By Garth Johnson, Senior Vice President, Operations, GTL
At Global Tel*Link, we constantly strive to improve our hardware and software to provide the highest quality service possible. This includes supplying patches and software updates through our existing wired systems and replacing hardware to keep pace with advances in technology. We also ensure that all of the data from our operations is safely and efficiently handled.
Over the last few years, GTL systems have processed an ever-increasing amount of digital data traffic. Against the backdrop of data breaches and serious power outages that have plagued some of our competitors, we recognize that properly managing and securing data is of paramount importance in today’s inmate communication services marketplace.
As a continuation of GTL’s lasting commitment to ensure the security of our customers’ data, we recently invested $1 million in data center upgrades that augmented our security protocols and provided increased processing capacity. These improvements – which began in early 2015 and were completed in January 2016 – ensure that all of our systems operate at peak efficiency, minimize risks to data in transit and at rest, and reduce the likelihood of unplanned service disruptions.
The high-level summary of recently completed data center upgrades is as follows:
• expanded the amount of floor space to accommodate new equipment
• added more cooling equipment to support the additional data processing hardware
• upgraded the power distribution system to ensure that we have the capacity to process our customers’ ever increasing traffic volumes
• extended the lease of the data center to lock in our commitment
This expanded capacity increases the redundancy of our systems and minimizes the impact of a system failure. The improved redundancy also allows us to conduct low-impact/no-impact system upgrades and maintenance actions in the future.
To ensure that we minimized any inconvenience resulting from the short service interruption that was required to get the new support systems online, we scheduled the work for off-peak hours (midnight Saturday to 9:00am Sunday) so that customers experienced little or no impact from the brief outage. Knowing that any scheduled disruption no matter how brief could have some small effect on jail and prison operations, we sent each customer a written notification a few weeks before the planned downtime.
System performance, service continuity, and data security are just some of the hallmarks of our data center operations, and we believe that the recent upgrades demonstrate our commitment to provide our customers with the highest quality of service in the market.