Information Technology Computer Center

The New IT Computer Center

The previous computer center was retrofit into an old annex building for the Richmond County Clerk of Court. Built in the 1950s, the old facility was not ideal for functioning in a modern technology environment. The new IT Computer Center has the following characteristics:

  • The entire second floor (10,000 SQ FT) is raised. This allows full access for electrical and low voltages modifications.
  • Most of the walls on second floor are modular. As changes to the data center and office space are necessary, modifications can be made with little impact to continued operations.
  • Access control is in place for all exterior doors and interior corridors, where necessary.
  • The data center is surrounded by glass partitions to improve cold/hot air containment and security.
  • The data center is protected from power failures with a generator, and the generator is filtered through an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS).
  • Three air conditioners are in place. Two twenty-ton units serve as a primary and secondary. One fifteen-ton unit would supply air conditioning during commercial power outages while running on generator power.
  • All transmission media demarcation occurs in a separate secured room. This provides access to vendor equipment while restricting access to the data center.
  • A separate staging room is used to burn-in equipment prior to installing it in a live environment. This reduces the likelihood of failures when equipment is placed into production.
  • A hot-aisle containment system is utilized to improve airflow, reduce power consumption, and improve security.

Transition Planning, Facts, and Figures

The transition to a new data center was ripe with challenges and difficulties, some of which are described below:

  • The original transition plan called for a fully redundant network in the new facility so that the transition would be as seamless as possible. Unfortunately, due to construction-contract-related issues, the requested time frame to complete was reduced from twelve weeks to sixteen days. A new strategy had to be developed quickly.
  • Demolition of the old data center began the same day all service relocation to the new data center was complete. To see images and video of the demolition please click here!
  • IT received a budgetary quote from a vendor for $285,000 to plan, supervise and document the data center relocation. IT was able to save this amount by performing the relocation in-house.
  • IT received a budgetary quote from a vendor for $31,000 to perform the physical relocation of equipment. IT was able to save this amount by performing the physical relocation in-house.
  • We were able to relocate the data center in an extremely short period of time with relatively short service outages.
  • We were able to maintain a high level of physical and network security during the transition.
  • Multiple vaults and conduit paths were installed to facilitate the demarcation relocation for various vendors as well as Augusta owned fiber.
  • Service restoration priority was given to all Law Enforcement/Public Safety applications.