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'Virtualization' approved for sheriff's office

Jasper County Information Systems Network Administrator Ryan Eaton explaining the process of 'virtualization' at Tuesday's Jasper County Board of Supervisors meeting.
Jasper County Information Systems Network Administrator Ryan Eaton explaining the process of 'virtualization' at Tuesday's Jasper County Board of Supervisors meeting.

“I think we are going to make it more efficient,” Sheriff John Halferty said on Tuesday, when the Jasper County Board of Supervisors approved a vitrualization project for his office.

Jasper County Information Systems Network Administrator Ryan Eaton said that by virtualizing the office, it would enable the department to have increased digital storage space and it would utilize less physical space for servers. He also added that this measure was very timely as the office's current servers use Windows 2003 and that Microsoft was going to discontinue support for those servers next year.

“A little over a year ago, we virtualized the servers here in the courthouse and in that time, we put a plan into place to get all of the servers in the county virtualized,” Jasper County IT Director Celia Robertson said.

Eaton said the new virtual server system would enable the Sheriff's Office to go from having eight physical servers, to one server and a backup server and the rack for such a setup was already in place.

Another aspect of the project was increasing the storage capacity for the office's in-car video system. Both Halferty and Eaton agreed the video memory in the cars was nearly full — the Sheriff's Office tries to keep footage a minimum of two years — and approving this measure would help with law enforcement.

By implementation virtualization, the Sheriff's Office will be able to remotely access its servers and make the process of transferring video a simpler process.

Urbandale-based IP Pathways was selected to complete the project. IP will charge the county $12,040 for labor and $112,075 for servers, software, training and support cost.

Eaton said estimates last year had this project costing $140,000, but they were able to work out a better deal.

“It fits in with what we been after for a long time. I think that's seriously been in need of some updating out there,” Board chair Joe Brock said, referring to the Sheriff's Office.

In other business, a measure by Gerald Wilcox to add an additional driveway to his property was tabled. Pam Olson, assistant to the County Engineer, said she has concerns about some trees that are in the area where the project is being proposed.

Wilcox, along with several unnamed associates, said the trees would be removed and proposed an alternative solution of expanding the existing driveway at the property, located at t 5211 S. 70th Ave. E. in Newton, by 15-feet.

Several board members said they wanted to come out and personally take a look at the proposal before granting approval for a permanent driveway. However, they did approve a measure to allow for a temporary driveway to be used in the location where the permanent driveway would be located, if approved.

Driveways seemed to be a popular topic at the meeting. During the public comments portion, Pat Tomlonovic asked for consideration to be placed on next week's agenda to have a driveway built to access his fields.

Tomlonovic said he had previously shared a driveway with the property's owner, but after a personal dispute, he was barred from using it. Because of this situation, he said he has been unable to access his fields.

Jasper County Recorder Nancy Parrott March financial report was approved and her office collected $15,475.21 for the month.

Tim Hartgers was approved to begin work on April 21 as Grade III Skilled Laborer for the Secondary Roads Department. He will have a starting salary of $20.36 an hour.

Senior staff writer Ty Rushing may be contacted at (641) 792-3121, ext. 426, or at,

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