Published on 18 September, 2013
|Ecl-ips deployed Smart-UPS NetBotz visual security and StruxtureWare management platform
Ecl-ips, a highly respected specialist in environmental and security threat management solutions has announced details of a successful project with JLT Group that has upgraded its diverse and difficult to manage UPS and monitoring systems to a Schneider / APC centric platform with complete power, environmental and security monitoring.
JLT Group is an international group of Risk Specialists and Employee Benefits Consultants and one of the largest of its type in the world. JLT has around 7,600 employees based at over 100 offices in 33 countries including 40 sites in the UK.
For many years, JLT has grown through acquisition adding new offices and a diverse range of IT equipment at comms rooms across the UK and overseas. For Ritchie Coombs, Technical Services Manager at JLT Group and his small team, these standalone sites presented a management challenge. The sites are spread across the length of the UK, many without local IT staff and often in managed offices, and need to be maintained to ensure reliable IT and communication infrastructure.
Issues such as power supply outages, air conditioning failures resulting in high temperature related equipment failures were difficult to quickly spot and rectify. Even at sites protected by UPS, it was difficult to ensure the reliability of batteries with little service histories and infrequent failover testing.
“They also had the capability to provide 24 hour remote and next day-on site engineer response which is critical in meeting our service delivery requirements"
To resolve this situation and with JLT still growing, Coombs decided on a multiyear programme to upgrade and centralise both power protection and environmental monitoring to create a reliable and cost effective platform to manage all sites under a centralised system.
Following an evaluation of several potential technologies and suppliers, Coombs selected Ecl-ips based on its expertise across datacentre, environmental and security monitoring. “We had worked with Ecl-ips on earlier projects and they had always delivered professional and technical astute solutions,” explains the technical services manager, “They also had the capability to provide 24 hour remote and next day-on site engineer response which is critical in meeting our service delivery requirements.”
As an APC Premier partner, Ecl-ips has full access and extensive experience in deploying data centre solutions and recommended a combination of Smart-UPS, NetBotz visual security and environmental monitoring plus various smart PDU’s all controlled through a StruxtureWare management platform hosted within the Ecl-ips data centre suite.
The Ecl-ips Hosted-StruxtureWare Data Centre Expert solution allows both the JLT facilities team and its own help desk to monitor equipment at comms rooms across the UK and overseas. The multi-vendor solution provides real-time monitoring across power, cooling, security and offers instant fault notification and escalation to enable quick assessment and resolution of critical infrastructure events that can adversely affect IT system availability.
Working closely with Ecl-ips, JLT group created a schedule of site upgrades and failover tests to bring all sites into the new solution. This process included an audit of each site and tests of any existing UPS and monitoring equipment as well as integration with access control systems. At certain sites, Ecl-ips installed NetBotz monitoring equipment which also includes CCTV capability to ensure the security of vulnerable comms rooms, particularly at shared sites.
The upgrade project has gone to plan and with 20 sites completed; Coombs and his team is already benefiting from the new unified management platform, “We have more visibility over the power and environmental conditions at each site and with the addition of video, we are instantly alerted if somebody has gone into a comms room without permission as well as full audit trail of any changes.”
“All alerts are also routed to our mobile devices, which allows us to have a lighter touch, smaller and more mobile team that can remotely carry out many of the common remedies such as power cycling without a time consuming site visit,” Coombs adds.
“We had worked with Ecl-ips on earlier projects and they had always delivered professional and technical astute solutions"
The JLT facilities team and Ecl-ips also has the ability to schedule battery replacements and to conduct regular maintenance activities through StruxtureWare which provides detailed reporting to allow for preventative maintenance through trending data that can highlight potential issues.
“Ecl-ips has delivered a first class service,” adds Coombs, “In the rare instance when we have had a failure, an engineer has been on site first thing next morning and resolved the issue without fuss and that level of professionalism is definitely appreciated.”
JLT Group is nearly halfway through its upgrade and Coombs believes that the switch has led to higher reliability across its IT infrastructure and helped the team to better secure critical comms rooms. “It’s hard to put a figure on the value of the project to JLT but it’s fair to say that IT is critical to the Group and the move to a unified power and monitoring platform has helped us to minimise risk and respond more quickly to any issues,” Coombs concludes.