Northwestern University is recognized both nation­ally and internationally for its educational programs and pioneering research. In addition to academic buildings, dining halls, and student and faculty housing, the campuses are home to state-of-the-art research facilities, performing arts centers, and even an art museum — all of which require highly sophisticated and reliable facilities management.

Northwestern needs to ensure that all building control systems are continuously operational in order to maintain highly stable environments. Even the slightest variability in conditions like temperature, humidity, air flow, and air quality can skew scientific findings and render ongoing research work useless.

Northwestern’s need for always-on building control automation extends beyond its research facilities alone. The Mary and Leigh Block Museum boasts a permanent collection of nearly 5,000 artworks and brings world-renowned art to campus through temporary exhibitions. To protect existing collections and qualify for artwork loans, the museum must ensure stable climatic conditions.

Northwestern had been using a traditional fail-over configura­tion where a second server was used as a standby for restarting its Tridium NiagaraAX Framework and Johnson Controls in the event that the primary server failed. The University used a popular failover and recovery software solution, but found that it lacked the level of stability and reliability needed to keep these mission-critical systems up and running all the time.

Because Tridium, Johnson Controls all have large system installations running on Stratus everRun redundant server systems at customer sites worldwide, Northwestern’s Facilities Management IT department decided to take a closer look at the everRun software solution. However, because all of Northwestern’s server-based software applica­tions run in a virtualized VMware® environment, the IT team needed to make sure that everRun could operate within this existing infrastructure.

After conducting due diligence, Northwestern’s Facilities Management IT department decided that everRun provided the exceptional fault-tolerant protection, high application availability, and ease of use that the University required.

Since implementing the everRun software solution, Northwestern has enjoyed continuous availability of its building control applications ensuring the level of seamless facilities management needed at a leading research institution.