Case Study

Brookline Police Department

Stratus always-on solution ensures availability of critical public safety systems

Bordered by the City of Boston, Brookline is populated with more than 58,000 residents, but with daily commuters to the area colleges, corporate offices and hospitals, the population can increase to more than 100,000. To serve the active community, the Brookline Police Department (BPD) is comprised of 145 sworn officers, including a full time dispatch staff who are responsible for handling all calls for police, fire, and ambulance services.

The Situation

To ensure the safety of the town’s residents, the police department requires 24/7 availability of their mission-critical public safety computer applications including computer-aided dispatch (CAD), arrest booking program, detective case management, and records management system for accident reporting. The department relies on its CAD and Enhanced 9-1-1 Interface-to-CAD applications to coordinate all dispatch for police, fire, and emergency medical services.

“From our dispatch to our arrest/booking system, downtime is unacceptable, states Officer Scott Wilder, director of technology for the BPD. “If our public safety systems go down, it not only jeopardizes the procedural and legal requirements for our standard reports, but more importantly, it puts the lives our officers and the community at risk. Any downtime would disrupt communications and deprive our officers of the critical information that aids them in their duties.”

For years the BPD used a secondary server as backup when the main server was down, which required a manual start-up and switch-over to the backup server. In the event of a main server failure, the IT department would need hours to be fully operational. During the downtime, officers would have to revert to a less efficient manual dispatch system, losing access to key programs, systems, and records.

Quick Facts

Solution Profile

  • Larimore Associates Public Safety Software
  • Always-on availability of computer-aided dispatch (CAD), arrest booking program, detective case management, and records management system for accident reporting
  • Solution meets 24/7/365 requirements for critical public safety systems at a price five to six times less than the other high-availability products on the market

Products

  • Stratus® everRun® software

The Solution

To help meet the BPD’s 24-hour high availability requirements, technology partner Larimore Associates recommended Stratus everRun® software.

“After reviewing other high availability solutions, we found that only Stratus delivered the goods we needed at a price five to six times less than the other products on the market,” says Officer Wilder.

The BPD chose Stratus® everRun® software, running on standard Intel-based Dell servers, to guarantee that its critical applications would be available and operational at all times. The BPD purchased, installed, and configured the everRun software quickly and easily. The everRun software works by pooling the physical resources of the two Dell servers into a single operating environment. Stratus everRun virtualizes these two servers to appear and operate as one for the purpose of ensuring always-on availability for their critical applications. If one server stops running due to any failure, the dispatch system and other public safety applications continue to operate uninterrupted on the other server.

“We have found everRun to be the piece in our data center that was missing. With everRun, we are confident that our police, fire and EMS teams have continuous access to the applications they need to respond to emergencies.”
Officer Wilder
Brookline Police Department

The Results

For more than ten years, the BPD has been using everRun software to ensure continuous uptime for its critical public safety applications. Since implementing everRun, the police department has maintained the highest level of availability in spite of a significant hardware failure.

“I reflect every holiday season, and I am grateful for using everRun to protect our critical applications,” says Officer Wilder. “On one occasion, our server went down on Christmas day, but thanks to everRun, we never experienced a disruption in service. The failure was completely transparent to users and, most importantly, I didn’t have to spend Christmas at the office trying to get our systems back up and running. We have found everRun to be the piece in our data center that was missing. With everRun, we are confident that our police, fire, and EMS teams have continuous access to the applications they need to respond to emergencies.”

In addition, the solution’s built-in redundancy enables IT personnel to take down a server for routine maintenance and keep all of the other virtual machines running—without interrupting agency operations.

By keeping systems up and running all the time, everRun Enterprise allows agency personnel to optimize response times in emergency situations and to better protect and serve the community day in and day out.

“After reviewing other high availability solutions, we found that only Stratus delivered the goods we needed at a price five to six times less than the other products on the market.”
Officer Wilder
Brookline Police Department

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