Pac-West Telecomm Uses Dual IAMs For Redundant Backup Alarm Management

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Headquartered in Stockton, California, Pac-West Telecomm, Inc. (NASDAQ: PACW) is a provider of integrated communications services throughout the western U.S. Pac-West supplies Internet infrastructure and broadband services to Internet Service Providers (ISPs), and integrated voice, data and Internet services to small and medium-sized businesses.

Pac West
All set: Pac-West Engineering
Field Technician Lou Fugazi and
Installation Engineer Steve
Standridge.

Pac-West had outgrown the existing network monitoring system they were using to manage their large network. They were looking for a system that was expandable and more in line with their growth requirements. Pac-West's primary concern was system backup, because if the alarm management system went down with their network equipment, it would defeat the purpose of having one. This need for backup extended into two main areas: Master station backup for the NOC and a system for alternate reporting paths/mediums for the RTUs. These protections were deemed essential to help protect against outages and loss of network visibility. "That was our major concern... how do we monitor other COs if the system or LAN were to go down?" explains Fugazi.

The DPS solution addressed these primary concerns on a couple of levels. First, redundant IAMs were installed at their NOC in Stockton, California in separate areas of the building. One IAM was defined as the primary active master while the backup IAM constantly monitored the status of the primary IAM to see if it needed to take over its duties. Second, NetGuardians were installed at their remote sites. The NetGuardian features 10BaseT and modem communication methods. If the LAN were to go down, the units will dial in to the active IAM at the NOC.

Other elements of DPS' complete network management solution include T/GrafX for top-level network display in Pac-West's impressive NOC. T/GrafX provides them a graphical view of their network, fully customized with maps, site floor plans, bay lineups, and other images they use to display their network and sites. This offers a visually intuitive view of their network. This makes the range and scope of a problem easier to see.

After working with the DPS system for a year, Lou Fugazi comments that it has made expansion easier. "It's straight forward, easy to install. It just works out great... I've really enjoyed installing it." Since Pac-West began using multiple NetGuardians to monitor their remote sites, the one rack unit design of the NetGuardian has saved them space as well as installation and maintenance time. "It's extremely versatile and compact. At our large sites, we have three NetGuardians in a small space that are working out excellent," praises Fugazi.

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