OCEANSIDE, CA September 23, 2011 — When a widespread power outage, now known as the Great Blackout of 2011, hit Southern California and most of Arizona on Thursday, September 8, it left nearly seven million people without power. Yet Oceanside-based Advanced Personnel Systems (APS) switched to backup power and kept its data center operational, and kept its global SmartSearch® customers running without service interruption. SmartSearch® delivers mission critical service to over 350 clients including staffing agencies, executive search firms, and corporate employers in public, private and non-profit sectors, with its web-based software application that streamlines and automates staffing activity in a centralized, online database. The SmartSearch® data center hosts hundreds of online career centers and supports over 165,000 users and 4.7 million job seekers worldwide with 24/7 access. APS utilizes extended battery back-up Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPS) and an on-site gas generator, as well as other measures in case of utility outage, that were put to the ultimate test during what is now known as the largest power outage in California history.
APS had been well prepared. Just two months earlier, APS received notice that San Diego Gas & Electric (SDGE) would shut down primary power to the SmartSearch data center in Oceanside, on Friday, July 15 in order to perform upgrades to the local Oceanside service area. This meant switching to backup power for up to 10 hours in order to deliver uninterrupted service to its customers.
During both the SDGE planned shutdown in July and regional power failure in September, SmartSearch® data center’s backup generator powered the entire server facility including the air-conditioning and climate control in the server room, with significant excess capacity. As an added precaution, the entire technical staff was placed on standby although the transition to backup power and subsequent switch back to primary power happens automatically, without human intervention. The SmartSearch technical team goes to great lengths to preserve and protect each customer’s valuable, proprietary database, and provide customers with secure web-access from any PC or MAC. APS did not anticipate any major disruption in service during the SDGE planned shut down in July, however, there was the possibility of brief outages occasioned by switching, swaps, or machine reboots. Customers were advised not to schedule any critical tasks during the specified 10-hour timeframe. No users of the SmartSearch system reported any service interruption or down time during the planned power switchover, and this was also the case during the massive regional power failure in September when APS backups came online automatically.
“The transition to our backup power system went very smoothly, only a single UPS malfunctioned and was quickly replaced,” said LJ Morris, Chief Technical Officer at APS. “During the 10 hours our electric company shutdown service to upgrade their grid and the more recent power failure, we ran exclusively on our own backup generators. All services were available as normal save for one five-minute service interruption on two servers due to the UPS malfunction.”
Unlike many competitive products, SmartSearch® hosting and maintenance of customer data is handled out of its own data center to provide the utmost in security, redundancy and system reliability. The system is further supported by agreements with our co-location facility to provide any needed servers at its facility. In the event of a major catastrophe, SmartSearch® follows a formal disaster recovery plan and procedures.
About SmartSearch®: Since 1986, Advanced Personnel Systems, Inc. leads the way in the development and deployment of quality talent management and recruiting solutions. Having pioneered the field of resume-scanning-based recruiting solutions, APS is a recognized innovator in on-demand technology and recruitment data management. Its signature product, SmartSearch® , currently is in its fifteenth release, for more info visit www.smartsearchonline.com
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