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Town Board weighs options to upgrade computer infrastructure

A technology firm outlined two options to the Riverhead Town Board to address its aging computer infrastructure. 

The network is about five years old, according to Total Technology CEO Vincent Tedesco, and its 150 daily users are running too many applications for the infrastructure to handle, which causes slow service at times.

“You’re at the end of life with your network,” Mr. Tedesco said before the Town Board at Thursday’s work session.

Total Technology has previously met with the Town Board in August to alert officials that the town’s server could no longer handle the workload.

The technology firm presented two options at Thursday’s meeting: replace the existing hardware, which could cost upwards of $700,000, or move to a cloud-based service.

Councilwoman Jodi Giglio asked to get a better sense of what the town’s current data storage situation looks like.

“We’re overloading our server to where it just can’t take it anymore,” she said. “I like the idea that you can increase capacity at any time just by making a phone call, but I’d like to see what our storage capacities are.”

Total Technology officials estimated the town was using approximately four terabytes.

“You might have a 12-terabyte system, but you’re not consuming all of it,” Mr. Tedesco said.

“[The cloud] gives you the ability to grow when necessary and decrease when necessary,” he added. “It’s basically where everybody’s gonna be one day.”

Total Technology recommended the board use a cloud service called Neverfail, which is hosted remotely in data centers in Texas and Nevada.

To upgrade software on approximately 135 workspaces would cost an initial $140,000, Mr. Tedesco said. The Neverfail costs associated with data storage would be contingent on usage, but Total Technology estimated an average of $13,500 per month, or $162,000 per year.

Town finance administrator Bill Rothaar said the cloud-based service seems more cost-effective for the town.

“If we buy too big of a server now and then we start taking some of the programs and putting them in the cloud, we don’t need that big of a server,” he said.

Aside from addressing problems with slow service, it could also prove to be more efficient from a privacy standpoint.

“The amount of money that the cloud puts into cybersecurity versus a small town like us, we can’t compare to that,” Mr. Rothaar said. “Even though we have things set in place, if someone wanted to get in here, they’re gonna get in here. If they want to get into the cloud, it’s a lot more difficult.”

Before the town is asked to purchase any service, Mr. Tedesco said the company would try out a Proof of Concept at no cost to the town, to test the service first.

“We’re going to try what we think you need and should have for the future of the town but if it doesn’t cut it, we’re not going to sell it to you,” he said.

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