System Manager Annual Report 2012
The year 2012 has been an interesting one. We have had several libraries plus LION headquarters get new Fiber network connections, we migrated to the next generation library system Sierra, and we hired another staff person to help with all the technical work as the amount of equipment Matt and I work on became too large for us to handle without help. I can’t begin to list all the work that has been done in the last year so I will just touch on some of the highlights.
As is typical of every year, there were the usual new PC install’s, PC redeploys that go hand in hand with new install’s, new wireless router install’s and upgrades, scan station install’s. We fixed countless barcode reader problems, printer problems, bookmobile communication problems. We installed, upgraded or troubleshot problems with Envisionware, Cassie, ALPS, Time Limit Manager. We maintained close to 500 e-mail accounts and the SPAM filter that goes with it. We maintained a Web Server for your web hosting. I could go on and on, but I think you understand that we have been very busy.
This past year the CEN, as part of the Federal Stimulus Program, installed new Fiber Optic telecommunication connections at 3 LION Libraries, replacing the old, expensive and SLOW Frame Relay connections they had. The Edward Smith Library in Northford and the Rathbun Free Memorial Library in East Haddam both received their new fiber in April 2012. East Lyme went live toward the end of June 2012. The LION headquarters received it’s new network connection in August. This brought the LION Office up over 125 Mbps compared to our previous speed of about 40 Mbps on a good day.
As part of the LION Office upgrade we also installed a new 2921 Cisco Router which brought our Network Interface speed up to Gigabit. This new router replaces one that was installed in January of 2004 so it was time. I have met with NPU to discuss bringing Otis Library up on their Fiber network. They are in discussions with CEN on how to best accomplish this. I am hopeful this will be accomplished in 2013. The CEN has also told me they plan on upgrading the equipment at the older Fiber sites (Middletown, Wallingford, New London, Meriden) to bring them even faster speeds. This is planned for 2013.
This past year I was able to convince the CEN to let the existing libraries that had Fiber to utilize a second port on their Fiber switches. This allowed me to set up a second network connection for their Public Internet which is separate from the LION connection. This took a load off the LION network and provided a faster Internet for their patrons. The libraries I was able to do this for were Meriden, Middletown, and New London. Wallingford already had it implemented last year. This was a win – win for everyone.
In preparation for the new Sierra software, we needed to upgrade our servers. We purchased two new IBM servers which are quite large. We rearranged our Computer Room and installed a new Server Rack to accommodate the new servers and the new APC UPS that we installed to go along with the servers.
I worked with Dave from Innovative Interfaces to install the servers when he came out in early October.
Dave was able to get them installed and running in one day. I needed to do some work on the firewall to allow iii remote access and was able to get the CEN to turn control of our domain name dns over to me. I no longer need to ask the CEN to change anything regarding our lioninc.org domain as I had to do in the past. This was necessary to resolve some domain and e-mail issues we were having with the new servers.
As part of the move to Sierra, e had to go to every Library and install the Sierra Client on all Staff PC’s.
We encountered a few problems along the way but generally speaking, it was a smooth transition.
Another bright spot this past year was the hiring of Justin Strickland. He has been a welcome addition to our technical team. Justin has eased the load for Matt and I. This has freed me up to do more of the network end of things which I had not been able to do as much of in the past because I was too busy installing new PC’s.
I am sure 2013 will be another adventurous year. Looking forward to bringing on Old Saybrook ,and taking on new challenges as they present themselves. Never a dull moment in the LION universe.