Eircom switches on to Avocent for data centres


20 Jan 2004

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Switching technology firm Avocent has signed a deal with incumbent Irish telecoms firm Eircom that will see its ‘command and control’ switching technology implemented at Eircom’s three data centres in Dublin city centre, Dundrum and Citywest.

Under the terms of the deal, Eircom has implemented Avocent’s AMX analogue matrix switching solution at the three data centres.

Eircom’s data centre facilities comprise of centralised banks of over 400 servers in total across multiple platforms including Dell, Compaq and Sun running a mixture of operating systems including NT, Windows2000 and various flavours of Unix. The systems run hundreds of differing applications including exchange email servers, Sequel and Oracle database servers, remedy fault logging database servers and pumpkin call centre traffic analysis servers.

Each centre has 24/7 monitoring and operates in a highly secure environment. Constant vigilance is maintained on both an automated and operator initiated basis. System wide checks take place at frequent intervals including analysis of performance metrics, minesweeper implementations and firewall monitoring.

Avocent employs over 100 people at its international headquarters and R&D centre in Shannon, Co. Clare.

Avocent’s AMX matrix switching solution is designed to support growing server installations and allows simultaneous control and operation of multiple servers independently of each other. It intelligently facilitates multi-user, multi-platform and multi-rack server environments with end-to-end CAT 5 cable connectivity for access from the desk to the server. The AMX 5000 is a 32 port main switching box connecting to clients across a CAT 5 interface. The matrix switch allows access from a single point or simultaneous access for up to eight users throughout the data centre. It can drive servers up to 1,000 feet away from the controllers’ desks.

As well as the AMX switching solution, Eircom also deployed Avocent’s DS and DSR lines to provide remote access control to over 40 Eircom IT managers over an Ethernet connection and the data centres and servers can be controlled and managed through Avocent’s DSView software interface.

Eircom network administrator Donagh Quish explained: “This level of accessibility can be increased where required. DSView provides an overall view of all connected servers. Through NT domain authentication, authorised users can identify and troubleshoot problems and shut down or reboot servers if necessary.

“The majority of issues are usually resolved remotely and direct intervention at the rack is increasingly rare. Each main server room also has a remote station as an additional back-up,” Quish concluded.

By John Kennedy