September 2010 Network News

September 1, 2010

Volume 5, Number 9

From the CIO

Sam Nixon

As you know, on Aug. 25 the Commonwealth experienced an IT infrastructure outage that affected 26 of the Commonwealth's 89 agencies and caused 13 percent of the Commonwealth's file servers to fail.

The failure was in a storage area network (SAN), specifically an EMC DMX-3. EMC tells us that the events that led to the outage appear to be unprecedented. The manufacturer reports that the system and its underlying technology have an exemplary history of reliability, industry-leading data availability of more than 99.999 percent and no similar failure has occurred in more than one billion hours of run time.

The storage unit has been repaired and we have most services restored. We already are performing a root cause analysis and will incorporate lessons learned. This has been a time-consuming process that has required us to work closely with agencies and our vendor partners. Teams have been working around the clock since the incident occurred.

I extend my sincere appreciation to all involved for their dedication and hard work.

Sam Nixon signature

Storage offerings detailed, published

To better assist customers, six tiered electronic data storage offerings for customers that are part of the information technology infrastructure partnership now have been detailed and published on the VITA website. The information includes offerings, timing on moving data into this new tiered structure, and tips on managing storage including some tools that are available now and some that may be offered in the future.

Read about  storage offerings 

Proper disposal protects sensitive data in printer, copier memory

Many printers and copiers - just like other electronic media such as PCs -- have digital memory and retain information that is processed through them. Agencies must remove or destroy digital memory before those printers/copiers are sent to the Department of General Services (DGS) for disposal if owned or returned to vendors if leased. DGS and VITA are working together to help agencies ensure proper disposal so that sensitive data is not compromised.

DGS currently is replacing the state contract for secure data destruction services to provide data destruction options for agencies. VITA's Commonwealth security standards outline disposal requirements. Additionally:

  • VITA's statewide copier contracts include data destruction compliance terms that align with Commonwealth security standards
  • If the printer/copier is leased, then an agency has the option of purchasing the hard drive or having the supplier clean the hard drive to Commonwealth security standards.  If an agency owns the printer/copier, or has purchased the hard drive, the agency has access to a data destruction contract that can be used to clean or destroy the hard drive.

While DGS and VITA provide standards and contract options, the responsibility ultimately rests with the agency. Please remember that Commonwealth security must be notified of any breach of confidential data.

Security Standard for Electronic Data Disposal 

Printer/Copier Contracts 

Information Security Policies 

Winners of 2010 Governor's Technology Awards to be announced Sept. 7

A record number of entries were received for the 2010 Governor's Technology Awards, and the judges have reviewed and ranked all entries. Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling will present the awards to winners in six categories at a special ceremony on the evening of Sept. 7. Following the presentation, winners and executive summaries of winning projects will be posted on the COVITS website, .

Registration still open for COVITS 2010

More than 200 government technology managers have registered for COVITS 2010. If you have not yet registered but would like to do so, sign up today. 

Register online

Public CIO, Government Technology magazines feature interview with Virginia CIO Sam Nixon

Public CIO and Government Technology magazines have just published an extensive interview with Virginia's CIO. The article, "CIO Sam Nixon Tries to Fix Outsourcing Plan He Helped Create," appears in the Aug. 18 online edition of the magazine, and is the cover story of the just-released August/September print edition. A companion editorial, "CIOs Are People Too," introduces the story in the print edition, and accompanies the online version.

Read the article

Read the companion editorial

IT infrastructure program

IT Infrastructure Partnership work continues.

PC refresh

More than 46,730 desktops, laptops and tablets have been replaced across the Commonwealth. Thousands more are receiving software updates because the existing PCs are newer. Eighty-four agencies have completed PC refresh. Agencies currently being refreshed include the departments of Social Services and Transportation and the Virginia Employment Commission.


Seventy-five agencies with more than 36,616 users have been migrated to enterprise e-mail. Large e-mail migrations for Departments of Corrections and Motor Vehicles are scheduled this month. Currently, 11 agencies actively are engaged in messaging transformation.

Network migration

The Virginia Employment Commission, Department of Medical Assistance Services and Department of Forensic Sciences are in the process of transforming to the centrally managed state network.

Help Desk

Migration of the Department of Forensic Sciences to the central help desk recently was completed. More than 61,000 users now are calling the VITA Customer Care Center (VCCC or help desk).

Comments requested for updated project management standard

The Commonwealth Project Management Division (PMD) at VITA has updated the Commonwealth Project Management Standard (ITRM Standard CPM 112-03). The primary purpose of the update is to align the standard with implementation of the Commonwealth Project Governance Assessment (CPGA) methodology that uses risk and complexity to scale IT project governance and oversight. The update:

  • Realigns requirements and process steps to implement CPGA
  • Removes the governance role of the Information Technology Investment Board
  • Establishes the governance role of the Secretary of Technology
  • Incorporates needed administrative and format changes

The draft standard is available for review and input on VITA's Online Review and Comment Application (ORCA) for a 30-day period ending Sept. 23, 2010. 

View and comment on  the proposed changes on ORCA 

Project management training scheduled

The following training classes have been scheduled at the Commonwealth Enterprise Solutions Center (CESC) in Chester.

  • Commonwealth Project Management Overview Training: Wednesday, Sept. 8, 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Commonwealth Technology Portfolio (ProSight) - Project Manager Training: Monday, Nov. 1, 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Commonwealth Technology Portfolio (ProSight) - AITR Training: Thursday, Nov. 4, 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

To register for any of these classes, visit  Required Training

ISOAG meeting will be Sept. 15

The next meeting of the Commonwealth Information Security Officers' Advisory Group (ISOAG) will be held from 1 - 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 15 at CESC. Registrants are encouraged to attend in person at CESC, but a live Webinar option is available for those state employees who cannot make the trip.

For more information contact .

Collaboration equals successful educational grant application

Collaboration and effective use of enterprise architecture were key elements of the Virginia Department of Education's (VDOE) recent successful grant application. According to Bethann Canada, Director of Information Management, VDOE, the assistance received from VITA facilitated creation of a much more powerful entry, which was awarded a $17.5 million grant by the U.S. Department of Education. VDOE's longitudinal data system will be enhanced with the grant funds to more effectively link databases from K-12 schools, universities and workforce systems. VITA provided project management and technical expertise to the grant writing team and effective enterprise architecture methodology to the system development team.

Read the full story and watch the interview

August VGIN News Brief

Staff of the Virginia Geographic Information Network (VGIN) currently is updating the dataset of Commonwealth road centerlines with the quarterly input of localities. This issue contains details, as well as information about the Virginia geospatial metadata portal.

Read  the August issue 

Public Safety Communications News Brief

The Public Safety Communications (PSC) News Brief is one of several means of communicating the 9-1-1 coordinating activities of the PSC division of VITA to its stakeholder community. This new publication will be released every other month to encourage, promote, and assist in the development and deployment of statewide enhanced emergency telecommunications systems.

Read  the August issue 

August Information Security Tips

Effective protection of children online is the subject of the August issue of Information Security Tips.

Read  the August issue 

August Service Bulletin

The August edition of the VITA Service Bulletin, which has news of interest to localities, features information about statewide contracts for printers/copiers with provisions for secure data destruction.