March 23, 2006 By Government Technology
Lost or inaccurate information can mean more than just the usual headaches associated with such inefficiency. In the courts, mismanaged data can mean delays that disrupt the legal process and jeopardized justice itself.
In Baton Rouge, La., the 19th Judicial District Court faced continual challenges due to its outdated, shared Ethernet network. The system -- used by the court's 485 administrators and 20 judges -- slowed the tracking and exchange of critical case-related information.
And because the 19th District adjudicates more than 45,000 civil and criminal cases per year -- including more than 100 jury trials -- the old-fashioned, error-ridden technology wasted both time and money.
To restore order to the court, 19th District officials needed a powerful data network to support a new, centralized Web-based judicial system database designed to streamline communications and case management.
In particular, the court needed an affordable, ultra-fast, redundant network backbone to reliably process the new system's voluminous records.
The flexibility, easy manageability and cost effectiveness of 3Com's exclusive eXpandable Resilient Networking (XRN) technology provided the perfect solution to the court's demand.
3Com's "pay as you grow" strategy allowed court officials to purchase the exact XRN technology necessary to complete the transformation from antiquated, unreliable system to ultra-fast, resilient, cutting-edge network.
XRN technology also made it easy to deploy the court's new 3Com SuperStack 3 Switch 4924, Switch 4900 and Switch 4400 switches, XRN Interconnect Kit, and 3Com Network Supervisor.
3Com's 4000-series switches coupled with the XRN Interconnect Kit reduced administration costs by creating a distributed Gigabit switch fabric that behaves and is managed as a single entity.
Performance is maximized because each switch in the fabric is actively directing both Layer 2 and Layer 3 traffic so that no single unit bears the entire switching load. That means network resilience is significantly increased.
Should a link or switch ever fail, "dual homing" of critical devices such as servers to both switches ensures continued network access to those critical devices.
The court's comprehensive new XRN technology supplies a 10-Gigabit Ethernet backbone with high performance Ethernet and ultra-fast access to the district's new Web-based judicial system, all for an exceptionally low total cost of ownership.
Powered by 3Com's XRN technology, four interconnected SuperStack 3 Switch 4924s function as a 10-Gigabit core providing network redundancy without the cost and complexity of adding more switches.
Even if one port or an entire switch fails, XRN technology sustains network operations with less than 10 seconds of fail-over, ensuring the court's judicial management system is always available.
The court uses another 25 3Com Switch 4900s and Switch 4924s to distribute gigabit Ethernet connections to nearly 1,000 local users. And flexible XRN technology means new users easily are supported and aggregated bandwidth is easily increased with the simple deployment of more XRN Interconnect Kits.
Now, 19th District judges use the network-based judicial system to quickly investigate offenders' histories, and they will soon hold videoconferences with inmates awaiting trial, saving significant travel time and its associated costs.
Administrators use the network to quickly open, crosscheck, update, seal and exchange case files including court dates, assigned judges and jury status.
"3Com's XRN technology revolutionized our operations," said Freddie Manint, CJIS director/F.B.I -- T.A.C. "Using 3Com switches, we're not only improving our own efficiencies, we're providing a blueprint for courts nationwide to resolve legal issues more confidently, more securely and more affordably."
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