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State’s new network expansion, design key to preventing downtime

FRANKFORT, Ky. – A new design in the state’s expanded fiber-optic network will soon prevent widespread data disruptions to state offices should the cabling ever become compromised, an official said.

Steve Rucker, acting executive director of infrastructure services at the Commonwealth Office of Technology (COT), said the agency invested $1 million last year as part of its business continuity strategy to ensure that an accidental cable cut within the city of Frankfort would not jeopardize data services to a large number of dependent state agencies. The new system will be fully operational by the end of the year, he said.

“This gives us a level of redundancy that we’ve never had before,” Rucker said. “It is absolutely the biggest thing we’ve done at COT in three years.”

Instead of state agencies relying on one principal data center at COT’s Cold Harbor location, there are now two, including a new one at an undisclosed location within the city. 

New fiber-optic lines were buried around the city in recent months by the Frankfort Plant Board, connected to eight smaller core access nodes or CANs that have the ability to re-route network traffic in the event of a power outage or cable cut leading to one of the data centers, according to Russ Boyd, a network engineer at COT.  The technology agency is leasing the fiber from the city, he said.

“It provides the foundation to be redundant, resilient and offer higher capacity for all state users,” Boyd said.

John C. Quesinberry, a strategic account manager for Nortel, said he and Nortel engineer Kelly Peach worked together on the project for more than four years.  He said the project was relatively inexpensive, considering it would have cost more than $4 million to complete four years ago.

Rucker said the infrastructure upgrade was paid for by COT with its own revenue stream, funded by the $100 Enterprise Assessment Fee it collects from state agencies for every new employee.

The Commonwealth Office of Technology is charged with managing the efficient, effective and economical use of information technology and resources for state government. The agency has more than 450 employees.


Last Updated 11/20/2008