Council reluctantly approves upgrades to computer network

Additional backup, ransomeware will bring city in line with county, local cities
By Dan Aznoff | Jul 18, 2019

In a rare show of discord, members of the Mill Creek City Council were divided on a proposal to authorize more than $50,000 to replace aging elements of the city’s computer network.

The upgrades were proposed by IT Manager James Busch as part of what he described as his responsibility to maintain the city’s network for the lowest possible cost.

Councilmembers approved the expenditure after lengthy discussions that dominated the majority of two separate public meetings. The final vote of 5-2 was divided between members who wanted to invest in the improvements and those who sought less expensive technology as a temporary stop gap measure.

“We had servers that needed to be upgraded because they had reached the end of their serviceable lifespan,” Busch explained after the council approved an expenditure of more than $50,000 to bring the city in line with comparable cities in King and Snohomish counties.

The council agreed with the IT manager’s recommendation to approve a contract with Nutanix in the amount of $50,320. The company also provides technical support for the cities of Arlington, Marysville and Sequim.

The system has not yet suffered a major failure, but Busch cautioned the aging hardware would no longer qualify to be covered by an extended maintenance program. The upgrades include additional memory and advanced ransomware that Busch said has become a necessary part of any software package.

“Nutanix was the highest rated system for the lowest cost for a city our size,” Busch said. The vendor was chosen over proposals supported by Microsoft and Dell.

The system, he said, provides adequate redundancies to avoid a major failure that could cripple departments throughout City Hall, including the police records and dispatch requirements.

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