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Is Your Central Station Truly Redundant

Oct 9, 2019 8:02:00 AM

You expect reliability from your central station – and you should. Imagine your house gets burglarized while your security system is armed, but nobody calls to check on you or to send for EMS. What would be the point? This could happen if your central station doesn’t have a redundancy plan in place. A simple power outage could render a central station useless without redundancy. So, what does it take for a central monitoring station to be truly redundant?

Types of Redundancy

In order for a central station alarm company to be truly redundant, it must have redundancy in three phases: automated technologies, telecommunications, and staff (operators).

Automated Technologies

The first phase of a redundancy plan for a monitoring station is automated technologies. This includes a second facility, power generators, data servers, and really anything that helps assist with processing a signal. Without automated technologies, something as simple as a power outage could leave a subscriber base without anybody watching valuables or loved ones, and that is unacceptable.

If automated technology redundancies are in place, a simple power outage won’t disrupt service. Backup power generators will automatically power the facility. But if something catastrophic happens to the facility, like a tornado, another facility with automated technologies could handle the single load instantaneously, keeping customers covered in this event, without any down time.

Redundant automated technologies are not only for when disaster strikes. It is important for maintaining the technologies as well. Redundant systems constantly have to be checked and tested to ensure when they are actually needed, that everything switches over without a hitch. So, if one central station is having maintenance done to its automated technologies, the other can fully handle the load. Tied closely to automated technologies is telecommunications.

Telecommunications

A fully redundant central station contains redundancies in network connections and telecom services including internet, phone lines, and receivers. These systems are especially important because it’s how a central station communicates with its subscribers. Without these, a simple lost internet connection can put the whole facility in jeopardy.

Not only do these systems need to have backups, and backups of backups, but they need to switch over automatically without human intervention. This is called an immediate failover system. When any switchover requires human interaction, that wastes time. And to provide the best service to customers possible, the switchover from one site to another has to be immediate. Finally, to have a full redundancy plan in place, the central station needs to have redundant staffing.

Staff Redundancy

Staff redundancy is the one phase of redundancy that central stations often believe they can get by without, but it is critical in having true hot redundancy. People are a key component to processing alarms. There are some stations that have remote operators available if the local system has an interruption, but these operators may not be completely familiar with the practices of fully staffed operators. Without a fully staffed secondary central station, you might be compromising customer service.

Having a central station that has redundancies in automated technologies, telecommunications, and staffing is the only way to complete a full proof redundancy plan. It’s the way to ensure that an alarm monitoring station is putting its customers first. That’s why AvantGuard is so unique. AvantGuard has two fully staffed, redundant facilities with an immediate failover system in place to ensure that signals continue to be processed during any event. If you’d like to learn more about AvantGuard’s services or features, reach out to our dealer services department to find out more.

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