Servers

Infrastructure and Network

AgFirst recently built a new Data Center designed to provide reliable, available and secure operations with ample capacity to accommodate growth. This was accomplished by establishing redundancies in every level of the Data Center, from data storage and processing to power supplies and networking, such as:

  • Dual utility power feeds from our electrical service provider (SCE&G), entering through different paths to the facility.
  • Dual emergency generators. Each generator can run the entire data center facility for up to four days from one tank of diesel fuel.
  • Dual uninterruptable power supplies (UPSs) ensure clean power is delivered to our servers and provide short-term emergency backup.
  • Three computer room air conditioning units installed, although only two are needed to cool entire facility.
  • Dual electrical room power distribution units to provide continuous power distribution to computer racks and network equipment.
  • Multiple firewalls (from multiple vendors).
Worker using Citrix

Network Thin-Client Architecture

We use Citrix, a thin-client technology, which provides fast, secure access to our systems. Citrix provides:

  • Reliable remote access to systems.
  • Lower costs for end-user devices (longer life cycle, lower computing requirements).
  • Decreased desktop maintenance requirements (faster, easier application upgrades.)
  • Reduced network bandwidth requirements.
Man typing on computer

Microsoft Enterprise Agreement

AgFirst and all of our Associations participate in an enterprise agreement with Microsoft to license every server, desktop and laptop in the District. This agreement ensures Associations are in compliance with licensing regulations and that they have the necessary tools to perform daily functions.

Tornado on a dirt road

Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity

In addition to our primary Data Center located in Columbia, we have a disaster recovery (DR) site located in northern Georgia. Our DR site contains fully configured “copies” of our production environment, along with data communications links to support transfer of operations on relatively short notice with very little human intervention required. Production data is continuously transferred to our DR site. A disaster recovery test is performed annually with participating Associations to ensure the systems are operating properly.

AgFirst also has a comprehensive business continuity plan designed to ensure a safe and effective work environment for employees while demonstrating our commitment to strong customer service. This plan is reviewed and tested annually.

Man with multiple electronic devices

Availability

The ultimate test of these systems is availability. Since January 2014, when we first began operations in the new Data Center, our average availability has been 99.94%