Solving Camera Lockups in Alaska

How Far Do You Have to Go to Reboot Your Network Devices?

It is bad enough driving a few blocks to reboot a camera on a pole. Now imagine having to drive more than 700 miles just to reboot a camera that has stopped communicating!

Erik Ellis of NMS Security Solves the Problem

Meet Erik Ellis, the Operations Manager at NMS Security.

Erik is responsible for security state wide in Alaska for AT&T using physical and video surveillance.

Built on a culture of safety, integrity and the highest level of service, NMS delivers award-winning support services to a variety of clients in Alaska and the contiguous U.S. Their service portfolio includes not only oilfields clients, but also food services, security, facilities management, camp services, staffing and hotel management.

So how do you provide the highest level of service when a camera or a network device well over 700 miles away stops communicating?

The Problem and Challenge  

AT&T has remote sites all over the State of Alaska in some of the most unhospitable weather on the planet. Temperatures ranging from 90°+ Fahrenheit in Fort Yukon to -60° Fahrenheit above the Arctic Circle, security products have to work and perform under these extreme conditions.

When IP cameras become unresponsive, AT&T needs to send a technician out to the remote site which can be 700 or more miles away. This requires advanced planning and could include renting a helicopter to gain access to the remote site. With the helicopter costing $1,200 / hour or more plus taking one or more days to get to the site the overall time and expense is huge just to reset power to the unresponsive IP camera or modem/gateway.

The Solution

Erik solved the problem by deploying uSwitch PoE devices with Watchdog capabilities built right in.

The uSwitch PoE with Watchdog capabilities pings your local LAN devices such as IP cameras as well as url's and IP addresses on the WAN. If they are unresponsive, it then automatically reboots your network devices with no human intervention. The uSwitch POE is also accessible using any web browser. When logging in, you can reboot the POE ports manually or control the onboard relay from anywhere.


The Results

The first time the uSwitch PoE rebooted power to an unresponsive IP camera the uSwitch PoE more than paid for itself. AT&T didn’t have to plan and deploy a technician to the remote site which would have incurred several thousands of dollars in expenses just to reboot an IP camera. Beyond just saving money, there was limited downtime and loss of data, since the camera went back online immediately. Staying online with access to important footage and data is priceless.

To date the uSwitch PoE has rebooted several IP cameras, saving AT&T thousand of dollars in related expenses. "A great ROI on this small capital outlay,¨said Erik.