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Lackawanna County Has Gone Virtual

The Lackawanna County information technology department continues its tradition of being on the cutting edge of computer automation with the upgrade of its systems to virtualization with no additional costs to the residents of the area.

Lackawanna County Commissioners Jim Wansacz, Corey D. O’Brien and Patrick M. O’Malley announced that the IT hardware systems have been virtualized.

Over 80 servers and in excess of 200 computer desktops have gone “hardwareless” and that number continues to grow daily.

“Lackawanna County is continuing to move forward with advances in technology that enables us to serve the public much better and quicker,” said Commissioner Jim Wansacz. “These changes and advances enable us to compete more effectively and efficiently.”

“Innovations in technology are great, but they cost money,” explained Corey D. O’Brien. “The changes and upgrades that we have undertaken have been budget neutral or saved us money. That’s the best of both worlds. Also, the resources that we’ve saved were used for other technology applications.”

“The IT changes are enabling us to move forward and do a better job of serving the public,” said Commissioner Patrick M. O’Malley. “All of these advances enable us to serve as a mentor to other counties to examine our cost effective upgrades.”

Virtualization is a computer environment which allows multiple “virtual computers” or “virtual servers” to reside and run concurrently on a single server blade residing in a blade center. Each blade can hold many “virtual computers” and “virtual servers.”

A virtual machine is similar to a physical machine, only without the hardware. Each individual “virtual machine” has its own set of virtual hardware. The virtual operating system detects a controlled, consistent group of hardware regardless of the tangible hardware components.

With virtualization, there is no more need to purchase another physical server or computer, and adding “virtual machines” is as easy as the click of a few keys.

Why virtualization? The answer is very simple it contains many very effective measures: cost savings, consolidation, decreased power consumption, simplified disaster recovery, easy to manage computers throughout the County, easier and quicker to create new desktops and servers, the ability to capture (take a snapshot) the entire state of a “virtual machine” and rollback to that configuration, easy replication of scenarios for troubleshooting issues, increased CPU utilization from 5-15% to 60-80%, and the ability to run Windows, Solaris, Linux, Unix, or any other operating systems and applications concurrently on the same blade server.

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