The providers and the

By eweek  |  Posted 2004-07-19 Print this article Print

connection"> Who are the primary vendors you are working with? Microsoft is our official software provider, Cisco is our official internetworking provider, Hewlett-Packard is our official mobile solutions provider, but they also provide us everything from iPaqs, Tablets, printers, multifunctions, laptops, servers—kind of the whole shebang. IBM, while not an official provider, provided a $2 million grant to the Committee and the City of Boston. They provide us with the computers we use on a daily basis. Verizon is the telecommunications provider; Nextel is our cell phone provider.
Are these companies donating the equipment and software?
In legalese an official provider can donate goods and services in exchange for promotional considerations. Thats what we have to give, naming them official providers, allowing them to use that title. Any open-source software? No. Without hesitation we made a commitment to Microsoft and were going to use Microsoft. Were not going to use any open source. We had a lot of offers in various forms, firewalls, and IBM had some efforts in that area. But were pretty satisfied. We have good solutions from Microsoft for this event and what were trying to do here. How are you connecting to the Internet? Were using what is called a BLEC, which is a building local exchange carrier, Thats Cyprus Communications. Thats what we use to just get the office up and the connectivity in. That carried us through now. Now were switching over to a Verizon circuit, thats an OC-3 and a DS3 backup. How much of a budget do you have to put it all together? My budget is outside that circle. I have a budget for staff and a budget for utility hardware and software, but part of the trick is managing this through the official providers. And we took a different approach to that this time as well. In the past we just looked for the hardware and software, and this time we made a concerted effort to work with their engineers and their support people, and what thats allowed us to do is to put a Microsoft person on-site. We have three Cisco engineers—actually five engineers—here today. So the Microsoft Exchange environment, server environment, was built by Microsoft. The IBM servers were put together by IBM. Cisco is programming all of their own stuff. They were doing the routing configuration and the switches, and the firewall, and thats really in their best interest, supporting their products. So now theres a line of people coming to work here now because the word has gotten out through the various consulting and integration groups about what were doing. Theyre all really excited, which makes us feel really good here. They want to be here. Thats allowed my upper-level engineering to be done by the experts. So we have a midlevel staff that does our help desk support and in-house support, and we have a large group of volunteers, from tech academies to universities. Its a combination of engineers, staff and consultants from official providers. How many are working on it all together? About 50. Thats a combination of staff, permanent staff, volunteers and engineers from providers. Give me some statistics. How many servers, miles of cable? Were up to about 32 servers in various forms—a lot of thats redundancy and clustering. Miles of cable I dont know off the top of my head. Were going to deploy over 100 access points. They wont all be doing the same thing; well be managing them. Several hundred voice-over-IP phones, tying that into four PRIs [Primary Rate Interface], we can have land-line phone service through the voice over IP as well as phone-to-phone and system-system. We have terabytes of storage, if we need it. We have lots of storage, both deployed and not deployed. We have a lot of storage, and were using it too. Were pushing out a lot of documents, supporting close to 800 e-mail accounts, lots of attachments. We have SharePoint installed, an extranet—were moving a lot of data around. Were creating video clips each night from the local news stories and send those around. So our video store is pretty large right now. Were doing a lot of encoding for use on the Web. Next page: Wireless access.


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