Are you prepared for your IT department to leave?
After the city of Menifee’s IT manager resigned, the city was left with no documentation or insight into its IT infrastructure — and no one to manage it.
“We were at a crossroads,” said Acting Assistant City Manager Jeff Wyman. “We could hire an IT manager or look to a firm with a broader knowledge base that could assist us moving forward.”
But the city of Menifee didn’t have time to recruit a new IT manager and go through the lengthy process of hiring a new city employee. The team wanted a firm that could start immediately, identify and remedy critical issues and provide ongoing maintenance.
Partnering With Helixstorm for Ongoing IT Support and Upgrades
After evaluating local partners, the city of Menifee selected Helixstorm for ongoing IT support and to update the city’s infrastructure.
After an initial audit, Helixstorm identified and outlined a plan to resolve the following issues:
After years of budget constraints, the city of Menifee had deferred IT maintenance for nearly three years. Some of the hardware, software and operating systems were now unsupported by the manufacturers and were outdated or at the end of life.
As the city continues to grow, the team needed a plan to maintain systems and get back to best practices level.
Wyman knew the city had deferred maintenance and upgrades but didn’t know the extent and details.
The Helixstorm team performed an extensive audit and explained the critical IT deficiencies, including servers, contracts and software that were outdated. The team also separated high- and low-priority items and developed an implementation schedule to coincide with the city’s budget.
The new plan included keeping the city current with life cycles, setting up new VMs, expanding storage and migrating data to a new backup system.
Ongoing maintenance is critical to a healthy, well-oiled IT environment. Outdated patches or security vulnerabilities could quickly put the city out of commission.
With only one IT staff member, users needed a dedicated support team to go with day-to-day IT issues. The city of Menifee needed peace of mind that its systems were updated and secured and user issues could be quickly resolved.
Partnering with Helixstorm for managed IT services gave the city’s IT environment the constant attention and support it needed to keep employees productive and information secure.
Helixstorm took over the following maintenance tasks for the city:
|Help desk support||Firewall and network security|
|Backup management||Complete environment health check|
|Permitting systems on-premises||Encrypting and offsiting data to a remote location|
To streamline the issue resolution process, Helixstorm also developed a ticketing system for everyday fix-it items so the city of Menifee could track and proactively fix user issues.
Now, city of Menifee employees have access to a staff of people when issues arise — instead of one or two team members who are focused on other IT priorities. Users have a dedicated place to report issues and get an immediate response.
“We have peace of mind knowing city staff has a place to go at all times to address their needs and make sure they can get back to the work they need to do and be as efficient as possible,” Wyman said.
After previously losing some financial data, the city had spent over a year recovering critical information. Helixstorm performed a systems audit and discovered the city’s servers weren’t being backed up off-site, and improvements were proposed to address this. The city needed a thorough backup and restore process in place to prevent any future data loss.
“If we lost data, we wanted to ensure it was backed up somewhere in a reliable way so we could easily and quickly restore it,” Wyman said.
To bolster resiliency for the city, Helixstorm developed a redundant backup plan that would back up all city data onsite, offsite and out of state. Multiple backup locations meant higher data redundancy, reliability and availability for the city.
Because the city had no failovers set up, Helixstorm also recommended uplifting the city’s VMware licensing to support clustered services. This would allow its systems to run on a singular host in the event one of the two fails.
During the audit, Helixstorm found data on storage systems outside of the existing storage array. Having multiple storage systems could impact performance and reliability.
The storage network also lacked redundancy, having only one switch. If this switch were to go down due to hardware failures, the city would lose all critical business applications.
Helixstorm recommended a storage expansion project to facilitate migrating off second-tier storage.
To address availability issues, Helixstorm also proposed implementing two switches as one visible switch and spanning each device across both switches. In this scenario, the city could survive a singular switch failure in a degraded state, rather than go completely down.
To coincide with the city’s budget, Helixstorm developed a rollout plan to identify and attack the most critical elements first. Now, the city of Menifee has a roadmap for upgrading its infrastructure, a reliable partner to field everyday IT issues and the backup processes in place to avoid costly data loss.
“Having such breadth of experience and access to people 24/7 gives you comfort that if anything does come up, those items will be taken care of promptly,” Wyman said.