APC recently implemented an energy-efficient UPS system solution for the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde in support of the college’s bid to provide continuous excellent service to its faculties and students. The UPS system solution also aims to protect data in case of any power interruptions.
De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde (DLS-CSB) is one of the top educational institutions in the Philippines offering a range of degree programs in deaf education and applied studies; design and arts; hotel, restaurant and institution management; management and information technology; and professional and continuing education.
“It’s great a privilege and an honor for APC to have a prestigious partner in the education industry such as De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde,” said Didier Chalumeau, APC Country Manager. “Many of the country’s successful leaders and businessmen graduated from this college and we support this pursuit by providing the best solution to continue to educate the next generation and the new breed of leaders.”
Efficient Technology = Effective School Systems
Many of the school’s learning resources and student support systems and services are largely dependent on technology for ease and speed of use.
For instance, the Br. Fidelis Leddy Learning Resource Center (LRC) is a repository of multimedia resources—from conventional printed materials, to other forms of storage media, such as audio/video tapes, transparencies, compact discs, and electronic/online databases. This resource provides students as well as other members Benildean community the informational, instructional, and recreational resources.
The DLS-CSB also subscribes to an online electronic journal called ProQuest 5000 International. This e-journal has more than 29 databases containing almost 16,000 journals, and is accessed through computers in the LRC offices inside the College and in student’s homes. Other school databases are also accessed by current students and employees through the College Intranet.
Because of this dependence on technology, the school cannot afford to suffer any downtime.
“Downtime in any business component, especially in IT infrastructure and applications can be devastating to a company’s bottom line,” said Emerson E. Siscar, head of External Operations Group at the DLS-CSB. “In the school, the opportunity for learning is as valuable as revenue. Learning operations should be available when needed.
Siscar added that “aside from learning operations, our administrative systems, like the online enrollment system, is also technology dependent. We cannot function efficiently without an efficient data center services.”
The school also operates an IT center which offers various technology services such as wired and wireless internet access at home and in school. Under this service, students, faculty and other employees are given their own domain and email account, and enjoy miscellaneous services such as laptop lending, printing, scanning, CD-writing and many other IT services.
“Our data center is an integral part of the college and plays a vital role in the business strategy,” said Siscar. “We capitalize on technology to provide the school with a competitive edge over other tertiary education providers. The data center’s availability and technology sets allow the college to support various learning methodologies and research capabilities to keep the college on top.”
Eliminating DC Downtime
Because of this enormous challenge and in the bid to maintain its services among the best, DLS-CSB was faced with the challenge of providing continuous power supply, cooling and data security to the technology users.
In the past, these key technology concerns were not properly addressed. Siscar reports that the data center relied on individual online UPS units for each machine, resulting in high component failure. Cooling and physical were concerns as well.
The network administration team was well aware that if their system fails, business will definitely come to a halt, most specially at critical times such as enrollment, paper-submission deadlines, or during examinations. “The loss may not just be in the monetary aspect but will also hurt the prestige of the school. We are known for our quality and advanced facilities so certainly we cannot afford to have system downtime.”
The school needed to choose the best technology provider to stay competitive and maintain its stature. This critical need pushed DLS-CSB to look into American Power Conversion’s (APC) power, cooling and security solutions. DLS-CSB requested APC to assess the school’s requirements. Key concerns identified were more on business continuity, a solution that required reliable and consistent-back-up power and a consolidation UPS solution.
DLS-CSB believes that APC helped the school save time and resources by eliminating data center (DC) downtime and eliminating component failure due to power concerns.
For this, APC offered the InfrastruXure (ISX) system, designed specifically for high-density applications. This system, which integrates power, cooling, management and services in a rack-optimized architecture, addresses NCPI challenges such as hot spots, cooling problems, unknown data center capabilities, requirements for oversized NCPI or special environments, and the need to slow technology adoption because of deployment challenges.
“ISX provided the school with intelligent software that commands our machines to automatically shutdown when necessary. It also resolved our immediate issue of consolidating and stabilizing the power requirement. Now, we simply plug our machines into the DC.
Ensure Peace of Mind
This is not the first time that DLS-CSB has deployed APC’s solutions. In the past, the school had already implemented the Symmetra solution. However, its speedy growth from a community school to a full-pledged college, as well as the rapidly changing technology needs, called for more drastic changes.
“We definitely needed the Symmetra then. But now, we find that the ISX solution addresses our consolidation needs and provides reliable power. The ISX is so scalable that it allows us to maximize our investments because we can still rely on it while our needs expand,” Siscar added.
Moving forward, plans are to grow the data center further as technology changes. “The growth of space, applications, power, and services in the data center will continue to evolve. Since the expansion of the institution will require IT to provide better services, the data center will be a primary evolution integrator for the School.”
The school is also quite impressed with the APC team who are willing to go beyond the call of duty just to ensure everything is running smoothly. “People worked around 1 a.m. to fix and have everything back to normal. They never leave the site without confirming that the system is okay”.
“It’s quite an investment, but APC has given us peace of mind.”