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The Download - September 2014

Project Updates

Network Reliability and Redundancy Initiative

In response to the network outage on September 3, 2013, the Board of Commissioners’ Office of Management and Budget, the Court of Common Pleas – General Division, the Data Center, and Public Facilities Management have worked collaboratively to develop a comprehensive solution to support and upgrade the Franklin County data networks. As part of the resolution, the Courts and the Data Center agreed to share core network components while retaining their separate networks.

The scope of this initiative was to address both the network and physical infrastructure by:

  • Upgrading the core components within the Data Center and the Court of Common Pleas - General Division and Court of Common Pleas Domestic and Juvenile networks;
  • Upgrading the network switches on each floor in 373 South High Street; and
  • Public Facilities Management coordination of the installation of new fiber throughout 373 S. High Street, while providing dual runs to each group of switches.

The goal of this project was to provide a network with high availability, reliability, scalability, and flexibility. To accomplish this endeavor, the project stakeholders needed to:

  • Eliminate single points of failure
  • Reduce or eliminate Layer-2 loops in the network topology
  • Utilize First Hop Redundancy Protocols (FHRP)
  • Institute high speed Layer-3 switching at the core

We are pleased to report that this effort is 90% complete and we are on target to have fully implemented the solution in the 4th quarter of 2014. The remaining effort involves the installation of a data circuit between the Franklin County Courthouse and the WeConnect Data Center disaster recovery site. Once complete, this circuit will allow the relocation of disaster recovery equipment from Strawberry Farms to the new WeConnect Data Center. Ultimately, establishing a solid foundation for network redundancy will help to prevent future outages. This will ensure that agencies can continue to provide high-quality services to the citizens of Franklin County without the loss of availability of critical applications due to network failure.

Tech Corner

Remote Desktop and Email Access

Customer Service Supervisor Phillip Banks offers information on how county agency employees can access their PCs remotely and check business email from home. Watch the video

Agency Communications

Upcoming Events

The Ohio Cyber Security Event will be taking place on Thursday, October 9 at the Ohio Department of Agriculture in Reynoldsburg. Registration opens on September 2, 2014. You can find more information, as well as register for the event, at www.infosec.ohio.gov.

Another exciting opportunity is the 2014 Ohio Digital Government Summit, which will be held on October 30 and 31. The Data Center has purchased tickets which will be made available to Franklin County employees. If you are interested in attending the Summit, contact Data Center Business Services Manager Shirley Stephens at Shirley.Stephens@franklincountyohio.gov.

Everbridge Registration

The Data Center has recently begun utilizing a new county-owned notification system, Everbridge. This software has replaced our temporary system, which had difficulties maintaining accurate contact information. You will be receiving an email soon with a link to the Everbridge Notification Portal. We are asking all of our agency contacts to complete registration to the system. Please include both an email address and a phone number to ensure that you receive all pertinent communication regarding outages and other issues that may arise. The Everbridge system will allow for each user to maintain his or her profile to confirm that we have the most up-to-date contact information. We thank you in advance for your cooperation.

Mobile Device Management

The Data Center is working with Franklin County agencies to develop a foundation for its mobile device management (MDM) policy. We are currently assessing AirWatch, an MDM application that can be tailored to serve the unique individual needs of our partner agencies. Advantages of AirWatch include easy enrollment, configuration, and updating, effective security measures, and the ability to remotely lock and erase content from potentially compromised devices. If you are interested in having your agency participate in our AirWatch test group, please contact Data Center Project Coordinator Nicole McKinney at ntmckinn@franklincountyohio.gov.

e-Newsletter Feedback

We would like feedback about our e-Newsletter! We are interested in knowing whether you find the material offered to be relevant to your interests, and if it is an effective method for you to remain updated on county IT initiatives. We are open to suggestions to improve upon this communication avenue and soon will be sending out a survey to obtain your feedback.

IT Leadership Forum

Franklin County August IT Leadership Forum Overview

The August 2014 IT Leadership Forum was hosted by Franklin County Emergency Management and Homeland Security (FCEM&HS). Mike Pannell, Director, discussed how the FCEM&HS Joint Operations Center is staffed.

Director Pannell also gave an overview of the Franklin County Mass Notification System project currently ongoing at FCEM&HS. This is a collaborative effort between Franklin County, the City of Columbus, and FCEM&HS – with the support of subject matter experts from across the county – to bring a comprehensive mass notification system to Franklin County. Director Pannell shared the findings from a study contracted by FCEM&HS and Battelle.

Shirley Stephens, Business Services Manager for the Data Center, updated the group on upcoming October IT events, such as Cyber Security Month and the Ohio Digital Government Summit. She also provided progress reports on the Franklin County Emergency Notification solution, the Data Center e-Newsletter, and the implementation of Mobile Device Management software.

The IT Leadership Forum allows administrators and IT professionals from Franklin County agencies to share their experiences, discuss challenges, and find avenues for collaboration. The forum is hosted monthly with different county agencies serving as the sponsor for each meeting. The September 2014 meeting is scheduled to be hosted by the Franklin County Board of Elections.