Electronic Data Management
EDM is responsible for four areas of Redwood City Information
- From City Hall and beyond …………Wide
- The Non Stop Nerve Center (City Hall Data Center), ………….and
- The good old PC with lots of power
From City Hall and beyond …………………
The city relies primarily on two modes of long distance communications
to connect remote buildings such as Fire Stations, Library, Police
Department, and Parks and recreation to City Hall: fiber and AT&T
leased lines. Fiber provides a very fast mode of communication
where network traffic travels 1,000 megabits per second. The
leased lines provide a maximum speed of 1.5 megabits. Over
time, the City has worked with various cable network providers
such as RCN, and Comcast to replace all the slow leased lines to
fiber. By March 2008, all leased lines to remote sites will
be replaced by fiber. The transition to high-speed fiber
will save the City on the cost of leased lines and allow for running
applications that require higher bandwidth such as video conferencing,
where City Department Heads may be sitting in their own offices
and conducting a weekly meeting with other staff, who are sitting
at their own desks in other buildings.
Computers and computer networks are critical to the day-to-day
operations of the City, in order to effectively continue to provide
important City services to the community.
It is therefore vital that these networks are monitored and maintained
in excellent condition. This is a key responsibility of EDM. The
responsibility of managing these operations also includes making
sure that all City employees have access to network resources such
as Internet, data files, email, and various applications that are
critical to the business operations of the City.
EDM is further responsible for managing and maintaining the phone
network for City facilities. The City’s internal phone
network runs very similar to a home phone network except that the
City owns and operates its own PBX system. This system is
connected via serial lines, throughout City facilities.
The future of networking technology will see voice and computer
network operations converging and running on the same network. This
convergence will redefine the meaning and everyday use of a telephone
because it will do much more than just be a tool to answer phone
calls. The future for the City is already here. With
the installation of fiber to all the remote buildings being completed,
EDM will start deploying Voice over IP phones to the remote buildings.
The Non Stop Nerve Center ………….
The Redwood City Data Center resides at City Hall. Currently
the data center consists of several servers providing network
applications such as email, internet, payroll, accounting, building
permits, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), etc. These
servers also act as a resource for user data files, printing,
and faxing. The PC’s rely heavily on these servers
and it is therefore imperative to keep data center operations
running smoothly 24 hours a day, 7days a week. EDM’s
duties comprise of monitoring the overall health of the servers;
responding efficiently and quickly to failures with respect to
hardware and software; and keeping a vigilant eye on network
EDM is responsible for maintaining about 25-30 servers running
various flavors of Windows server operating systems that are serving
various applications such as email, web services, payroll and accounting,
fax, print services and user data.
The good old PC with lots of power ………..
EDM is responsible for supporting and maintaining all City employee’s
desktop PCs. There are approximately 550 PC’s and about
100 printers on the network. Responsibilities in this arena
include providing support for various business applications; making
sure that the user is connected to all network resources such as
email, data, and printers; provide purchasing support for new hardware
such as desktop PCs, printers, scanners, and Palm Pilots (also
known as personal digital assistants – PDA).
User support is provided via a hotline number where employees
call in and talk to a help desk support person. Otherwise they
log a “ticket” into an online IT help ticket system
called HITS, which sends their request electronically to the Desktop
Support staff. This is a web-based customized application
developed internally to fit the needs of the organization.
A typical day in the life of a technical support specialist consists
of responding to calls or ‘tickets’ from various users
who may be running into problems using their computers.