TechSpa Introduces ‘Coach' Audio Network Monitoring Software
June 8, 2009 – Winter Park, Florida – TechSpa, InfoComm09 Booth #6343, the most widely recognized and trusted programming consultancy in the systems integration industry, is proud to announce Coach software, a network-monitoring tool for the AV industry. Coach aims at providing a functional monitoring chain for audio systems, which, in the past few years, have converged exponentially into the world of IT.
Owners of DSP or network based audio systems need to know that all pieces of the signal chain are functioning reliably to ensure the system can reproduce audio when needed. Coach is the perfect ‘preventive maintenance' application that will alert the user to the health status of the system. According to TechSpa's founder, Joe Kurta, “In the maintenance cycle of fixing system components that have broken, Coach significantly reduces the time between the ‘break' and the ‘fix,' which lessens costly downtime.” Coach does this by monitoring critical system components and alerting support personnel (on site or around the globe), when a problem occurs or even before a problem occurs.
Larger facilities require properly operating systems, but sometimes lack the personnel to properly maintain the equipment. By using Coach, staff members can save time by performing preventative maintenance on equipment that may be intermittent or have degraded performance before a problem occurs. Coach does this by setting thresholds for various features of each system component. If any component's features drift out of tolerance, support personnel are alerted to perform preventative maintenance on the component.
For mission critical cases where system components must be functioning, spare equipment should be kept nearby. To help recovery times, spare equipment can be turned into installed redundant systems, configured and ‘ready to go' in case of a failure. Coach can also monitor the health of these systems to ensure that when the redundant system is needed, it is in top working order. In these cases, with Coach, the ‘break' to ‘fix' time is virtually non-existent when failing over to a redundant system can be automated.
How Coach works: Each system component is called a ‘player.' As with sports teams, multiple players can be in ‘positions' on ‘teams.' Using the Coach software, a user can define which ‘skills' are required for each ‘position' on the team. If a player in a position starts loosing a skill, or gets sick, Coach can alert or replace the player in that position with another that has the appropriate skills. What's more, Coach ensures that the backup player has healthy skills before attempting to send them into a position.
As an application example, TechSpa installed Coach on a total of four servers to monitor Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport's three terminals. Each server monitors two paging computers (for redundant failover), and approximately 100 amplifiers. For each paging computer, TechSpa has insured certain processes are running, there is ample hard drive space, there are no messages in the queue older than 30 minutes, and certain other processes are not running. If there are ever old messages in the queue, the queue is cleaned. If the queue won't clean up, an email message is sent (via text message to the technician's cell phone) as a notification. If the problem doesn't resolve itself within a given amount of time, the paging computer is replaced by the spare, and then ‘demoted' to be serviced, all without any user intervention.
With the amplifiers, Coach monitors the health and ensures CobraNet traffic is being received. Coach also keeps track of the Fire Alarm system, and if it ever activates in one of the specified zones, the CobraNet audio is deactivated to allow the analog Fire Alarm audio to pass through the amplifiers. If an amplifier ever goes ‘out of tolerance,' notifications are sent to service the amp. This serves two purposes; muting of the paging system and enhancement of the fire alarm system's speakers.
As with all of TechSpa's products, the simplicity of the Coach software is derived partly from the expandable feature sets, which can be customize for any specific application by TechSpa technicians prior to installation and fine-tuned thereafter by the integrator. Coach supports the following 'standard' communication protocols: UDP, TCP/IP, Telnet, SNMP, XML, RS-232, RS-485 and popular manufacturer specific protocols such as: RATC, RATC 2, PASHA, X-Net, and NexSys. As always, TechSpa is willing to add additional protocols as needed for application deployments.
To make technology even more relaxing, TechSpa can configure and ship the Coach as a standalone software package, or installed on a customized rack-mount PC so the integrator doesn't have to waste time installing (and configuring) software. Each Coach ships pre-configured for its application by TechSpa personnel per the integrators specific requirements.
Established in 2003, TechSpa has been integral to the success of numerous high-profile and prestigious international installations, including the Orange County Convention Center, the Atlantis Resort, the Bellagio Resort Casino, Disney Cruise Lines and Theme Parks, NASA, Holland America Cruise Lines, Heathrow Airport, and the Phoenix Convention Center, considered the largest DSP project in North America.
For more info, contact: Aharon Moyer at TechSpa, Inc., 1964 Howell Branch Road, Suite 106 Winter Park, FL 32792, Office: 407-888-4466, Fax: (407) 264-6933, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org and also visit the web site at: www.techspa.net