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Case Study: Fluxys, Belgium

Belgium-based Fluxys is responsible for the daily operation and maintenance of 4000 kilometers of high-pressure gas pipelines and related storage. To provide the best work environment for their dispatchers, Fluxys decided to renew the front-end of their dispatching system entirely to improve noise and heat and increase productivity.

Fluxys’ control room featured a less-than-optimal workspace. Most computer systems were placed in the control room, next to each dispatcher’s desk, producing a lot of heat and noise and cluttering their workspace. Fluxys wanted to revamp the control room and shift all the computer systems into the data center. This is where they took an opportunity to upgrade their KVM extenders. They selected the Matrox Extio 3 Series IP KVM extenders.

All the computers that were once found at each dispatcher desk have now been moved one floor below the control room, at distances between 50 to 100 meters (164 to 328 feet), to a secure and heat-and-noise-controlled data center. Each computer is connected to an Extio 3 N3408 transmitter, and all signals are extended over a single fiber optic cable to the dispatcher’s desk where the quiet and compact Extio 3 N3408 receiver appliance powers the keyboard, mouse, and four DisplayPort screens. Fluxys is in a good position to transition smoothly from its current point-to-point to a networked configuration in the near future, as Extio 3 readily supports both types of configurations

At the company headquarters in Brussels, every dispatcher desktop (six of them) is now equipped with two Extio 3 N3408 receiver units to support eight screens displaying data from three types of proprietary systems. Extio 3 extends all signals and provides seamless remote desktop to the dispatchers for these time-critical applications.

High availability of systems is also important for Fluxys’ dispatching operations. To this end, Fluxys has set up a back-up center. In this location, the dispatcher clients and Extio 3 units are deployed in an exact replica of the setup at the Fluxys headquarters. Should something happen to the primary systems, this disaster recovery setup allows the dispatchers to shift to the back-up center and resume operations.

“The Extio 3 IP KVM extender standalone appliances were straightforward to install and proved their stability,” says Tim Deleeuw. “Our IT staff are pleased with the final, delocalized setup, while dispatchers enjoy a decluttered, streamlined workspace with increased comfort, ergonomics, and productivity.”

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