T&D World Magazine

Cellnet+Hunt Teams with Oracle to Deliver Oracle Utilities Applications

Cellnet+Hunt has deployed an Oracle Grid to support utility companies across North America. Built using Oracle Database 10g Oracle Real Application Clusters, Oracle Automatic Storage Management and Oracle Enterprise Manager 10g, Cellnet+Hunt's Grid delivers the performance, scalability, business continuity, and the flexibility required to deliver its wireless metering network applications and services.

Cellnet+Hunt offers a broad range of advanced metering and infrastructure communications systems to electric, gas and water utilities in North America. Cellnet+Hunt and Oracle have also teamed to provide utility clients with an end-to-end solution for advanced metering, which includes Oracle Utilities applications. By working together, Cellnet+Hunt and Oracle help utilities detect outages and issue work orders more quickly, verify service restoration through remote meter readings and prevent needless dispatch of repair crews and equipment.

Cellnet+Hunt has more than 18 million advanced metering endpoints installed or under contract. Due to the new two-way metering technology the company has introduced, Cellnet+Hunt expects a rapid increase in the data quantities it handles and requires a flexible, scalable and robust IT architecture to manage the growing data volume out of its national network operations center based in Kansas City, Missouri.

Cellnet+Hunt's four-node grid of dual-core Sun Fire V890 servers running the Solaris Operating System powers a dozen customer databases enabling the reliable delivery of meter reads to its customers on a real-time basis. With its grid environment, Cellnet+Hunt provides high levels of application availability to help meet its customer service level agreements, offers increased redundancy and delivers immediate access to key utility usage metrics such as off-cycle reads, usage monitoring, dynamic pricing, tamper alerts, outage and restoration notification. As data volumes grow, Cellnet+Hunt will be able to scale its grid with the addition of nodes to meet business requirements.

In addition to delivering a fast, reliable, real-time service, Cellnet+Hunt's deployment of a grid environment has enabled economies of scale that allow them to decrease the number of servers required to support its customers by two-thirds -- reducing complexity, easing manageability and producing cost and energy efficiencies. Cellnet+Hunt uses Oracle Enterprise Manager 10g to administer and monitor the performance of its applications and grid environment, while using Oracle Automatic Storage Management to automate and streamline performance and storage management.

"On an hourly and daily basis we are capturing, processing and delivering huge amounts of data to be packaged and delivered to our customers," said Letha McLaren, services general manager, Cellnet+Hunt. "As we move forward, we will need the ability to collect and process even more data. For example, expected quantities are over 10 times as much data as collected today and with the ability to bring back entire meter tables, there is even more. Multiply that by 13.5 million meter end points -- well, that's a lot of data. We needed a fast, robust and flexible architecture that can support future growth -- and Oracle Grid provides it."

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