Logistic Systems, Inc. "NEC has delivered a cost-effective fault tolerant solution which allows us to create a mission-critical solution at a great price point. NEC is our ace in the hole."
Since installing NEC's Express5800 Fault Tolerant server, Mifflin County has not experienced a single system failure and has seen overall performance gains, including a significant increase in speed for file creation, management and testing with data intensive applications running 75 percent faster than before. The communications center has also doubled their capacity and redundancy to handle increasing event loads, proving especially helpful in emergency situations, which in the past have created increases in calls by as much as 25-fold.
Mifflin County, Pennsylvania's Office of Public Safety oversees emergency management, public safety and 911 communications, connecting 17 volunteer fire departments, five EMS systems, two law enforcement agencies, and a host of traditional county agencies that include the Sheriff's Department, Probation and Children and Youth Services.
"For Mifflin County's Office of Public Safety, achieving zero downtime due to hardware failures is literally a matter of life and death," said Ken Hertzler, director of marketing for volume servers and system software for NEC Corporation of America's IT Platform Group. "There is no room for failure. The 911 call center hardware must be up and running at all times without excuse. With NEC's Express5800 fault tolerant server, Mifflin County's emergency call center will stay up and running even in the event of a hardware failure on one of the server modules. Furthermore, the solution also delivers a low total cost of ownership because the failed module can be repaired while the other module keeps running—offering the County the best in high availability at a reasonable price point."
NEC's Express5800 Fault Tolerant servers bring a high-performance answer for enterprises with demanding, mission-critical applications. Designed with Dual Modular Redundancy (DMR), NEC's Express5800 FT servers feature dual Hyper-Threading enabled Intel Xeon processors, allowing parallel processing to support heavy workloads with greater overall performance. By using fully redundant and hot-swappable hardware components—including redundant memory, CPUs, motherboard, etc.—operating in lockstep across two complete server modules, the Express5800 achieves up to 99.999% ("five nines") continuous uptime. In the event that a hardware component fails, the active redundant server module continues to run the application software, allowing for repair of the affected module without interrupting server operations. Since failover is virtually instantaneous, and there is no single point of failure, downtime is nearly eliminated.
NEC Express5800 series of servers are part of NEC's Dynamic IT Infrastructure—a solution that includes servers, storage, virtual desktop solutions, and system software that are smart, flexible, adaptive to change, scalable, resilient, and continuously evolving. Along with NEC's broad range of services—the NEC Dynamic IT Infrastructure provides an ideal platform for virtualization, consolidation and business continuity and is ideal for driving greater value and efficiencies in solutions for physical security, law enforcement, emergency response, travel and entertainment, education, high performance computing, and business. This type of infrastructure allows IT organizations to move forward confidently and meet changing and growing business needs in an efficient manner.