GLADSTONE - The Gladstone City Commission voted to purchase a server for the city's new geographic information system at its meeting Monday night.
At a June 25 meeting, the city commission voted to purchase new GIS software. The software will allow both city employees and residents to access information about the city on an interactive map available online.
"We have a server here at city hall, we upgraded it not too long ago, but when we purchased it we purchased a certain amount of memory, and one option is to put all of the GIS stuff on the existing server. However that's not what we're recommending," said Darla Falcon, city manager.
The current server is running a 32-bit, Windows operating system. Computers running 32-bit systems are only capable of using 4 gigabytes (GB) of random access memory (RAM). This prevents them from accessing data as quickly as a 64-bit system, which can be upgraded past 4GB of RAM.
"Think of the memory as you have eight secretaries going through a bunch of different filing cabinets looking for information," said Mayor Darin Hunter. "The more secretaries, the more quicker that the information is processed for you."
The new server will cost $4,489 and will be purchased with funds budgeted for the GIS program. It will have 8GB of RAM installed, making it twice as fast as the current server, which runs the city's website.
"All the software you guys use everyday has its own server and you don't want to bog it down. You want to have a dedicated server," said Commissioner Joe Maki.
The city feels that the new server will save the city money. "With technology these days growing, continually needing to upgrade, we feel it's best to purchase a second server for the GIS software and all the data," said Falcon. "We would be spending more in labor to temporarily wipe the current server, add more memory; load everything back on."
The new server will be able to hold 750 GB of data and will have a 1 terabyte backup drive.
For comparison, the server could hold as much data as 94 feature film DVDs, and the backup drive could hold as much data as 129 DVDs.
"The most important part is we will all have access to this information, and, hopefully not too far down the road here, the public in some form will have access to what's necessary for the public to view," said Falcon.
Once the system is implemented, residents will be able to login to a website and navigate maps. Information will be overlaid into the map depending on what the user wants to view. City employees will use different usernames and passwords allowing them to view more information than the general public.
"There's some decision we've got to make about what information you're going to make immediately available, and what you're going to try and do longer term because you don't have a dedicated IT department," said Maki.