Grosse Pointe City to replace aging servers

By: K. Michelle Moran | Grosse Pointe Times | Published October 12, 2022

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GROSSE POINTE CITY — It might not sound like a long time, but in the world of technology, six years is an eternity.

And so, as a result, Grosse Pointe City is replacing its computer data file server and mail exchange server, both of which are more than six years old — and past the five-year lifespan recommended by the City’s information technology contractor, I.T. Right.

The existing server is suffering from “declining functionality” and is “past due for replacement,” Assistant to the City Manager Christopher Hardenbrook said during a Sept. 19 Grosse Pointe City Council meeting.

Hardenbrook said I.T. Right “proposed consolidation of the existing data file servers into a single online host server and upgrade (of) the mail exchange and ReCPro servers to the cloud.” He said this would reduce the “local server footprint at City Hall by half.”

During the meeting, the Grosse Pointe City Council voted unanimously in favor of I.T. Right’s proposal, at a cost of $27,969.65. Hardenbrook said $30,000 was budgeted toward this expenditure.

“Is there a point where the whole thing migrates to the cloud?” City Councilman Christopher Walsh asked.

Hardenbrook said there was “hesitation in the past” to upload City documents to the cloud over “security concerns,” but moving the exchange server to the cloud “is actually safer than having a file server on-site.”

“This could be a step in that direction,” Hardenbrook added.

There are other advantages to the shift, administrators noted.

“Battery backups won’t be needed anymore,” Public Service Director Peter Randazzo said.

He was among those championing this change.

“The (move to the) cloud is very, very positive,” Randazzo said.