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Provincial Council of Toledo chooses Zentyal for its 200 municipalities

“We opt for open source solutions because of the transparency and scalability they offer. Zentyal allows us to provide municipalities a complete office server that is easy to manage and adapts to their needs regardless of their size.”

Rafael Alonso, Head of ICT, Provincial Council of Toledo

panoramic view of Toledo

The IT Department of the Provincial Council of Toledo has decided to upgrade its installed Zentyal Server base to the commercial version of the product. Zentyal has been widely used as an office server by municipalities and with this decision the IT Department assures bug fixes, version upgrades and issue resolution.

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The challenge

In recent years, the IT Department of the Provincial Council of Toledo has deployed servers in 176 municipalities of the Toledo province. The purpose has been to offer the local authorities the municipal management applications and electronic processing services they re­quire.

After an initial evaluation of the available options, the Zentyal Server Community Edition was chosen as the office server. Zentyal is mainly used as a a domain and directory server and file server to share files and folders.

Zentyal Server has become extremely popular in the municipalities, to the point it has replaced other commercial products. Simultaneously Zentyal is also being used to host and install other 3rd party products that the Provincial Council provides to carry out the daily operation of the municipal management systems.

Given the high number of deployments in critical production environments, the Provincial Council of Toledo has concluded that it can not carry out evolutionary and corrective maintenance of the Zentyal servers on its own. Therefore, it has decided that the servers will be upgraded to the Commercial Zentyal Server Edition.

The solution

The main use that the municipalities are giving to Zentyal Server is as an office server: a domain and directory server and a file server. Furthermore, depending on the specific requirements of each organization, there is always the option to enable additional network services. In a typical deployment, the environment is virtualized on Proxmox VE with the following modules: Samba, DNS, Network, Firewall, Antivirus, CA, Logs and NTP.

There are three typical scenarios: Zentyal as a stand-alone domain controller, Zentyal as an additional domain controller in a Windows Server 2008 environment and Zentyal as an additional domain controller in a Win­dows Server 2016 environment with 2008R2 functional level.

The Zentyal Server versions installed were mostly versions 4.X and 5.X. Since the project started, the installed base has been updated to the latest commercial version of Zentyal, with the aim of always keeping it updated.

The experience

In the first months of the project the main challenge that the IT Department of the Provincial Council of Toledo solved with the Zentyal Support Team consisted of upgrading the existing server deployments. Especially the upgrade from version 4.x to 5.x proved challenging. The changes and the improvements included in a new version offer greater security and features, but at the same time big changes in the code base make migrations complex processes.

Apart from this evolutionary maintenance that allows municipalities to always have the latest version of the Commercial Zentyal Server Edition, the IT Department now has access to corrective product maintenance and third-level technical support. Likewise, now the municipalities can use additional features included only in the Commercial Zentyal Server Editions.

Taking into account the risks assumed when taking responsibility for the ICT services of the almost 200 municipalities it manages, the IT Department of the Provincial Council is very satisfied with the support and assurance that the Commercial Zentyal Server Edition provides them.

In addition, during the lockdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the IT Department highlighted the importance of the Zentyal Server so that municipal employees could continue working “In these circumstances, having a Zentyal Server in each municipality is proving essential to provide remote work option to everybody who requests it.”

About Provincial Council of Toledo

The Provincial Council of Toledo is the institution that is in charge of the government and autonomous administration of the Province of Toledo. One of its fundamental duties is to assist in the management of municipal activities. The Province of Toledo has a population of approximately 690,000 inhabitants, spread over 204 municipalities.

The IT Department of the Provincial Council of Toledo provides municipalities and its citizens the necessary resources to access to the electronic administration. These resources are made up of the equipment, applications and communication infrastructures necessary to achieve its objectives of serving the local authorities.

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