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Potomac Electric Power Company (Pepco) is the premier source of reliable electricity for businesses and communities of the mid-Atlantic region, including Washington D.C. and Maryland. Over the hundred years of service they've provided for this area, the have established themselves as the leader in technology, reliability, and friendly service. They also have a unique culture focused on empowering their employees to take initiative so that they can stay on top.
Pepco Deployed NetGuardian Remotes and a T/Mon NOC Master Station...
As an Operations Research Analyst in the engineering department, Gloria Canales is involved with the management and monitoring of Pepco's extensive network. With the help of the sales engineers at DPS Telecom, she has successfully deployed a more reliable and expandable monitoring system.
"We're going to be using the NetGuardian a lot..."
Previously, Pepco monitored their sites with a huge network of NetGuardians. This included the small NetGuardian 216, the full-featured NetGuardian 832A G4, and the TBOS-capable NetMediator. As Pepco's fleet of NetGuardians expanded, they deployed a T/Mon NOC master station and supported it with the T/Mon Gold Plan maintenance agreement.
Dual Redundant Masters Created Fault-Tolerance...
To create a redundant dual-master configuration, Canales deployed a second T/Mon NOC and the NRI software module. This module synchronizes Pepco's twin T/Mon systems so that a backup is ready within seconds if the primary T/Mon fails. This created a fault-tolerant system that quickly recovers after hardware failures or natural disasters.
Canales also deployed the NetGuardian 832A G5, which offers a faster processor and more RAM for future firmware enhancements.
Pepco Prepares for the Future with New Monitoring Technologies...
Canales is also interested in more advanced technology from DPS. Specifically, Pepco she is looking at fiber interfaces. The NetGuardian 832A G5 has a 100BaseFX fiber interface option. In that configuration, the NetGuardian can deliver LAN to 3 external devices and is invulnerable to lighting and EMI over the fiber connection.
"We're going to be using the NetGuardian a lot," Canales said.
Factory Training Cuts Costs and Improves Deployment Results...
Training your key employees on the latest monitoring technology can be expensive and time-consuming. Fortunately, Pepco's investment in a Gold Plan maintenance agreement entitled them to tuition-free seats at a regularly scheduled 4-day training session at DPS Headquarters in Fresno, California.
"By coming to class, I feel more comfortable. There's nothing that I can't handle..."
During their factory session, Pepco worked with knowledgeable instructors at DPS to provide hands on training. They learned how to install and maintain T/Mon and NetGuardians. They also received instruction on working with SNMP and ASCII text alarms.
"I feel like class was very hands-on. They give you an opportunity to do it yourself..."
As an Operations Research Analyst, it was essential for Canales to be fully educated. By attending the Factory Training, she learned what she needed to know, and was also impressed by the overall class experience.
"By coming to class, I feel more comfortable," Canales said. "There's nothing that I can't handle."
Something that surprised her was the amount of class materials provided. The user manuals and step-by-step workbooks provided a superior learning experience.
"DPS provided product user manuals but also a workbook for every day of class," Canales said. "That's something you can use to quickly find what you need."
She was also impressed by the number of hands-on class activities with real DPS equipment.
"I feel like class was very hands-on. They give you an opportunity to do it yourself," said Canales. "If you're a visual person, you can tell me, tell me, tell me, but you can skip something if you're just taking notes. When you do it yourself, you have to think a little bit more about what you have to do."
"It's really something to come to DPS and put faces to the names and say, 'OK, I can call this person and I know he's knowledgeable...'"
Also, she appreciated learning special applications that made working with DPS products easy and efficient. Canales discovered additional benefits that the T/Mon offers, including auto-databasing ASCII. She also got a chance to familiarize herself with the T/Mon hotkeys to speed up both databasing and monitoring.
Pepco Learns by Working with the Real Technicians - Not Some Corporate Trainer...
Training onsite also presented a great opportunity to meet the DPS team and learn who to call with questions. It made Canales familiar with the office support staff and technicians.
"It's really something to come to DPS and put faces to the names and say, 'OK, I can call this person and I know he's knowledgeable,'" Canales said. "It's great to come to DPS Factory Training."