Consolidated mainframes speed responses to taxpayers

Consolidated mainframes speed responses to taxpayers

BY PREETI VASHSHTHA | GCN STAFF

After successfully completing the consolidation of 67 mainframes to 20 faster mainframes this month, the IRS began planning the consolidation of its midrange systems.

Officials said the change would speed responses to taxpayer inquiries.

The consolidation of midrange computers will be completed as the budget allows, said Toni Zimmerman, acting chief information officer.
The mainframe project, which took place over several years, involved upgrading computers from IBM Corp. and Unisys Corp. to newer models from those manufacturers.


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size="2" color="#FF0000">Charles Rossotti

'This absolutely fits into the latest IRS [modernization] blueprint,' Zimmerman said. The agency replaced Unisys ClearPath 2200 series systems with models in the 4800 series in 1998 and 6800s in 1999. IBM 4381, 9121 and 9221 models have been upgraded to 9672 RA5 and 9672 RY5 models.

The IRS' customer service representatives can now access the systems for about 18 hours a day, compared to 14 hours previously. Historical data is available 18 hours each day, while specific information regarding tax returns is accessible 12 to 16 hours daily.

'We are striving for 24-7,' Zimmerman said.
The new mainframes have increased data storage capabilities. The Unisys systems have 5.3T of storage'up from 1.8T'and the IBM systems have gone from 1.3T to 10.3T.

Although the original 67 computers were spread across 12 locations, the new units are located at three computing centers: Detroit; Martinsburg, W. Va.; and Memphis, Tenn.

'The success of the mainframe consolidation project provides a solid foundation from which to build our modernized systems,' IRS commissioner Charles Rossotti said.

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