Cheney contracts for new server and email services

 

Last updated 3/31/2022 at 9:14am



By Jonathan Olsen-Koziol

Cheney Free Press

CHENEY – Cheney’s IT department is replacing the city’s aging servers and storage area network (SANS) systems. The servers are fast approaching their five-year lifespan. While it’s recommended replacement be closer to three years, Cindy Niemeier, city finance director, doesn’t see the need in upgrading technology that still works.

“My question is, are they working? Okay? Then we’re not replacing them yet,” she said.

Despite her concern about upgrading the current system before the end of its lifespan, on Tuesday, March 22, the city council approved Resolution F-012 with a unanimous vote to contract with Intrinium Information Technology Solutions to replace all of the necessary technology.

The upgrade cost comes with a $105,360.00 price tag.

Intrinium will conduct the server and SANS replacement in two phases.

Phase one includes:

· Onsite installation of the new servers.

· Racking new servers and storage.

· Installing and updating Windows servers.

· Installing a hyper-v cluster.

· Migrating virtual machines.

Phase two includes:

· Setup of offsite locations

· Moving old storage and servers to an offsite location

· Racking the old hardware

· Installing and updating the Windows server

· Installing a hyper-v cluster

· Verifying the offsite location’s setup and data replication.

The city plans on rotating servers out every couple of years to avoid replacing them all simultaneously.

New email services

The city is also upgrading its email platform with the passing of Resolution F-013. Council unanimously voted to do away with the dated Microsoft Outlook program and install Microsoft 365, a more modern cloud-based service.

Intrinium Services Information Technology Solutions will perform the services needed to switch the email servers. The upgrade from Outlook to Microsoft 365 enables employees to access their email accounts from city phones, tablets, laptops, and desktop computers, giving each employee more access and versatility to get their work done.

The cost to the city of Cheney to switch to Microsoft 365 is $39,825.

“It does a lot of good things for us,” Niemeier said. “It allows us better efficiency, access, and use of our emails. It allows us a much better ability to maintain our public records.”

Public Records Manager Cathy Munoz will be heavily involved in the first stages of the project to ensure all of the records get stored in their appropriate folders.

The switchover, Niemeier said, will also make it easier for people to search public records.

Upgrading from Outlook to 365 does mean the city will incur a monthly subscription fee. At 90 accounts, the city is looking at a $1,800 per month bill. But switching to the cloud-based service will eliminate the overhead of replacing an email server every three to five years.

“There are two points of view on this,” Niemerer said. “You have a big capital expenditure with no monthly fee, or you switch to 365, a more modern application. But there is a monthly subscription fee per user.”

 

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