A complete overhaul of technology and communications infrastructure for the City of Oakland
Incorporated in 1852, Oakland is the eighth largest city in California, with a population of 420,000 and a wealth of resources and opportunities. Located on the east side of the San Francisco Bay, Oakland is bordered by 19 miles of coastline to the west and rolling hills to the east, which provide unparalled vistas of the Bay and the Pacific Ocean.
Oakland ranked as the 5th most desirable destination to visit this year in “The 45 Places to Go in 2012.” The story appeared in print in the Travel section of The New York Times on January 8, 2012, and was posted online January 6. Oakland placed between #4 London and #6 Tokyo in the coveted list and was the highest ranked North American city.
In the aftermath of the Loma Prieta earthquake, Oakland came to realize the extraordinary lack of preparedness within its technology infrastructure to support emergency medical and evacuation efforts following an emergency of that magnitude.
Very soon after 9/11, Oakland’s Mayor and City Council voted unanimously to undertake a detailed review of its entire communications, information technology and physical connectivity infrastructure to determine what measures needed to be addressed to bring the City up to a baseline level of preparedness should another disaster of that magnitude strike.
Oakland reached out to Netswitch, based on its prior work with the City’s technology departments on infrastructure planning and deployment, to engage us in a comprehensive four month study and review of the existing foundation for communications and technology and to make recommendations relating to upgrades and replacements where appropriate.
Netswitch’s team of twelve senior consultants with deep backgrounds in Data Center Management, Telecommunications Planning and Implementation, Cabling and Physical Infrastructure, and Applications Development spent 16 weeks auditing and analyzing the City’s systems, procedures, hardware and communications infrastructure and summarized their recommendations in the following key areas:
- Communications systems between Fire and Police and Medical Evacuation needed complete redesign and replacement
- Backup and redundant data center capacity needed to be established with hot, warm and cold sites completely tested and vetted
- All data and systems backups needed a complete overhaul
- Every procedure for everything from backup to security to recovery needed to be re-created, tested and institutionalized
Netswitch produced a 400 page report that detailed over 100 initiatives across all communications and information technology functions which would, when implemented, bring the City current with regard to their ability to manage through a catastrophic event.
Oakland is now prepared to withstand a catastrophic event of significant proportions, including a terrorist attack or the recurrence of a natural disaster like the Loma Prieta earthquake without significant loss of life or the ability to continue providing safety and city services to its residents and its employees.