County's website will shut down for hardware overhaul

Published: Thursday, January 13, 2011 at 5:14 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 14, 2011 at 12:03 a.m.

Starting at 8 p.m. Friday, Alachua County's website will be down for up to 48 hours because of a nearly $200,000 replacement of computer hardware.

Kevin Smith, the county's information and telecommunications director, said much of the equipment is nearly 6 years old and should have been replaced after about three years.

That work was put off because of the department's budget reductions.

Smith said ITS used to have an $800,000 annual capital budget, and it is now $200,000.

Nearly all of the budgeted money will go to the $193,922 purchase of hardware.

The County Commission approved the purchase from Sirius Computer Solutions in Jacksonville on Oct. 26.

Smith said the number of computers, printers and equipment connected to the county system has more than tripled and the amount of information and data processed has "increased exponentially."

On the day of a County Commission meeting in September, some departments' computer applications went down and the whole county system nearly crashed, he said.

Since the information was backed up, nothing would have been permanently lost, but it could have taken days to retrieve.

Smith said that after this weekend, a second phase of work is needed to increase the system's capacity.

To do so this fiscal year would require a budget amendment for the department.

In addition to departments under the County Commission, county government runs the network linking the five constitutional offices and the entire computer system for the supervisor of elections, Smith said.

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