IRS internal audit critical of agency's poor storage control

The Internal Revenue Service uses less than half of its midline storage, and may unnecessarily buy new storage arrays due to lack of adequate planning, an internal agency audit has found.

'Our review indicates midrange computer [storage area networks] are not effectively managed to ensure efficient utilization of storage resources,' the audit team concluded in their report, titled 'Midrange Computer Storage Resources Need Better Administration to Ensure Effective and Efficient Utilization and Accurate Reporting.'

The survey team found that only 35.5 percent of the agency's storage space was used. Moreover, many of the files being stored were duplicates. Better use of existing resources might save the agency about $9.9 million in additional purchases, the audit team estimated.

The assessors found that the agency had a total of 340.2 terabytes of storage capacity within midlevel storage area networks, which cost about $23.2 million to acquire. The branch did not look at IRS storage that was managed by management tools.

In order to help offices better manage storage, the Distributed Systems Management Branch of the IRS is establishing a SAN Development Laboratory to assess storage management tools, according to the report.

About the Author

Joab Jackson is the senior technology editor for Government Computer News.

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