The Way Business Is Moving published by
Issue Date: November 2004

Environmental monitoring

1 November 2004

A monitoring system cannot be dependent for its functionality on any of the infrastructure that it monitors. So RT Systems has designed an infrastructure monitoring system which is 100% independent of existing networks, mains power, standby power, as well as in its communication to the outside world.
Imperial Bank has equipped itself with the latest state-of-the-art environmental monitoring system. In conjunction with RT Systems and DDAI (Dimension Data Advanced Infrastructure) a system was developed to offer an appropriate solution including the monitoring of temperature, moisture, airconditioning, UPS conditions, standby generator status and fire suppression systems.
Dimension Data response team
Dimension Data response team
Raj Sookmungal from Imperial Bank made it clear: "Business continuity and uptime are critical to the success of our organisation. Failures within the IT infrastructure can lead to a total collapse of networks. Our application required a system that would not only inform us if there was a crisis but we also wanted to get as much information as possible of a pending crisis."
Raj Sookmungal
Raj Sookmungal
All sensors, data acquisition modules and transmitters are standalone, fail-safe and power independent. The entire system is modular and should a technical fault occur or maintenance be required in a section of the system there will be no effect on the remainder. The transmitters have self-test programs built in and report in on a 24-hour basis.
All alarms and reports are gathered and stored on a central database with a remote redundancy unit. If there is an alarm, the type of fault and the exact location will be transmitted to the central network management using SNMP and GSM. The system uses a complete open protocol and there are no hidden costs related to management software or hidden licence fees.
"The end result has been very satisfactory, with a healthy combination of practical solutions, the right economics, and the best technology."
To ensure continuous monitoring, even if a site experiences a total blackout, RT Systems has set up a central control room in Auckland Park (Johannesburg) from which a wide range of infrastructures are monitored on a 24/7/365 basis. The control room went on line in October 2001 with one site, and today has over 300 sites, spread over five countries.
Richard van der Heijden, managing director of RT Systems, says, "We spent a lot of time preparing and talking to the various parties that had an interest in our product and developed, in our opinion, the best solution for the application.
"The 'what if' factor plays a tremendous role in our business. Everything needs to be covered, from Murphy's law to a 9-11 type crisis; from power failures to an Eskom over-voltage; from a leaking airconditioner to a burst main water pipe. The more people get involved the more scenarios are discussed and the more interesting the solutions and the better the end product.
"We are very privileged to have such a close relationship with Dimension Data Advanced Infrastructure, as RT Systems it is our responsibility to inform the client of a potential problem, but the actual problem is resolved by the response team of DDAI that is on standby on a 24-7-365 basis."
For further information contact Richard van der Heijden, RT Systems, 011 482 9982, or Ronnie Roberts, DDAI, 011 319 5800,

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