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County’s three data servers at end of life

Digital storage areas for Harrison County data are failing and need replaced. That’s according to David Neel, Cybertek Engineering chief information officer.
The Harrison County Council is considering replacing the current data servers and increasing its storing capacity by up to 12 times more space.
Neel has been to both the council and the Harrison County Board of Commissioners to detail the county’s issues, which actually began in March.
‘These were all bought at around the same time,’ Neel told the commissioners at their last May meeting. ‘We’re having one go out at the Justice Center right now.’
Neel said the county had a server go down at the Government Center, too.
‘We have three servers that are in dire need of replacement,’ Neel said to the council at its meeting on Tuesday, May 29.
The county purchased one of the servers already, according to Neel, after he told county officials that three servers were going bad. The second one is needed due to space running low.
Neel explained the county’s situation by comparing it to the amount of square feet left the county has to operate in.
‘You can imagine a building with two million square feet,’ Neel said. ‘We’re down to 22 square feet.’
Staff, including sheriff deputies, can’t store cases and other data on the county’s servers and have to find other places to put it for the moment until a solution is approved.
The final server, Neel said, could also be done now, since one more is going bad.
‘We will be needing the third one before the end of the year,’ Neel said to the council.
The council, which believes it has the money to go ahead and approve the expense, is considering the cost, $17,661.54, which would cover the second server. Neel said the price is about $5,000 less than retail because of a state contract for government entities to make the purchases at a cheaper price.
Neel said with all three servers the county would have 60 terabytes of space. Right now, the county has five terabytes to store information.
The newer server the county has already purchased also has the ability to expand to save more data.
Councilman Kyle Nix asked how long the life expectancy is for each server, from an electrical standpoint, before one goes bad.
Neel responded saying each one can go roughly six years, and the current servers are in their sixth year.
Commissioners Kenny Saulman and Charlie Crawford gave Neel approval on May 21 to take the request to the council.
The council could make a decision at its next meeting, which will be Monday at 7 p.m. at the Government Center.
Neel said equipment to connect the Government Center to itself is also starting to fail and may need to be addressed later in 2018.
In other county business, the council unanimously approved an additional $1,000 for an interpreter at the courthouse. Council president Gary Davis said the courthouse has seen an increase in the number of cases where one is needed and has exceeded the year’s budget.
The council also set its meeting with the commissioners and community service agencies in the county. Davis said it typically happens each year before budget talks start. The council approved it for its next meeting, starting at 6 p.m., at the Government Center.
Davis said there will be close to a dozen groups that would likely join. He added that the county budgets roughly $1 million each year for community agencies.
The council also is sending out its annual letter to department leaders about the upcoming budget. Davis said the letter includes how much money each department should factor into health insurance. In each of the last two years, the county’s insurance rates have stayed the same, but, even with the number of claims not being too bad, Davis said each department should expect to see an additional 8- to 10-percent increase in premiums for next year.