Technology Company Hits a Home Run During Hurricane Rita

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff July 19, 2006

What do baseball and technology have in common? Think of a batter who just hit a single. Say he’s a great hitter, but a slow runner. In comes the pinch runner to get around the bases fast—a display of outsourcing, a strategy for optimizing skills. Such was the case for Wailua Technology Company, Houston, Texas.Wailua specializes in IT while its clients specialize in oil, gas and related industries.

As a systems integrator, Wailua Technology Company works with several energy companies and is an authority at integrating systems information from all areas of an enterprise operation. The company helps to integrate data and applications so that different departments in regions all around the world can have access to the same information on a real-time basis.

“This is a 24/7 business, and our customers trust us to keep their systems up and running,“ says Roy Castillo, managing director of Wailua. “That’s why we put uninterruptible power supplies on our own equipment as well as our customers’ equipment.”

Wailua sets up, configures and manages its customers’ e-mail systems, business databases and distribution software systems—pretty much anything IT-related.“For some of our newest customers, we are their IT department—staff and equipment rolled into one,” explains Castillo.“We do the IT, and they explore energy sources.”

Power spikes and surges are common in Houston, where storms can wreak havoc with power lines. “Thunderstorms and power problems are a year-around issue in Texas,” concedes Josh Cooper, senior systems engineer for Wailua.

The rack-mountable UPSs that they use for customers are designed for dense data-center environments where rack real estate is a premium. More true power measured in watts in a tighter form factor measured in rack U-space provides better performance while saving valuable rack space.Extended runtime modules support these UPSs for additional battery backup time. And option cards add extensive networking capabilities. Individual load segments can be set up to shift battery backup time to the most important computer devices should a power failure occur.

With the assault of Hurricane Katrina, many people and businesses sought refuge in Houston. In the aftermath, Wailua worked with a law firm to recover hard drives carrying valuable business and client data that were damaged in the storm. In this emergency situation, Wailua didn’t take any chances and put a UPS on the equipment performing backup and recovery services. And luckily so.Sometimes, disaster strikes in twos and in this case, during the recovery process, Hurricane Rita hit Houston and brought the power down again for several hours.

“We lost power during Hurricane Rita, but our UPS systems stayed up and protected our systems,” recounts Castillo.“Of course, we were particularly pleased in this instance where we were helping a business that had already suffered greatly from Hurricane Katrina.”

Cooper adds, “The software and the UPS systems give us advance notification of any sort of a power outage. We’re able to get information via the software that alerts us to the fact that there has been an intermittent outage at the onsite or remote location.And then, that information helps us to be proactive, to try to find out whether it is the building that is having an electrical problem or whether there is a storm in that area.”

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