The Val Verde County IT Department was created in October of 2012. Although the IT Department is relatively new to the county, we have been actively creating and completing new projects that benefit the technology needs of all our departments. The County IT Department is responsible for the design, development, acquisition, installation, management, maintenance and inventory of the county’s information technology software, hardware and data networks.
Our department strives to
- Develop and maintain highly effective, reliable, secure and innovative information systems to support data entry, administrative and research functions
- Develop, enhance and manage the county’s enterprise networks to provide high speed, transparent and highly functional connectivity among all information resources
- Facilitate the collection, storage, security and integrity of electronic data while ensuring appropriate access
- Promote and facilitate the effective integration of technology into the basic mission of the county through planning, programming, training, consulting and other support activities
- Provide effective technology support and service on all county technology equipment including software for all areas of the county
A project worthy of mentioning, is this county-wide website. It is one of our biggest tools and assets as we welcome citizens' interaction with our departments and promote transparency - a major step for our county as a whole.
Even with the county’s modest size, the IT department dares to accomplish bold and enterprise-level projects. Such projects include:
The Fiber Ring
- The Fiber Ring is a fiber network that connects multiple departments in the County Square to our servers at the Data Center over a fast 1Gb connection. The project implements fiber cable as it allows for faster throughput and a much more stable connection within the network. Along with the installation of fiber switches, which performs dynamic routing, the Fiber Ring gives the county a platform that consolidates server infrastructure to a centralized location and advances network solutions. The creation of the Fiber Ring led the way to a reduction of costs and fees from service providers throughout most of the county.
- The domain migration project uses the Fiber Ring to consolidate all the domains that were once separated by departments into one single domain. By combining the separate domains into one single entity, the IT department has been able to streamline administration, improve security, and provide a scalable solution to facilitate the needs of the county. The project employed data migration processes and techniques to ensure the integrity of every user’s files and profile, as well as utilize Virtual Machines (VM’s).
VoIP phone system
- A new VoIP phone system has been deployed in place of the old phone system in order to segue the county’s main source of communication towards a more modern approach and doing away with provider fees. This county-wide project included over 200 phones with new features, including electronic contacts, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capabilities, and more options for call routing. The scope of this project impacted nearly every department and changes the way our employees make and manage phone calls.
- The Data Center is a robust platform of physical servers at a centralized location in the county that contains the data of every employee in the domain. The creation and deployment of the Data Center gives the IT department an array of management and troubleshooting options at a physical level that would pale in comparison to out-sourcing the physical and virtual elements to an information hosting service. Most importantly, physically owning and installing a dedicated data center aids the county by eliminating data storage costs, renewal fees, and annual fees.
Security Camera Project
- Over 50 cameras as well as several viewing stations were deployed around the County Square and the District Courthouse to facilitate the needs of the Sheriff’s office and its deputies. This system allows deputies to improve their monitoring capabilities by providing video evidence, footage for training purposes, and coverage to multiple locations. The camera project also gives bailiffs a wide range of views to monitor buildings and blind spots that they were not able to actively safeguard before.
Aerohive AP Project
- The Aerohive Access Point (AP) project is a campus wide-project that deployed and installed several enterprise-level Access Points throughout the County Square to provide Wi-Fi to the county and its constituents. These Aerohive’s streamline user experience, administration, improvements in security, and provide better solutions to suit the needs of the county and its faculty. The IT department also has the benefit of easily managing the Wi-Fi through the simple to use controllers and “heat” maps that display a functioning Aerohive’s range.
O365 E-mail Migration
- The O365 E-mail Migration project is a form of a data migration that took the county from an old e-mail system to Microsoft’s Office 356 service. With this new system in place, the county now has more benefits and features, such as access to new mailboxes through the Outlook client, web access via any browser, or access through a smartphone (iPhone, Android, etc). What’s noteworthy about the O365 service is that it integrates directly with the Microsoft Active Directory that was previously deployed at the county.
New Cable Infrastructure
- In order to deploy new equipment and ensure that future projects have the proper networking paths, the IT department has spear-headed multiple cabling infrastructure projects. These projects are county-wide and have resulted in numerous buildings attaining new cable infrastructure in place of old infrastructure or new infrastructure where there previously was none. The new cable infrastructure allows the IT department to deploy equipment such as cameras, wireless access points, secure access at designated entrances, and new workstations and/or devices that aid a growing county.
These projects could not have been made possible without the leadership and support of the Commissioner’s Court.