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The Center dedicates enhanced Network Operations Center

Branscum Construction Co, Russell Springs, KY, completes Network Operations Center and new kitchen facility projects ahead of schedule

"The facility rivals anything you would find in a large metro area typically seen in Louisville or Atlanta, GA." -Charley Simpson, CIO at The Center

By Sharon Dodson for The Center

SOMERSET, KY - Nearly 100 local officials, community leaders, and others joined U.S. Congressman Harold "Hal" Rogers (KY-05) at The Center for Rural Development, 2292 S Highway 27, Somerset, KY on Monday, January 25, 2010, for a ribbon-cutting and dedication ceremony for The Center's newly relocated and enhanced Network Operations Center (NOC).


The NOC is a biometrically protected and secured data center that provides highly secure data- and server-storage services for the online infrastructures of hosting and data clientsthroughout Kentucky and the nation.

Rogers, surrounded by The Center's staff, representatives of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS), and other invited guests, celebrated the opening of the $1.2 million renovated facility at its new 2,900-square-foot home on the second floor of the south wing of The Center.

"The Center is proving to be a flexible facility that can meet the changing needs of our region," Rogers added.

The NOC's computer servers, equipment, and its 24/7 year-round help desk staff, which monitors all critical systems and provides Tier 1 technical support, were relocated from the Valley Oak Technology Park in eastern Pulaski County to the new facility at The Center in December. The new NOC became fully operational January 1, 2010.

NOC serves some of state's leading educational institutions

Inside, the NOC houses racks of computer servers that host a number of technical services for some of the state's leading educational institutions and business clients.

Chief among The Center's clients is the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS), which utilizes the NOC to host e-mail accounts and course-delivery systems for all of the 16 Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) community colleges. These services include online Blackboard learning applications for 150,000 students, course management systems, Web services, applications hosting, and e-mail accounts for students and teachers.

In addition to all of the KCTCS locations, the NOC also hosts data and services for Murray State University, Midway College, and Lincoln Memorial University.

Other clients include Cincinnati Bell and Technology Services, Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government, and several other local and area commercial business clients.

In addition, The NOC is the central hub for videoconferencing technologies provided by The Center's CenterNET2 network, and hosts Web-based services for The Center, its affiliate organizations, and the Rural Domestic Preparedness Consortium (RDPC), which provides free U.S. Department of Homeland Security-certified instructor-led and online courses for the nation's first responders.

"We built the NOC to include several additional safety features, increased levels of redundancies, and dependability to better serve our clients," Charley Simpson, executive vice president and CIO of The Center, said. "The facility rivals anything you would find in a large metro area typically seen in Louisville or Atlanta, GA."

The NOC features several built-in safety features--including a high-level security system which requires a fingerprint scan to enter the server room--and emergency safeguards to protect the equipment in the event of a power failure or natural disaster.

Among those features are a second Internet connection line, a back-up battery system and diesel-powered generator, advanced cooling systems, and an inert gas-based fire protection system which would protect equipment from damage should a fire occur in the building.

The NOC project was funded through a partnership between the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development (USDA-RD), South Kentucky Rural Electric Cooperative Corporation (SKRECC), and The Center.

Following the dedication of the NOC, Rogers and the other guests attended a second ribbon cutting and reception in The Center's newly opened, full-service commercial kitchen located on the facility's first floor near two spacious exhibit halls and five meeting ballrooms. The kitchen is stocked with the latest equipment and accessories on the market for on-site food preparation.

"The Center was originally designed to be a fully functional facility for business needs and public functions. Over the years, the directors and leaders at The Center have discovered new needs for community interests," Rogers said. "This new full-service kitchen is another way to serve our region, providing a large facility where meetings and entertainment events can be housed and now catered to in-house."

Branscum Construction of Russell Springs completed construction work on both the kitchen and NOC ahead of schedule.


This story was posted on 2010-01-26 05:26:12
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The Center dedicates Network Operations Center



2010-01-26 - 2292 S Highway 27, Somerset, KY - Photo by Sharon Dodson. The Center Photo. U.S. Congressman Harold "Hal" Rogers (KY-05), third from right, prepares to cut the ribbon to dedicate The Center for Rural Development's newly relocated and enhanced Network Operations Center (NOC). Participating in the ribbon-cutting ceremony, held just outside the entrance to its 2,900-square-foot new renovated home on the second floor of The Center, are, from right, Lonnie Lawson, president and CEO of The Center; Jack Keeney, executive director of the Somerset-Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce; Rogers; Steven Branscum, owner and president of Branscum Construction; Rick Chlopan, CIO of Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS); and Shannon Carter, systems architect for The Center. The NOC, a biometrically protected and secured data center, serves more than a quarter-million Web-based accounts, including emails and course delivery systems for all of the 16 KCTCS community colleges, throughout Kentucky and the nation.
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USDA check presentation



2010-01-26 - 2292 S Highway 27, Somerset, KY - Photo by Sharon Dodson. The Center photo. Jeff Jones, third from left, of the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Rural Development (USDA-RD), presents a check in the amount of $1.1 million for construction of a Network Operations Center (NOC) at The Center for Rural Development in Somerset. Accepting the check are, from left, Allen Anderson, CEO of South Kentucky Rural Electric Cooperative Corporation (SKRECC); U.S. Congressman Harold "Hal" Rogers (KY-05); Jones, and Lonnie Lawson, president and CEO of The Center. The funds were awarded in a loan-grant package that allowed The Center to relocate the NOC from the Valley Oak Technology Park in eastern Pulaski County to its new home in a 2,900-square-foot renovated area on the second floor of the facility. Jones presented the check January 25, 2010, at the official ribbon-cutting and dedication ceremony for the NOC. Total cost of the project was $1.2 million.
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