Commissioners mull software upgrade decision

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By Roxanne McKnight
Staff Writer
Limestone County’s commissioners discussed at length – and without coming to a decision – a proposal by IT Director William Lane to change from the county’s hosting its own computer servers to instead paying a company to provide the service.
The discussion took place at the commissioners’ meeting of Tuesday, May 27, when Lane told the court the county’s servers would have to be replaced by next summer.
“Just like Microsoft is about to stop supporting XP, they’re fixing to stop supporting Server 2003, which is what we’re running,” Lane said.
The servers are eight years old and the cost would be about $40,000-$50,000 per server if the county buys its own. The county has 13 servers.
Lane recommended the county instead contract with Tyler Technologies, which is currently providing the software and support for the servers, to provide server service using cloud technology. That would mean the actual data would be kept in servers in Plano. The county would still own the data but would not have to buy servers and software.
“Right now I think we pay $20,000-$24,000 per quarter for our service agreement with Odyssey,” Lane said. “This would make it go up to around $30,000 a quarter, but we would never have to buy servers again. There would be no maintenance on our servers. In the long run, this makes more sense than buying new servers and then still having to pay a service agreement, and then in four or five years having to buy servers again.”

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