December 3, 2007
Volume 2, Number 12
From the CIO
In consultation with Agencies, the Secretary of Technology and the Governor's Office, VITA has scheduled a significant milestone in the Commonwealth's IT Infrastructure Partnership over the weekend of Dec. 15-16. The milestone is the formal move of mainframe IT processing from downtown Richmond to the newly built Tier III Commonwealth Enterprise Solutions Center (CESC) in Chester. The move will provide greatly enhanced mainframe services that will result in an integrated, reliable and secure IT infrastructure for the Commonwealth.
For more than a dozen agencies, mainframe computing services will be down all weekend -- applications will not run, and data will not be processed. If your agency has not been contacted already, it is not among those agencies. Representatives of agencies that will be without mainframe services over the weekend have spent several months meeting, planning and preparing for this event with technical and customer service staff from VITA and Northrop Grumman.
The switch is scheduled to begin Friday evening, Dec. 14, when a host of technicians from VITA, Northrop Grumman and nine vendors will shut down the Richmond mainframe and work around the clock to redirect network links, move data to the new mainframe and test the system to make sure that everything is working properly. VITA and Northrop Grumman staff will maintain close contact with impacted agencies and provide progress updates throughout the weekend.
Part of this work will include a planned outage between 4-5 a.m. only on Saturday, Dec. 15, that will result in the following:
- Web sites, e-mail, Internet file sharing and VPN connections will be unavailable if they are provided through these mainframes and CESC servers;
- CESC server applications may not be available for approximately 20 agencies.
Additional details are being provided to agency staff members who are designated as Agency Information Technology Resources (AITRs). If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your AITR or your VITA Customer Account Manager or Agency Performance Manager.
Thank you for your support and assistance as we work through transforming our IT infrastructure. On a personal note, holiday best wishes to each and every one of you. May the New Year bring you success, health and happiness.
SWESC ribbon cutting is Dec. 12
Ribbon cutting is scheduled Dec. 12 for the Southwest Enterprise Solutions Center (SWESC) in Lebanon, Russell County. Guest speakers will include Governor Timothy M. Kaine and James R. O'Neill, Corporate Vice President and President, Northrop Grumman Information Technology. This new facility will be a boost to economic development and employment in the region. More than 400 jobs will be created. SWESC will serve as the primary help desk and back-up data center for the IT Infrastructure Partnership and will be Northrop Grumman's East Coast service delivery hub. Following the SWESC ribbon-cutting ceremony, CGI will have a ribbon-cutting for its new facility located near the SWESC. CGI is opening a software development and systems integration facility that will create 300 new jobs.
ITIB committee, full board meetings set
The Information Technology Investment Board (ITIB) Executive Evaluation and Governance Committee will meet at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 18, in the CESC Chesterfield Conference Room. Planning is underway for a full ITIB meeting at 1 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 17, 2008, with committee meetings earlier that day.
IT Infrastructure Partnership work moves forward
Server moves, consolidation
Last month, the relocation of servers from downtown Richmond to CESC was completed. Part of the Commonwealth's IT infrastructure transformation, the project involved relocation of 774 servers for more than 22 agencies. The work required close collaboration between staff from agencies and various VITA and Northrop Grumman project teams over the course of the past year. Now that the servers have been relocated, IT staff members can better access, service and manage them, increasing server reliability and overall security.
Moving into 2008, the focus will shift to consolidating servers. Server consolidation is the "virtualization" of a server, which converts it from a physical stand-alone server to a virtual server. Server consolidation reduces the total number of servers that agencies must acquire, deploy and manage, in turn reducing the cost of hardware and software and resulting in cost savings. Fewer servers also creates a smaller server footprint that is easier to monitor for security and to patch during emergencies. The Departments of Corrections, Health, Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Substance Services, Motor Vehicles, Taxation and Transportation are among the numerous agencies involved in server consolidation.
The purchase request online tracking log has been moved. As a result, the URL has changed.
Be sure to bookmark the new URL: https://vitaweb.virginia.gov/sites/PRLog.
This is an internal Web site and requires a "ditlan" account. If you need assistance logging in, please contact the VITA Customer Care Center at email@example.com or 1 (866) 637-8482.
Audio and data conferencing
Upgraded audio and data conferencing, VITA's newest service offering, soon will be available to state agencies and other customers. VITA representatives will work with agencies through the end of January to provide information about the services and set-up access. The conferencing services are being piloted at VITA.
The new audio conferencing service will not require reservations and will accommodate up to 125 participants in a single call. It will offer flexibility for conference leaders to dial out to participants, mute all or individual participants, prevent new callers from joining, and control audio conferences from their Internet browsers. Additional features include an operator-assisted service for larger conferences that permits reservations up to 30 minutes prior to the event and can accommodate up to 10,000 participants. A Web-based offering also is available where call leaders can post materials, share documents, poll audience members, and conduct presentations or product review sessions online and over the phone at the same time.
VITA and Northrop Grumman teams will refresh nearly 1,000 computers (desktops, laptops and tablets) this month in various agencies at locations throughout the Commonwealth. Refreshes are planned at DMHMRSAS in Danville, Burkeville, Fairfax, Petersburg, Richmond and Williamsburg; and Housing and Community Development, Taxation, Business and Professional Development and Health in Richmond.
Commonwealth Project Management Standard published
The revision to the Commonwealth Project Management Standard (ITRM Standard CPM 112-02), described in last month's Network News, has been published and can be found on the VITA Policy, Standards and Guidelines (PSG) Web page.
View the standard.
CIO approves 40 agency IT strategic plans, more pending
In conjunction with the Department of Planning and Budget, VITA completed reviews and CIO approval recommendations for agency IT strategic plans for the 2008-2010 budget biennium. Reviews were conducted by Project Management, Customer Account Management, Agency Performance Management and Enterprise Architecture teams. Plans were recommended for CIO approval based on completeness, consistency between the IT summary and portfolio of IT investments of the agency strategic plan, and detail supporting agency goals and objectives. The CIO has approved 40 agency IT strategic plans, which will be posted to the Virginia Performs Web site. Remaining agency IT strategic plans are pending approval while Project Management staff members work with the agencies to remediate issues identified during the review.
View the Virginia Performs Web site.
AITR meeting scheduled Dec. 6
The CIO's Agency Information Technology Resource (AITR) meeting Dec. 6 at CESC will include a networking session at 1 p.m., with the business session set for 1:30-4 p.m. An agenda will be distributed prior to the meeting.
ISOAG meeting is Dec. 12; security updates, training available
The December Information Security Officer's Advisory Group meeting will begin at 1 p.m. on Dec. 12 at CESC. The agenda includes IT infrastructure transformation, continuity of operations plan assessments and the status of the continuity of government operations, payment card industry compliance, Webmasters' activities, enterprise architecture data collection, data removal standard, security annual report and wireless risks.
Federal, state and local government staff also may receive e-mail updates on information security topics, including upcoming meetings, training opportunities and security alerts with recommended actions. To subscribe to these updates, e-mail your request to CommonwealthSecurity@VITA.Virginia.Gov. If you register for updates, you will receive the link to register for the monthly ISOAG meetings.
In addition, there are security training opportunities through the Multi State - Information Sharing and Analysis Center (MS-ISAC)/SANS Partnership with reduced rates for early registration on some courses using the discount code "msisac."
View course offerings.
The latest issue of Information Security Tips offers information on Phishing.
View the latest issue.