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City spent $90,000 to upgrade aging servers

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Over the next several weeks the Rosemount Town Pages will take a look at some of the city's bills. The goal is to get a better idea where the city spends its money and why.

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This week we chose to take a closer look at a check that went out to Computer Integration Tech for $7,699.57 and learned a lot. The payment to the company went to pay for several different things, said city finance director Jeff May.

Two of the invoices associated with the payment were pieces of a much larger project. The city spent $4,937 to purchase two server procurve switches and $2,262 on server backup tape. The expenditures were part of a project to replace the city's file servers and related accessories.

The city council agreed in December to spend more than $90,000 to replace the system in. According to a Dec. 15 memo to the city council from IT coordinator Jayson Solberg the city's file servers were outdated and no longer met its needs. Additionally, the warranty on the city's system was nearly expired and it would have been costly to maintain.

A file server is a computer responsible for the central storage of information on the same network. For the city it means all of its information is backed up and can be accessed by different city staff. Information kept on the city's server includes e-mail, park and recreation scheduling, geographic information systems and more. It's essentially the lifeline of the city's record keeping system.

May said the life of a server is usually between four and seven years and that the city's were all past that date except for a new phone server which was updated early in 2009.

The city replaced the systems with more powerful virtual servers. Most of the work was done in December.

Additionally, the city purchased a noise masking system. The masking system reduces background noises over the phone in certain workspaces that have a lot of background distractions.

Quotes for the project came in totaling $90,000. City staff put out the project in separate components because quotes came back more favorably that way, said May.

May said the project has stayed within budget and that the new systems are working well.

"Everything is online and working great," said May.

As for the last $89 to go to CIT as part of the $7,699 payment, that went to pay for the city's spam filtration system. The city pays for the service monthly.

May said the system helps greatly reduce the amount of spam city employees get. He said the city has used the program for more than year and have found that it works well.

All of the services and products were purchased through CIT, a computer company the city has used for 15 years May said.

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Emily Zimmer
Emily Zimmer has worked as a staff writer for the Rosemount Town Pages since 2007. She has a degree in journalism from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Outside of work, Emily enjoys running, reading and gardening. You can follow Emily's gardening adventures at the Areavoices blog East of Weedin'
(651) 460-6606
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