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EnterpriseDB Postgres powers TfL tunnel monitoring

EDB, based on the open source Postgres database, is powering a new monitoring application at Transport for London

EnterpriseDB (EDB) has deployed an application to monitor closed circuit TV in London’s road tunnels.

Costain Technology Solutions (formerly Simulation Systems), deployed the EDB Postgres platform for Transport for London (TfL) to ensure greater system uptime for a mission-critical traffic camera system in London, in a bid to deliver greater network resilience and rapid backup.

Sibin Paul, principal engineer at Costain, said: “We achieved our goal of greater resiliency by combining EDB Postgres and the EDB Postgres Replication Server for strategic replication. This configuration reduced the transition time from the primary system to the standby tunnel camera system from two minutes to 10 seconds – a 92% improvement.”

Tunnels are a critical part of the road network and as such are a specialised, complex area that involves reliably integrating a large range of inputs and associated operations and outputs in response to this information.

The inputs include those from air quality, smoke/fire detection, flood and sump level sensors, loop or video-based detection of vehicles, and video-based detection of animals and pedestrians.

The database powering the tunnel CCTV monitor system needs to process significant volumes of structured and unstructured data. According to EDB, its open source Postgres platform creates a data management fabric that accommodates a wide range of workloads and tasks.

“We had considered building in-house solutions using a mix of open source technology and proprietary technology, drawing from our specialty in traffic monitoring,” said Paul.

“Building it in-house, however, meant the company was risking expert personnel moving on, not having support for the open source software, and investing resources to build what was already on the market.

“Ultimately, we determined that EnterpriseDB’s high performance, low cost and superior quality of offerings, as well as the prospect of having a long-term partner, was a better investment.”

According to EDB, the Replication Server functionality in its Postgres platform provided resiliency for the TfL system. This offers two-way synchronisation to ensure no data is lost in the case of business continuity.

The technology is designed to synchronise the database on the backup system with the primary system when it is restored following a system failure. Any changes made while the backup system was running would be preserved and recorded in the primary system when it took over, EDB said.

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