Providing lifesaving services where cell towers don’t reach
Globalstar utilizes Flexential colocation to deliver resiliency and ensure its satellite transmissions are always available.
“Globalstar has aided in more than 7,000 life-saving deployments.”
Data center resilience needed to support lifesaving connectivity
Globalstar’s business is to go where other businesses cannot. Founded in 1991, the communications company operates a satellite constellation that provides phone and low-speed data communications to areas with unreliable or no cellular coverage.
In addition to helping businesses with remote assets make informed operational decisions based on real-time data, it also enables lifesaving rescues. With the push of a button, its SPOT devices transmit an S.O.S. signal via the company’s satellite constellation to provide coordinates to first responders or others.
To support its operations and the reliability of its network of satellites, Globalstar wanted to outsource its data center needs. At the time, the company was operating its own data centers. With one facility outside of San Jose, California and the other outside of Sacramento, Globalstar wanted a more geographically dispersed footprint to heighten its operational resilience. The San Jose data center was also old and lacked some key modern infrastructure and safety features. As a result, the company had experienced a series of issues that cost them both time and money.
With such critical operational and safety applications on the line, Globalstar was looking for a data center provider who could deliver the reliability, security and flexibility to support the company’s satellites and backend software. Downtime is not an option for Globalstar as, in many cases, the availability of its services can be the difference between life and death.
Globalstar needed to provide a reliable environment as well as an increased level of security to meet a series of enhanced customer requirements in support of sensitive applications. It also needed to provide multiple security levels throughout its environment to secure its satellite assets and operations. To meet these needs, Globalstar turned to Flexential.
Colocation delivers resiliency and flexibility to support communications
When Tim Calamari, vice president of Network, IT and Applications at Globalstar, toured the new Flexential Dallas – Plano facility, he was sold. “This data center was pretty impressive to me and I don’t impress easily,” he said. “It checked all the boxes and then some.”
Ultimately, Globalstar migrated more than 600 virtual servers and approximately 75 physical servers to the Flexential Dallas – Plano and Las Vegas – North data centers. This geographic disparity provides Globalstar with the diversity it lacked with its previous deployment.
Additional redundancies within each data center further support the resiliency of the solution. Purpose-built to accommodate power densities over 1,500 watts per square foot, the Dallas – Plano facility offers (N+1) UPS redundancy, 18 megawatts of critical load UPS capacity and N+1 cooling redundancy. The Las Vegas – Downtown/North facility delivers the same power density and N+1 cooling with N+1 UPS redundancy. These features ensure a power outage or failed UPS will not disrupt business or leave a customer stranded. Equipment is also properly maintained by Flexential, easing the strain on Globalstar’s one-man facilities team.
For added ease of mind, Flexential provides a 100% SLA on power, cooling, network and bandwidth. Globalstar also appreciates that they are on the same power grid as hospitals for further assurance.
Based on its use of and control over its own constellation of satellites, Globalstar must satisfy some rigorous regulatory requirements including International Traffic and Arms Regulations (ITAR) and Export Administration Regulations (EAR). Flexential’s security protocols and features help Globalstar meet these requirements by offering round-the- clock monitored security, dual-factor authentication access and biometric scanners as well as 6-zone security access in Plano – Dallas and 5-zone in Las Vegas – North.
High-performing colocation pays for itself, reducing monthly costs by 50%
Globalstar has seen tremendous operational results since partnering with Flexential. “Offloading this to a company that specializes in providing this service has been a huge improvement in terms of cost and reliability,” said Mike Moore, manager of system services at Globalstar. “It has allowed our group to focus on providing services to our customers instead of managing data center facilities.”
These improvements include a 50% reduction in its monthly power bill. In fact, the move from its San Jose data center to Flexential pays for both data center locations. This savings allows Globalstar to funnel additional capital into the business to enhance its solutions and deliver improved products.
Globalstar has also gained measurable improvements in the stability of the environment. Flexential’s routine maintenance schedules optimize the efficiency and functionality of the data center and its critical systems. In fact, Globalstar has not had a customer-impacting issue with Flexential, providing Calamari with the peace of mind to know that when customers “push the button,” help is on the way.
“It’s something that doesn’t keep me up at night,” said Calamari. “It just works.” Globalstar also appreciates the flexibility and responsiveness offered by the Flexential team. When Globalstar needed to move a large amount of data in an extremely tight time frame, Flexential got it done, putting a new circuit into production within 24 hours. “I couldn’t do that when we were hosting our own data center,” said Calamari. “It’s pretty impressive.”
The Flexential team has also scheduled tours of the facilities, helped with non- Flexential issues and provided essential remote hands services, demonstrating its level of support and commitment to the partnership.
“Anything we need done, gets done. I don’t have to worry about it, not even a little bit,” said Calamari. “The cost aside –although the cost effectiveness is phenomenal—we’re a small shop, yet we still get phenomenal service.”
Because of his outstanding experience, Calamari performs reference calls for Flexential. “When someone needs data center services, I’m quick to say Flexential is who you want to work with,” he said. “I do these calls because I believe in Flexential.”
As Globalstar continues to grow and evolve its business, it is shifting its focus from a strictly retail market to integrate Internet of Things (IoT) offerings. This will increase the number of tracking devices they coordinate from hundreds of thousands to millions. Flexential can quickly and easily accommodate this influx—as well as any others on horizon— to continue to support Globalstar’s needs without sacrificing security or resilience.
“I deal with a lot of vendors, but I’ve never dealt with one as caring and responsive as Flexential,” said Calamari. “I would recommend Flexential. There is no reason to go anywhere else.”
Globalstar, Inc. is a satellite communications company that offers affordable, reliable mobile voice and data communications in areas where traditional networks do not reach. Its products improve communications and productivity, allowing businesses to track assets across the globe in real time. Additionally, its satellite phones and SPOT GPS tracking devices provide emergency services to hikers, boaters, and others who venture into remote areas not serviced by cell towers. To support these critical services, Globalstar needs a colocation provider that can provide 100% uptime to support its network of satellites and systems.