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Nevada Department of Corrections

“The biggest advantage to using Infoblox is the rock solid reliability. We have not had a minute of unplanned downtime since we deployed.” —Systems and communications manager, Nevada Department of Corrections

The Customer

The fastest growing state for 19 of the past 20 years, Nevada’s population growth has produced one of the most strained prison systems in the United States. The Nevada Department of Corrections operates the state prison system facilities in 24 locations across Nevada. These facilities house more than 13,000 inmates and support 3,000 prison employees. The facilities include maximum security prisons, correctional facilities, conservation camps, restitution centers and transitional housing centers. Each prison is a city amongst itself requiring separate housing, food maintenance and clothing and operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The DOC staff use the Department’s IT system to calculate sentences and release dates, track inmate location and security status, maintain disciplinary records, visitor records, health records, and track staffing issues and parole board information. Additionally, the IT team supports all the necessary applications required to maintain the various facilities that are akin to many small cities, with stores requiring point of sale systems, health and dental care services, surveillance systems and more. Essential to the availability and daily operation of all these applications are core network services, including domain name resolution (DNS), IP address assignment and management (DHCP/IPAM).

The Challenge

The DOC was previously using a general-purpose software and server-based solution to deliver DNS, and spreadsheets for IP address management (IPAM).

Without a dedicated, integrated core network services solution, the DOC IT team experienced significant reliability and security issues.

“There were two things that prompted changing our old systems: we were having reliability issues, and our network is no longer server-centric,” said Dan O’Barr, Systems &Communications Manager for the Nevada Department of Corrections. “Servers are important, but I have Video, VoIP and Radio over IP, door controls, etc. The TCP/IP needed to be independent of the servers and more reliable. We also had spontaneous problems with our old DHCP service just not running. Further, some locations are in the middle of remote Nevada and there are often power outages; when the power comes back on, there were issues with the systems requiring lots of manual intervention.”

The Solution

In May 2008, the DOC made a switch to Infoblox appliances. In all, they purchased 12 boxes. Two are deployed at the main data center and one at each of the DOC’s larger remote locations.

Since implementing Infoblox appliances the DOC has enjoyed 100 percent uptime with its core IP services, simplified management of those services, and the replacement of their manual spreadsheets with automated IPAM. This is all managed with an easy-to-use, web-based application that now keeps track of all of the IP devices and addresses throughout the entire system in one location; no downtime associated with power outages.

The Result

“The biggest advantage to using Infoblox is the rock solid reliability. There are no questions asked. We have not had a minute of unplanned downtime since we deployed. It is almost eerie,but phenomenal, that we have had zero downtime.”

Additionally, the DOC now has much better organization-wide visibility into their network. The addition of Infoblox has made the management of core network services easy and seamless. With nearly every aspect of the IT network requiring an IP address, the addition of an IPAM tool on the network was invaluable. Prior to Infoblox, it was difficult to have any reliable knowledge of the IP addresses. The DOC is now able to easily expand a subnet with the touch of a button.

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