APC zips up power protection for ISP

APC zips up power protection for ISP

Australian Internet provider Zip World (recently acquired by Pacific Internet), is using APC products to maintain high availability for its customer base of 30,000 users.

Zip World is using APC products to protect its servers from sub-standard power in the Brisbane, Melbourne and Wollongong regions and remotely reboot server sites in Sydney and Wollongong.

Zip World's current clients include the NSW State Rail Authority (SRA), Zircon, Zeta Internet, Mira Networks and International Masters Publishing. It also supports 200 permanent connections, as well as 20 ISPs. Services offered include Internet and e-mail access, Web consulting, and e-commerce site implementation.

"The remote points of presence for Zip World (Melbourne, Brisbane and Wollongong) have what we consider to be sub-standard power," said Anthony Woodward, technical director of Zip World. "One of our servers in Melbourne was badly damaged in late 1998 by power anomalies, resulting in costly downtime. No doubt it also influenced perception of our service. It cost $2000 to fix this server, when a UPS would have saved this damage."

To prevent such damage occurring again, Zip World has installed an APC Smart UPS 1000 unit to protect the Melbourne site. It also installed an APC Smart-UPS 700 unit in both the Brisbane and Wollongong sites.

The UPS units are protecting caching servers with 30-40GB of RAM each, as well as Cisco routing equipment.

"The Melbourne Smart-UPS unit hasn't failed since being installed in January last year," said Woodward. "It is being used to condition the incoming power and to keep the server running in case of a power outage. It is capable of covering a 10-15 minute outage with no problem."

APC's MasterSwitch will also be used to enable the remote rebooting of locked-up or failed servers in each site. This capability is particularly important for the Wollongong site, which is unstaffed, and for the Sydney site, which houses servers for several other companies. "MasterSwitch will enable the company to run a 24 x 7 operation with minimal human resources," said Woodward. "The ability to be alerted of a server problem, and to be able to reboot the server from a remote location, will reduce the risk of downtime even further."

Woodward said power protection is essential for ISPs to maintain high availability for customers.

"Companies should also learn from the recent power crisis in Auckland. With deregulation a possible step in the near future, we can expect to see a lower level of power service and quality. This undoubtedly increases the need for reliable power protection."

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