$146,000 will clean up MID's e-mail flood

When they say, "You've got mail!" at the Modesto Irrigation District, they mean it.

On average, MID computers send and receive more than 4.1 million e-mail messages during the course of a year. That works out to about one e-mail -- coming or going -- every 7.65 seconds.

Of that number, nearly 2.1 million are intercepted by the district's spam filter. That leaves 2 million-plus messages to be dealt with one way or another.

Enter Patrick Wheeler, the MID's information technology manager. It's his job to figure out where to stick all those e-mail messages, not to mention the many attachments they carry.

Wheeler told MID board members Tuesday that $146,000 would be enough to make the needed hardware and software improvements to handle the district's e-mail load.

The district's e-mail communication will grow, Wheeler told board members, so more efficient management of electronic messaging is essential.

Board members agreed.

The money will be used to pay for a Quest e-mail "archiver" (cost: $31,000), server hardware and software ($64,000), and database software ($51,000).

The archiver, Wheeler said, will enable the district to reduce its storage costs by using compression of e-mail, and limit duplication of attachments. That feature, he continued, will increase computer storage space as much as 40 percent.

Additionally, Wheeler said, the e-mail upgrades will make it easier for the MID to provide copies for legal purposes.

Bee staff writer Michael G. Mooney can be reached at mmooney@modbee.com or 578-2384.