Pulse


Pulse

By GCN Staff


Maryland moves HR to the cloud

The state of Maryland will replace and consolidate its legacy, on-premise human resources software with a unified system from Workday, a provider of enterprise cloud applications for human resources and finance.

For several decades, Maryland relied on a legacy mainframe with multiple, stand-alone applications for personnel, time tracking and benefits.  But because that system lacked proper data management and reporting capabilities, individual agencies developed and maintained their own reporting tools. Before long, information silos and redundant efforts were common across the state.

As part of its aim to standardize IT in the cloud, Maryland wanted to replace its legacy HR system with a unified, multitenant cloud that would scale and adapt to the state’s long-term needs.

With Workday, 45,000 employees across 54 agencies will be able to easily access and manage their personnel, time tracking and benefits information in the cloud. And state leaders will get better insight into their teams by having  a global view of the workforce and agency management.

With Workday, Maryland expects to:

  • Reduce the cost and burden of maintaining multiple legacy systems by moving to ongoing delivery of features and technical functions in the cloud.
  • Streamline workforce-related business processes within and between state agencies.
  • Deliver an intuitive, self-service experience to employees.
  • Equip state executives and agency management with real-time workforce analytics and reporting.
  • Improve security and risk mitigation with internal controls and audit tools for regulatory compliance.

Posted on Aug 26, 2014 at 12:17 PM0 comments


CANES tech will propel future Navy networks afloat

The Navy’s Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command picked five vendors this week to build its next generation tactical afloat network, dubbed CANES for Consolidated Afloat Networks and Enterprise Services.

The companies, including BAE Systems Technology Solutions and Services; General Dynamics C4 Systems; Global Technical Systems; Northrop Grumman Systems; and Serco, were each awarded an indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity, firm-fixed-price and cost-plus-fixed-fee contract. The cumulative value of the multiple award contract is $2.5 billion.

The Navy says CANES represents a new business model for delivering capabilities to the fleet. The project consolidates five legacy networks into one, which the Navy said “enhances operational effectiveness and provides better quality of life for deployed sailors.”

CANES will also act as the Navy’s bridge to its future ship-based networks, providing the infrastructure for applications, systems and services to operate in the tactical domain.

CANES will facilitate upgrades of cybersecurity, command and control, communications and intelligence (C4I) systems across its fleet. The increased standardization will also reduce the number of network variants the Navy operates by ship class, according to the Navy announcement.

"The operating systems that exist today on some of those legacy networks are not sustainable,” Rear Adm. Christian Becker, PEO C4I, said in a statement. “CANES allows us to deploy current operating systems and then upgrade or stay current with future changes to those operating systems in a more cost effective and timely way,” he added.

For the next eight years, the ordering period for the contract, the Navy will tap industry and government expertise to deliver multiple CANES hardware and software baselines “in the most affordable means available.”

CANES installations have already been successfully completed on nine destroyers, the Navy said. Installations continue on three carriers, one amphibious assault ship, eight destroyers, one landing dock ship and one cruiser. An additional 28 installations are planned throughout FY 2015 and FY 2016.

To date, the program's system maturity is based on performance measures and test data from almost 12,000 hours of test time. CANES will ultimately be deployed to 180 ships, submarines and Maritime Operations Centers by 2022. 

Posted on Aug 22, 2014 at 9:37 AM0 comments


DISA approves AWS for more sensitive workloads

The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) has authorized Amazon Web Services as the first commercial cloud approved under DOD’s Cloud Security Model (CSM) at “security impact levels” 3-5 for highly sensitive workloads.

The approval giving AWS DoD Provisional Authorization at tougher security levels will enable the firm’s DOD customers to meet a range of new requirements for protecting data, the firm said, including AWS Direct Connect routing to DoD's network and Common Access Card (CAC) integration.

DoD’ s CSM provides an assessment and authorization process for cloud service providers to gain a DoD Provisional Authorization, which can subsequently be used by DoD customers.

A Provisional Authorization under the CSM provides reusable certification, cutting the time necessary for DoD offices to assess and authorize one of their systems for operation on AWS.

In March, AWS announced its compliance with security impact levels 1-2 for all AWS regions in the U.S., “demonstrating adherence to hundreds of controls.”

AWS DoD customers with prospective Level 3-5 applications can now contact the DoD’s Enterprise Cloud Service Broker (ECSB) to begin the deployment process, according to AWS.

Steven Spano, USAF Brig. Gen (Ret.) and general manager of defense and national security for AWS Worldwide Public Sector, said AWS customers had already begun “driving efficiencies and reducing costs,” using DoD authorization for Impact Levels 1-2.

The firm was “excited to further extend our services to support an even broader set of sensitive workloads,” he added, describing the new Level 3-5 requirements as, “the most stringent reusable authorization the government has issued to date.”

DoD agencies can now use AWS GovCloud’s Provisional Authorization at security levels 3-5 to evaluate AWS for their unclassified applications and workloads, achieve their own authorizations to use AWS, and transition DoD workloads into the AWS environment.

Posted on Aug 22, 2014 at 10:54 AM0 comments


Benchmark compares Hadoop systems

Government IT managers looking for performance metrics on Hadoop-based systems can now use the Transaction Processing Performance Council’s TPCx-HS benchmark.

TPC is a non-profit corporation founded to define transaction processing and database benchmarks and to disseminate verifiable TPC performance data. Its TPCx-HS was developed to provide performance, price/performance, availability and energy consumption metrics of big data systems, the group said in its announcement

TPCx-HS provides objective measures of hardware, operating system, commercial Apache Hadoop File System API-compatible systems and MapReduce layers.  It can be used to asses a broad range of system topologies and the implementation of Hadoop clusters.

The benchmark models continuous system availability 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It is available as a downloadable kit at the TPC’s website.

”TPCx-HS is the first vendor-neutral benchmark focused on big data systems  – which have become a critical part of the enterprise IT ecosystem,” said Raghunath Nambiar, chairman of the TPCx-HS committee.

Posted on Aug 20, 2014 at 11:51 AM0 comments


Commerce plans database of state business incentives

SelectUSA, a Commerce Department effort to encourage business investment in the United States, wants to build a database of business incentives offered by states.

A request for information on FedBizOpps describes the State Business Incentives Database as a comprehensive, searchable and regularly updated web-based database of all business incentives offered by states. It would also be embedded into the SelectUSA website.

The information in the State Business Incentives database would include a description of the program as well as information on:

  • Program type (e.g., equity investment, grant, loan, tax credit, tax abatement)
  • Business need addressed (e.g., site location, process improvement, workforce development)
  • Geographic focus (e.g., rural, urban, redevelopment zone)
  • Eligibility and application process

According to the RFI, the database must be searchable by keyword, program type, business need addressed, program industry and geographic focus. Additionally, it needs to have an Application Programming Interface that SelectUSA could use to display the application functions and features on a website.

Posted on Aug 18, 2014 at 9:49 AM0 comments