PARAMUS, NJ; June 14, 2007 – Fargo-based Dakota Carrier Network (DCN) was formed in 1996 by 15 independent rural telecommunications companies representing 85% of all the telephone exchanges in North Dakota and over 90% of the state's total surface area. Initially created to provide broadband services throughout the state, DCN has grown considerably. The North Dakota based companies have more than 10,000 miles of fiber optic cable installed today providing services to over 164,000 business customers in 244 communities in the state. Dakota Carrier Network currently provides broadband, frame relay, ATM and Internet services throughout North Dakota and the region.
DCN has continually invested in the most contemporary hardware and software solutions for its network. In fact, North Dakota has recently been honored by several publications and organizations for having one of the best data networks in the U.S. Additionally, the network is so highly regarded that the State of North Dakota runs a virtual private network on the DCN system to bring high-speed network technologies to every school district and government body in the state.
This commitment to deploying the latest technology was recently brought to bear on a significant challenge the organization was facing: alarm monitoring. Because DCN has a need for 24/7 alarm monitoring, the company required some method of alerting itself to network outages occurring outside of standard business hours. Receiving a call from a customer to understand that a piece of equipment had failed was simply not an acceptable practice. That's where Dataprobe's Contact Closure over Ethernet (COE) product fits in: bringing remote site alarms to the DCN control center.
Closing the After Hours Loop
Dataprobe's COE is a device for transporting status and switch closure information over any IP network. This cost-effective and easily implemented technology reduces the need for physical, on-site network management, administration and support by consolidating network equipment located in numerous remote locations into one central location.
The COE is designed to be used in pairs to replicate contact, relay or switch closure/open status over 10base-T Ethernet. It provides a link between older systems, which commonly use relay alarms, converting them into IP messages and re-converting them to relay closures at the other end of the network. An input unit collects up to 8 status points (dry contact closures or wet DC voltage) and an output unit that has 8 for C relays. Input status is transmitted to one or more output units over the IP network, and one output unit can aggregate status from multiple input units.
DCN uses the output relays to drive audible and visual indicators. Dataprobe also provided additional scripts that DCN uses for SNMP traps. As most network management systems are configured to have someone in front of a screen 24/7, DCN needed a way to monitor alarms after hours. Now, when the network management system receives the right trap, a script provided by Dataprobe is generated. Once again, a contact closure is activated and generates the necessary audio/visual alarm and/or call to a network technician on call.
Growth Without Sacrifice
Don Pedersen is the Operations Manager at DCN. Pedersen explains, "With our growth, we now have equipment located at 15 remote sites throughout the state; if a particular piece of equipment didn't provide SNMP alerts, we had no way of getting notified when something went wrong. Now, with the COE-8 system, we have the same ability to monitor alarms at a remote site that we do at a manned site with a technician around the clock. I can be in Bismarck, North Dakota and monitor my remote sites as efficiently as if I was physically situated there."
The iBoot device includes a unique auto detection capability that identifies failures in any connected system by monitoring IP devices on the network. If programmed, iBoot can perform a timed reboot or other power controlled function automatically whenever the device fails. iBoot can also be directly activated by other network management systems.
"The iBoot is designed with the convenience of the user in mind," said David Weiss, CEO of Dataprobe. "More and more businesses are operating a portion of their resources remotely. By allowing these users to control resources from a preferred location, the iBoot reduces on-site visits and saves the business both time and money."
The device is available for purchase through Dataprobe’s Web site and through its reseller channels.
Dataprobe is a leading manufacturer of innovative technology solutions for today’s demanding remote site management and networking needs. Since 1969, Dataprobe has been providing communication managers, OEM developers and direct consumers with innovative technology products that help make their jobs easier, businesses more successful and overall work environment more productive. By listening to their customers’ needs, Dataprobe provides specific product customization and devoted customer service.
Led by industry veteran David Weiss, Dataprobe, serves over 4,000 customers worldwide in the remote technology market sector. The company continues to lead the remote site management industry by leveraging their core expertise combined with their skilled research, engineering, sales and customer service professionals.