Powerhouse digital service team taking shape at VA
May 27, 2015
As the beleaguered agency confronts personnel and staffing challenges, its plan to attract the best tech talent is beginning to materialize.
David Stegon was a staff reporter for FedScoop and StateScoop from 2011-2014.
The Department of Homeland Security consolidated nine of its 43 primary legacy data center sites with another 12 planned by the end of 2012, said Chief Information Officer Richard Spires in a blog post on CIO.gov.
The department is also on course to complete its major legacy data center consolidation activity to one or both of two Enterprise Data Centers by the end of 2014.
Examples of completed consolidations:
- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) moved data center operations for their Mapping Information Platform (MIP) from its former hosting facility in Raleigh, N.C., to DC2 in April 2011. The MIP is a workflow-based system and web portal that provides the latest tools and technology for digital flood map production. FEMA mapping partners create, validate, store, track, and update reliable digital flood data using the MIP workflow process. Moving FEMA’s data center operations increased efficiencies and is producing an annual savings of $5 million.
- Customs and Border Protection (CBP) completed migration from their Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) at Tysons Corner, Va, to one of the EDCs. This enabled CBP to end its facility contract of approximately 2,200 square feet (38 racks) and consolidate with other ACE systems. This move achieved consolidation efficiencies and annual facility cost avoidance of an estimated $700,000.
- While most consolidations result in dollar savings or cost avoidance, the consolidation of the Homeland Secure Data Network (HSDN) primary systems from Fair Lakes, VA, to DC1 in 2008, and backup systems to DC2 in 2009, resulted in significant operational benefits. Functionality improved by establishing geographically diverse operations for data replication, continuity of service, and robust and redundant connectivity to major DHS locations. While costs were not reduced, this migration further enhanced DHS’ command and control capability by ensuring continuity of HSDN services. Having enterprise-level secure data capabilities at both EDCs significantly mitigates the risk of a catastrophic system outage.