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By GCN Staff

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IT consolidation best practices

Like many organizations, government IT agencies are struggling to accommodate increasing user demand for more processing and data storage while, at the same time, managing costs, boosting efficiency and protecting data. As a result, many agencies are moving to an integrated and consolidated IT culture to make better use of resources.

The Veterans Affairs Department is such an agency, undergoing an initiative to centralize and standardize its IT infrastructure to better serve the VA's business groups. Charles De Sanno, executive director of enterprise technology and infrastructure engineering for the VA, discussed the progression of the agency's IT data center consolidation during an e-seminar yesterday.

The Veterans Affairs Department is the largest civilian agency in the federal government; its IT environment includes more than 300,000 client systems, 20,000 servers, 4,000 internetworking devices, 3,000 applications ( a broad mix of commercial and VA-developed applications), hundreds of computer rooms and thousands of telecommunication circuits. Adding to the complexity of the consolidation efforts is a history of distributed systems and independent IT projects across the enterprise.

The VA's approach? Align the IT organization with the business groups but, at the same time, employ a unified, enterprise approach in IT; standardize by establishing a single authoritative Enterprise Infrastructure Engineering group; and consolidate infrastructure, systems and services.

De Sanno emphasized the need to develop a strategy that speaks directly to an organization's business objectives, demonstrate success with pilot projects and frankly discuss with business groups the risks and rewards of the consolidation efforts.

To learn more about the lessons learned, best practices and course corrections listen to the GCN Insight e-Seminar ' From A to Z: VA's IT Data Center Consolidation' at 1139.

Posted by Rutrell Yasin on Jul 18, 2008 at 9:39 AM


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