Downtown IT network getting $1 million facelift - SanTan Sun News SanTan Sun News

Downtown IT network getting $1 million facelift

March 11th, 2019 development
Downtown  IT network getting $1 million facelift

By Jason Stone

Staff Writer


The growth of technology comes with a downside – namely the constant struggle to stay up-to-date.

Chandler is doing its best to stay on top of the game by rotating network upgrades to different segments of the city every five years.

The latest area due for a spruce up is City Hall and the city’s IT building next door.

The City Council last week approved a contract worth just more than $1 million to IGPA to upgrade the area with Dimension Data providing equipment and professional services using the Cisco network.

Patrick Hait, the city’s IT infrastructure manager, said the new equipment will integrate with the city’s existing Cisco platform for voice and data communications.

“We have so much equipment (city wide), we do it every five years on a rotation basis,” Hait said. “Each year there is a certain part of the city that gets replaced.”

Five years can be a lifetime in the tech world. Staff evaluates the equipment each year after five to check for supportability, reliability and viability.

Some years, it’ll be all the fire stations or police stations that get replaced or it’ll be another neighborhood that’s interconnected. And while improving computing speed might not always be the goal of the upgrades, Hait said handling increased data file sizes is.

“People are now (uploading) 4K cameras and 1080p cameras,” Hait said. “That stuff takes up bandwidth that we need to transverse our networks for the citizens.”

Now that they’re approved, work on the latest upgrades should start in April or May. Hait said because two locations will be upgraded there shouldn’t be any service disruption for either area because backup servers will remain on during the upgrades.

Hait said the worst-case scenario would be an outage of only a few hours in a centralized location if a switch happened to go out.

“Because we do have the two cores, we do one first and any outage will affect those different areas that don’t have secondary paths to the core themselves,” Hait said. “We try to put in different locations the fiber that runs to City Hall and IT. One pair goes into one core, and if any location goes down, they should remain in operation.”

The $1 million price tag to make the upgrades has been steadily going up each year, Hait said, forcing the city to budget out a little bit more.

“Typically, what we’re finding is because the technology is not necessarily the same across the board it increases year after year because the companies put more and more into the equipment,” said Hait, who has been with the city for more than 15 years.

“It’s no longer just switching. You now have to take into account the different packet filterings, intrusion detection, intrusion prevention, malware, viruses. All of those things are now incorporated in the system.”