Supervisors approve additional IT upgrade request
The Montgomery County Board of Supervisors has approved additional IT work at the courthouse.
IT director Sonia Morrison met with the supervisors at the regular meeting Sept. 19. Morrison said there were some issues with the back-ups.
“We have a new virtual environment that we put in this spring. Our current back-up is through Midwest Data, using one of N-Ables backup products. We started having failures on some of it. When I spoke to Midwest Data, they said that since our new environment is a clustered environment, whereas the old system was not, the current back-up solution was not going to work,” Morrison said.
A clustered content delivery environment consists of a collection of servers grouped together to improve scalability and performance. Since receiving the news, Morrison said she’s been examining the best backup solution for the new cluster environment.
“We have around nine virtual servers running in that environment, and so it’s important that we have good back-ups for it. I reached out to Midwest Data, and they were supposed to get me two different solutions, and it’s been weeks now and I’ve not gotten anything back from them,” stated Morrison.
Morrison was seeking a network-attached storage, or NAS solution, offered by BEEM software solution. BEEM is a data platform with a Cloud-based hub for storing information in a virtual environment. Also, Morrison said she contacted Heartland Business Solutions, and received a solution right away.
“The quote from HBS came to $8,919. It includes the first month of recurring fees. The recurring monthly fee would be $1,032 for the BEEM licensing and the Cloud back-up space. It also includes a repository that would be on-site. From there it will go to the Cloud, so we would have on-site and off-site back-ups,” Morrison advised. “Having it on-site makes it quicker to restore from, but by having a Cloud-based storage, if something disastrous happens in the server room, such as water damage, or a tornado, anything like that, we’ll have that off-site back-up to recover from.”
Morrison felt she would be able to incur the cost without any additional expense to the county.
“I’m hoping I’ll have enough in my budget to cover most, if not all of this, as long as I don’t have any other unforeseen breakages or expenses this year. I did however want it on the radar so I could get permission to get it started,” said Morrison.
Morrison also felt the quote from HBS was the best available quote after reviewing other options.
“I got a quote from IP Savvy for an ExaGrid Solution, which is a non-network-facing tiered backup storage solution with delayed deletes and immutable deduplication objects. It’s an awesome project, but very expensive, and came in at over $40,000,” Morrison explained. “The difference in cost is the on-site repository. ExaGrid has a lot more bells and whistles, so the other option is way cheaper. I did reach back out to IP Savvy and had them quote the same kind of hardware, and the quotes were much similar at that point.”
Morrison felt they did not need the ExaGrid system.
“I’ve reached out to some other counties, and a lot of them are using the NAS solution versus the ExaGrid. There are a couple of counties that do use it, but I’m not sure if they have more funding than we do,” stated Morrison.
The supervisors approved the quote of $8,919 from Heartland Business Solutions as presented.
The supervisors then opened sealed bids for land rental at the county farm. Five sealed bids were received for the land. All of the bids were for a three-year renting contract.
• Aaron and Ryan Focht, $271 per acre.
• Josh Carlson, $278 per acre.
• Damien Haas, $303 per acre.
• Austin Duysen, $310 per acre.
• Belt Farms LLC/Brent Bailey, $310 per acre.
For the first time, the county had matching high bids from two prospective renters. Supervisor Mark Peterson said since this was a new scenario, he felt it best that they consulted with County Attorney Drew Swanson before proceeding.
Supervisor Randy Cooper speculated that the procedure may be to have the two two bidders re-bid for the land. Peterson agreed.
“That was one thought I’ve got. I don’t know if any weight will be given to someone that has rented it in the past. I doubt it, but I’m unsure,” Peterson said.
Olson said he speculated that no matter what the next step was, the minimum starting bid would be $310; they just needed to find out the proper procedure in making a decision on awarding the bid.
Supervisor Donna Robinson said they also needed to determine who was allowed to bid.
“We need to ask the question as to whether the bidding process is limited to just the two high bidders, or if it’s wide open with a $310 minimum bid and open to all,” Robinson stated.
The supervisors tabled the decision to a future meeting.