Sidepath Completes IT Transformation at OCERS


The Orange County Employees Retirement System (OCERS) was established in 1945 under the provisions of the County Employees Retirement Law of 1937. It provides more than 40,000 members, over 15,000 of which are retirees, with retirement, disability, death and cost-of-living benefits. Its guiding body, the Board of Retirement, is responsible for establishing policies, regulations and guidelines for the investment of the assets of the pension fund.  

In 2016 OCERS undertook a project to conduct organization-wide Business Continuity (BC) and Disaster Recovery (DR) planning.  As a result of this project, OCERS identified its critical business processes and defined recovery time objectives (RTO) and recovery point objectives (RPO) for those processes.  To meet the requirements, the OCERS Information Technology Department evaluated their existing infrastructure and identified the following business requirements for their IT Transformation project:

  • Provide greater up time and availability
  • Enable disaster recovery and business continuance
  • Support business growth and expansion
  • Improve application responsiveness

‍In scope for the effort were:

  • New compute, storage, network and security assets
  • A primary co-location facility
  • A secondary co-location facility
  • New wide-area network services
  • Replication and orchestrated services fail over

OCERS issued a Request For Proposal (RFP) in June of 2016 and convened a review panel to evaluate all submitted proposals and make a final vendor selection.  In July, 2016 OCERS selected Sidepath, based on factors such as overall pricing of the solution, experience with and past performance on projects of similar size and scope, and the overall fit with OCERS.

To meet OCERS requirements Sidepath architected a secure, robust and resilient IT solution that featured a local co-location facility and a second, out-of-state, co-location facility for fault tolerance and high availability. The architecture Sidepath provided included:

  • Compute
  • Storage
  • Routing
  • Fibre channel switching
  • Ethernet switching
  • Firewalls
  • Load balancers
  • Hypervisors
  • Replication
  • Orchestration
  • Co-location services
  • Wide-area network services

To complete the initiative Sidepath organized a project delivery team that encompassed engineers across a variety of disciplines.  The scope included:

  • Project management and scheduling
  • Procurement of all hardware and software
  • Implementation and testing of hardware
  • Software configuration
  • Establishment of connectivity between locations
  • Development of a recovery run book
  • Training of OCERS staff on disaster recovery procedures

Throughout the project the Sidepath worked very closely with the OCERS team to provide over-the-shoulder knowledge transfer in addition to formal project artifacts.