Case Study

Security is Top Priority: County Upgrades Servers, Exchange and Enterprise Vault

Background

Butler County, Pennsylvania, located in the Pittsburgh metro area, is home to approximately 185,000 citizens.  The County houses various elected offices and provides court and human services for its constituents.

The County’s IT department is responsible for all computers, network, and other technology for Butler County Government and supports over 600 workstations and 300 printers connected across the County network. Also supported are approximately 40 servers that store data files and provide other functions for County employees.

The Challenge

Butler County was running unsupported versions of Microsoft Exchange and Symantec Enterprise Vault, each running on physical servers that were creating technical headaches – and potential security problems as they were running on a network operating system that would soon become unsupported by Microsoft – for Jim Venturini, Butler County’s IT Director and his staff.

“Security is our top priority,” said Venturini.  “But we were running on old hardware that was not compatible with newer versions of Exchange or Enterprise Vault, and that was putting us at risk.”

Venturini knew the County had to upgrade its servers, but also knew that in doing so, would need to upgrade Exchange and Enterprise Vault, as the newer servers would not run older versions of the software.  Venturini says, “Some of our email was not being archived due to outdated software, so we wanted the most updated software for secure archiving.”

The Solution

Butler County’s IT staff had relied on Nortec in the past for support, and while Butler has a small in-house IT team, Venturini needed assistance with make making sure his organization had the most updated security strategy in place: “I just want to follow the best practices and stay current with the latest technologies out there – security is really important to us.”

A Nortec Sr. Consultant assessed the project goals and business requirements of the County:  “Because the County was also running Symantec EV for Exchange archiving, that had to be taken into consideration before upgrading their Exchange messaging environment”  In order to meet budgetary constraints, the County elected to adopt a staged approach to the project – whereby, both Enterprise Vault and Exchange were upgraded to intermediary versions.

This opportunity was also used to virtualize both the Symantec Enterprise Vault solution as well as the Exchange environment.  Running these workloads on virtual servers allow for a more cost effective upgrade path in the future – and the County can extend the benefits of their virtual infrastructure to their archiving and messaging solutions.

The Benefits

Since the Enterprise Vault upgrade, Venturini has noticed that response time is much quicker whenever the IT staff needs to retrieve data from the archives.  And on the Exchange side, Venturni noted that email had been delayed for mobile users, but since the Exchange upgrade, email is delivered in a timely manner.

“I’m very pleased with Nortec and the engineer’s expertise,” says Venturini.  “Our next step is to upgrade to Exchange 2013 and Symantec Enterprise Vault 11 – we will be using Nortec for that also.”

For more information on Nortec, please contact georgeh@nortec.com.