Data center moving day: REJIS makes it a smooth one

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It does batch and online processing, and hosted facility and server management. It receives more than $15 million in annual revenue, with the majority of customers being county and local government criminal justice agencies. But REJIS also provides data connections to the National Park Service police that are based at St. Louis' most noticeable landmark, the Gateway Arch.

REJIS also supports more than 1,000 mobile devices that are in local police cars. There are about 150 employees in the building, most as you can imagine involved in IT-related jobs. REJIS has about 100 Intel-based servers, mostly Dells, and an IBM eSeries, too.

A Charter cable tech finishes splicing the last connection in the new wiring closet.

A Charter cable tech finishes splicing the last connection in the new wiring closet.

(Click image for larger version)

Given REJIS's client base, it has all sorts of connectivity to its clients. Its complex network comprises frame relay, T1s, ISDN, cable modems, MultiProtocol Label Switching, fiber and even dial-up. All of these links are encrypted, as you might imagine given the sensitivity of the data that traverses these networks. And all of these connections had be moved from their old wiring closet to the new one next door.

With all this connectivity, REJIS needed to take some extra steps to ensure that all the communications lines would work after the move.

REJIS also has a background investigation system and implemented the first automated fingerprint system in Missouri. I got to experience that firsthand -- to enter its data center during the move, I had to be checked out. This was one database that I didn't want any hits on and, luckily, I passed.

Eric Gorham
Eric Gorham, REJIS' director of IT, in front of the new building after the move is complete. (Click image for larger version)

"When a cop pulls someone over on the street and runs a check on their plate and their driver's license, you can get over 20 different responses from various law enforcement databases," says Eric Gorham, director of IT for the organization. "We can then organize this information for the officers in their patrol car."

REJIS had outgrown its 30-year-old data center, located in the basement of the office building.

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Tip:  Don't forget about cables and other consumable but necessary supplies, too. Order plenty of extras and see if you can negotiate a liberal return policy for the unused ones.
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The old space didn't have enough floor space or cooling capacity, and REJIS also wanted new disaster recovery features. When it came time to expand, it decided to build a new data center next door, in a former parking lot, and double its floor space in the process. The offices in the old building are still being used; the data center is the only occupant of the new building.

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