Houston, We Have a…Connection!

A New Monitoring System Connecting Data from Space to Earth
Michelle DeFiore

Monitoring IT infrastructure performance across facilities or continents is a big undertaking, but establishing an effective IT monitoring system between Earth and a space station—that could be near mission impossible. This organization needed a service assurance platform to deliver on their needs, which were (in a phrase) out of this world.

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A Complex Set of Requirements

The space station’s current monitoring tools required too much scripting to maintain. They wanted a platform that could manage this complex network and make the process simpler. The technical specifications they required posed unique challenges that many monitoring platforms could not support, including:

  • Collecting data on the space station from a variety of challenging sources, including unique scientific equipment
  • Monitoring physical and virtual device types
  • Managing and viewing the collected data from the ground
  • Working across a satellite link with 900 millisecond latency
  • Using limited bandwidth that would not disrupt other systems sharing the link

Not the typical IT environment by any means! This organization was not looking for a cookie cutter monitoring tool. The project required a platform powerful and flexible enough to solve their problems. In other words, ScienceLogic!

No Workarounds Needed Here

The original plan was to place the database in the space station and replicate data in batches down to Earth. This process would take place when network consumption was low so it would not interfere with other bandwidth usage. But what if this workaround was solving for a problem that didn’t really exist?

After extensive testing, ScienceLogic discovered that the bandwidth required between the database and the collector was extremely low. The collector could be on the space station and the database Earth-bound without any issues impeding continuous data transfer.

ScienceLogic Provides a Sustainable Solution

After installation, the next important aspect was ensuring the monitoring system was easy to maintain. The space station staff must be able to run the platform on their own, without onboard support from an IT ops professional.

The space station got the new monitoring platform they needed plus the confidence to know they can tackle any problems to the moon and back.

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