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Social networking operation ensures its backup power

Stephan Buys,
IT operations engineer
at Mxit on left and
Jacques van Niekerk,
technical manager at
Powermode on right
3 July 2013 – A growing business and a move to new premises prompted the administrators of Mxit, South Africa’s mobile social network, to take a careful look at its IT infrastructure and, in particular, the provision for backup power to deal with all-too-common power outages on the local grid.
“Mxit has a number of levels of failover in its business model,” IT operations engineer, Stephan Buys, explains, “but when we established our new data centre in Stellenbosch we decided to introduce additional redundancy into the system as part of our upgrade plans.”
Mxit commissioned the Cape Town branch of Johannesburg-headquartered power provisioning specialist, Powermode, to take care of immediate power protection with a system that could also cover future requirements with business expansion in mind.
“Uptime in all our business activities is important for Mxit,” Buys says, with between 400 and 500 million messages are sent via the Mxit network each day between 7.3 million active members who record over 700 million page views of apps a month.
The solution presented by Powermode was its own, Q-On branded uninterruptible power supply (UPS) system which, thanks to its modular construction, can be easily expanded to meet future needs thus reducing total cost of ownership over the long term.
“We handed the assignment to Powermode who managed the installation of the UPS, undertook all the electrical wiring and – for good measure − installed the air conditioning system in our data centre as part of a turnkey project,” Buys says.
The Q-On M-Series UPS is available in a basic 15 kVA configuration which, in Mxit’s case, was expanded with the addition of modular units to 45 kVA on installation.
Buys confirms that the Mxit data centre is already operating at around 83% of its back-up capacity. “We’ve pushed it to 97% in a successful load test, so it won’t be long before another module will be needed for addition to the system,” he says. “Fortunately, our UPS has the capacity to reach 120 kVA so there is a significant amount of expansion available from this single unit.”