Hardware Setup

Management Computer Services’ (MCS) mission is ensuring that PHA-Web is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. We understand that it is mission critical for our clients to access data stored and managed by PHA-Web. Because any single system is capable of failure, MCS designed and implemented a fully redundant system that eliminates single points of failure.

Primary PHA-Web servers are placed in a SSAE-16 certified collocation facility in Massachusetts. It is a secure location for warehousing Internet servers that is staffed 24 hours a day by trained technicians and IT professionals.

To ensure maximum power reliability, the collocation facility provides dual dedicated 4000 Amp power feeds as well as a DC power plant. For brief power outages, four 5000KVa Powerware UPS systems are available to provide continuous power. If an extended power outage occurs, three diesel generators are available to power the facility indefinitely.

The collocation facility utilizes multiple T3 or greater Internet connections from multiple Tier 1 Internet Service Providers. Bandwidth is delivered via redundant fiber optic entrances into the data center eliminating single points of failure with respect to connectivity.

To ensure computer equipment is maintained at safe operating temperatures, the collocation facility employs 28 Airflow Computer Room Air Conditioning units.Sensitive equipment in the data center is protected from fire damage by a state-of-the-art fire suppression system.

PHA-Web servers utilize a highly redundant architectural design. All servers feature RAID 1, RAID 5 or RAID 10 hard drive arrays, multiple processors, dual network cards, and redundant power supplies. Additionally, PHA-Web uses an industry standard virtualization platform. Virtualization allows a physical server to host multiple virtual servers. This allows greater flexibility in responding to performance needs or hardware failures.

PHA-Web is not hosted on one single server; several clusters host PHA-Web. A cluster is a logical grouping of multiple servers that act as one. In the event a server within a cluster fails, the remaining server(s) assume the failed server’s workload to continue providing service from that cluster

All PHA-Web data is backed up periodically and stored in two separate geographical locations. Backups are stored at the collocation facility as well as MCS’s office. Full backups are performed weekly, differential backups performed nightly and transaction log backups performed every 15 minutes.

PHA-Web’s hardware setup virtually eliminates every possible single point of failure. The redundancy and security levels provided by the collocation facility, MCS’s servers, server clusters, network, and backup infrastructure are far greater than what is normally used, or can reasonably be provided, by an individual housing authority for traditional onsite server based applications.