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Virtualization Approved for Jasper County, Iowa Sheriff's Office

The change would give the department more digital storage and use less physical space for servers.

by Newton Daily News, McClatchy News Service / April 17, 2014
“I think we are going to make it more efficient,” Sheriff John Halferty said on Tuesday, when the Jasper County Board of Supervisors approved a vitrualization project for his office.

Jasper County Information Systems Network Administrator Ryan Eaton said that by virtualizing the office, it would enable the department to have increased digital storage space and it would utilize less physical space for servers. He also added that this measure was very timely as the office's current servers use Windows 2003 and that Microsoft was going to discontinue support for those servers next year.

“A little over a year ago, we virtualized the servers here in the courthouse and in that time, we put a plan into place to get all of the servers in the county virtualized,” Jasper County IT Director Celia Robertson said.

Eaton said the new virtual server system would enable the Sheriff's Office to go from having eight physical servers, to one server and a backup server and the rack for such a setup was already in place.

Another aspect of the project was increasing the storage capacity for the office's in-car video system. Both Halferty and Eaton agreed the video memory in the cars was nearly full — the Sheriff's Office tries to keep footage a minimum of two years — and approving this measure would help with law enforcement.

By implementation virtualization, the Sheriff's Office will be able to remotely access its servers and make the process of transferring video a simpler process.

Urbandale-based IP Pathways was selected to complete the project. IP will charge the county $12,040 for labor and $112,075 for servers, software, training and support cost.

Eaton said estimates last year had this project costing $140,000, but they were able to work out a better deal.

“It fits in with what we been after for a long time. I think that's seriously been in need of some updating out there,” Board chair Joe Brock said, referring to the Sheriff's Office.

© 2014 the Newton Daily News (Newton, Iowa)

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