Streamlining Operations for Public Safety with Nutanix
Jeffcom dispatches for 24 police, fire, and emergency medical agencies across Jefferson County, Colorado. The center processes more than 700,000 calls each year, including 250,000 911 calls. Daily operations are made possible by a staff of more than 130 emergency communications specialists and supervisors, supported by a highly qualified administrative staff.
For first responders, fast, dependable communications can mean the difference between life or death. To ensure nonstop performance, backed by control and manageability, Jeffcom deployed the Nutanix Cloud Platform as the foundation of its network infrastructure. The new solution not only provides faster performance for its dispatch applications, but the flexibility to evolve and grow as its services needs change. With simpler administration and disaster recovery support, Nutanix provides a foundation for Jeffcom’s most essential systems.
Formed through a consolidation of eight 911 centers in Jefferson County, Jeffcom is constantly seeking to improve emergency communications through the adoption of new and emerging technologies. Its network infrastructure and applications are the heart of all its operations.
“We handle all emergency communications for the 24 police, fire and EMS agencies we serve,” said Kevin Biegert, Information Technology Director at Jeffcom. “Jeffcom answers all 911 and administrative calls, and subsequently coordinates the emergency response of field responders. To do this, we rely on our computer-aided dispatch (CAD) system.”
Jeffcom deployed a Nutanix hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) solution when the organization was first established in 2018. Since then, its IT team has continued to build on its HCI foundation.
“We chose to continue on the Nutanix path because we get tremendous flexibility in being able to deploy new systems,” said Biegert. “Standing up new servers and services integrations is very simple. We have the flexibility to do it with our Nutanix cluster, and the common management skills to support it.”
To further strengthen the performance of its environment, Jeffcom has recently upgraded its Nutanix hardware, working in collaboration with its technology partner eGroup.
Nonstop availability of its systems is essential, so Jeffcom also uses Nutanix Prism Pro for improved visibility and performance.
“One of the big reasons we upgraded to G8 clusters and Nutanix Prism Pro was because we were focusing on disaster recovery,” said Biegert. “We manage a fiber network connecting our primary communications center to our backup communications center, where we have another Nutanix cluster installed. We wanted to reduce our recovery point objective (RPO) to as low of a metric as we possibly could. We had some existing disaster recovery products in place that were complex to manage, and we wanted to consolidate as much as possible. Nutanix Prism Pro provides a single pane of glass approach to support our recovery plan.”
With HCI as the foundation for the Nutanix Cloud Platform, Jeffcom can take advantage of a single, consistent approach to management and troubleshooting, which saves its small team valuable time that it can apply to other priorities.
“The less amount of administrative time that we have to spend doing the common tasks or switching between tools and systems means more time for IT to focus on research and development,” Biegert. “That ultimately benefits the citizens and community we serve.”
Jeffcom is constantly evaluating new systems and applications as part of its journey to continuous innovation. Its flexible Nutanix HCI platform provides the freedom to experiment on next-generation emergency services.
“If a vendor approaches us with a fantastic integration with our CAD application, we can quickly meet those requirements,” said Biegert. “If we need another server, we can have that up within a matter of minutes. That is invaluable.”
Jeffcom has also begun exploring ways to use its flexible infrastructure platform to bring communications closer to first responders in the field, to help speed response time.
“We are looking to have more of a field-facing presence with emergency communications,” said Biegert. “Traditionally, 911 answers the phone at a brick and mortar location, then they dispatch it out over the radio. In situations like wildfires, we are trying out ways to take 911 on the road. We built a communications asset where all the key systems that the dispatchers need are accessible through a remote desktop protocol. Ultimately it’s a virtual workstation running on the cluster here in the communication center.”
On the rare occasions when technical support is required, Nutanix has provided highly available support for even sophisticated issues.
“The solid support was key for us, because 24x7x365 operation means something different than it does to a for-profit company that’s not dealing with life-or-death situations,” said Biegert.
The flexibility and centralized management features of Nutanix Cloud Platform are serving Jeffcom well, as it continues to explore new services and infrastructure options.
“We are seriously looking into the marriage of private and public cloud,” said Biegert. “We prefer to keep everything manageable under the Nutanix Prism Pro, rather than a complex collection of tools and platforms. That’s one of the biggest benefits Nutanix provides.”
Reach out to our cloud experts to see how you can upgrade your current Nutanix hardware and strategically leverage a hyperconverged infrastructure using the cloud as a tool to scale your business! Read more about our customer’s success with Nutanix here.
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