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City To Upgrade Server

By Gordon Hopkins
The City of Fairbury is reaching its limit regarding electronic server storage. That is according to City Administrator Robert Messbarger, who informed the City Council of the need to upgrade at a meeting the evening of Tuesday, October 5.
Messbarger said, “The City of Fairbury currently uses a server with Network Consulting Services (NCS). That server can’t be upgraded anymore, it’s kind of maxed out. It’s also becoming outdated. Right now, we’re at more than 90 percent of the storage limit.”
Due to limited storage space available, some employees are having to store files on OneDrive (a file hosting service) or other external hard drives. Messbarger indicated both the Code Enforcement Officer, Daniel Lufkin, and the Development Services Director, Laura Bedlan, are currently doing this.
Messbarger said, “And that’s not ideal practices, due to the risk of losing all information.”
The possibility of losing this information or being victim to ransomware cyber-attacks greatly increases in these cases due to the data not being backed up on the server.
The current server has six drives for a total storage of 829 gigabytes (GB).
NCS provided a quote to the City with two different options for an updated server. There is a $500 difference between the two proposed servers. NCS believes that both options should meet the storage needs for the city for the foreseeable future.
According to a memo from Messbarger, “The more expensive server (SSD) has the latest technology and is faster. The SSD server also has an additional 120 GB of storage for a total storage amount of 1920 GB (1.9 TB). The cheaper server (SAS) includes 1800 GB (1.8 TB) of storage.”
Mayor Spencer Brown asked, “what kind of redundancy does that have?”
“It backs up with NCS, I believe on a daily basis,” Messbarger responded. “Right now, everything that is now being stored on the server isn’t backed up as it should be. OneDrive isn’t backed up. It’s not connected at all. An external hard drive is supposed to be backing up but it’s not doing the right documents. And so NCS has had problems with that. That’s why we want to ensure that all our documents are retained.”
When asked what type of data is stored on OneDrive, Messbarger told FJN, “The data that is currently stored on OneDrive are large files that are not needed on a daily basis. These files typically do not include sensitive data or personal information.”
Messbarger wrote in his memo, “This proposed purchase is not included in this year’s budget but is necessary to city operations and to minimize risk of losing information. This is especially the case due to the digitalizing of operations and the increasing role of technology. The total cost, including installation and labor, of the cheaper server (SAS) is $12,655.00. The total cost, including installation and labor, of the faster and larger server (SSD) is $13,155.”
Messbarger also noted, “The City has steadily continued to increase its fiscal position and currently has a healthy cash reserve. With this cash reserve, the City is anticipated to be able to absorb this expense without negatively affecting any other funds.”
The City Council voted unanimously to approve the purchase of the proposed server with the SSD hard drive in the amount of $13,155, believing the extra $500 cost is worth what the City will receive in faster speeds and additional storage.


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