StarHub aims at the nonstop LAN

Info-communications consortium StarHub will start providing services in Singapore on April 1, 2000. At that time, it will be the first info-communications company in Asia-Pacific to offer total convergence of fixed and mobile communications on a single, integrated platform so that homes, offices and mobile phones can all be linked and reached anywhere with just one number.

But for now, the service provider is still involved in various stages leading to its service inauguration. One of these is its recent move to StarHub Center at Cuppage Road.

To ensure that blackouts, brownouts and power surges do not prevent the 250 non engineering staff from StarHub's corporate, IT and commercial divisions working at the corporate office from enjoying continuous use of the LAN (local area network), Starhub installed Symmetra UPS (uninterruptible power supply) systems from American Power Conversion (APC).

The LAN provides network access to very important IT resources, said Low Eng Kwang, who is in charge of information technology at StarHub.

"Personnel depend on the corporate support, sales and marketing, and corporate e-mail systems on the LAN for important information," he said. "They use these resources to perform their daily business functions. The UPS serves to provide a reliable and stable power source to these IT systems."

Equipment at the data centre -- which include network switches and routers, a LAN server, an e-mail server, four Unix-based corporate support system servers and a few PC consoles -- are supported by two 12KVA Symmetra machines.

StarHub is a consortium of two leading Singapore enterprises, namely Singapore Technologies Telemedia and Singapore Power, and two worldwide telecommunications players, Nippon Telegraph & Telephone Corp. (NTT) and British Telecommunications PLC (BT).

The power protection machines at the consortium's office were installed by systems integrator, Singapore Computer Systems (SCS).

"Implementation took only three weeks even though some of the work had to be done after hours or during weekends because the LAN was already operational," Low said.

As the UPSes are still under warranty, SCS continues to maintain them.

According to Low, the Symmetra boxes were chosen because of APC's reputation for product quality, and the product's reliability, ease of use and management, and modular design.

Symmetra is a single unit composed of modular components. This modular architecture provides the foundation of building and scaling near-continuous availability power systems with a flexible range of power capacities, APC explained. The Symmetra family of power protection systems together with data center software and accessories aim to provide the four most critical elements of total data center protection -- redundancy, scalability, manageability, and serviceability.

And as for Low, "We're quite happy with the performance of the two units installed, so we do not have any immediate additional wish-list requirements from the systems."

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