Caldwell County Government serves over 38,000 local area residents from the county seat in Lockhart, TX. Backing up their large volume of data from digitised public records forced the county to upgrade its entire network infrastructure to Gigabit so that data could be consolidated and backed up more quickly, providing better manageability to its office network.
When Mark Hinnenkamp joined Caldwell County Government as its sole IT administrator, the offices’ network needed much improvement. Among its five offices, which include the Courthouse, Sheriff’s Department, Justice Center, Emergency Management and Juvenile Probation, none of them used a standardised set of networking equipment. The office networks were not linked together, which made it difficult to communicate between offices and access files. Additionally, Mark had another task which was to set up an off-site area for backing up data.
In the process of connecting the five sites together, the County began purchasing equipment to back up each office’s files, but quickly realized that it would need to be replaced. As the offices began to digitise documents, it created large data files that over-burdened the system. Due to the increased size and number of files created, backup became a time-consuming task as Mark states that “We are backing up three-quarters of a terabit a day, and we keep adding images every day – several hundred images.” It was clear then that the County not only needed to upgrade its bandwidth, but also replace the equipment that it was previously using.
After upgrading the main circuit at the NOC to 100 Mbps, the initial Cisco router that was being used was not capable of handling traffic in excess of 10 Mbps. Consequently, Caldwell County began to look for other options. With D-Link, they were able to test the performance of the DGS-3627 L3 Gigabit switch to demonstrate how it could handle and relieve added traffic throughout the offices. The results were impressive. The time required for backup improved from 14 days to eight days, making the decision to upgrade with D-Link products easy. Now the County began to reconsider its entire network infrastructure.
D-Link’s winning proposal before the Caldwell County Commissioner’s Court, included all the necessary hardware, plus D-Link Professional Services for pain-free installation. Convinced with the results from D-Link’s DGS-3627, Caldwell County decided to upgrade its five offices to Gigabit speed and D-Link configured the routing table on the DGS-3627 to allow the County’s five main buildings to communicate at 100Mbps. Within a few minutes of installation, the County experienced faster connection speeds. Backup times were reduced even further to just 2 days - a 700% improvement from the original 14 days for the task to be completed.
Caldwell County bought the equipment through local D-Link reseller Mitel, with D-Link’s engineers helping to map out protocols to ensure the devices would seamlessly integrate. “It was a process, but it was well worth all the time,” Mark mentions. In addition to D-Link’s better off-the-shelf cost and lifetime product warranty compared to the Cisco product, the county was highly impressed that D-Link’s field support team went the extra mile in other important areas. Having provided the free switch for several months at no charge, they were able to prove that the product was able to fix the county’s network issue. The switch ran perfectly, making it easy for the Caldwell county Judge and commissioners to unanimously select the D-Link DGS-3627 for their network.
Using D-Link’s DGS-3627, the County offices now share and manage the information between agencies in a fast and timely manner. The improved backup speeds have been a major improvement for the County in achieving its main goal, which is to provide offsite backup to its offices. By connecting the offices together, the County can streamline information to enhance efficiency and reduce overlapping resources.
Into the Future
The selection of D-Link was more than a short-term solution to Caldwell County’s present-day dilemma. As the County looks to converting its phone systems to Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), and eventually adding IP Surveillance, the D-Link switching and storage solutions can easily handle the added traffic - plus D-Link’s IP Cameras will easily integrate into the existing infrastructure. As Mark states, “the possibilities are bright for our network, there is no longer the mentality that we’ve gone as far as we can go.”
Thanks to D-Link’s high-value, high-performance networking products supported by local and corporate technical expertise, Caldwell County was able to upgrade their infrastructure for today’s needs and tomorrow’s opportunities.