FedTech Magazine - Technology Solutions That Drive Government https://fedtechmagazine.com/rss.xml en Q&A: Air Force's McDonald on How Maxwell Air Force Base Tests Smart City Technology https://fedtechmagazine.com/article/2019/02/qa-air-forces-mcdonald-how-maxwell-air-force-base-tests-smart-city-technology <span>Q&amp;A: Air Force&#039;s McDonald on How Maxwell Air Force Base Tests Smart City Technology</span> <span><span lang="" about="/dashboard/philgoldstein6191" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">phil.goldstein_6191</span></span> <span>Thu, 02/21/2019 - 09:52</span> <div><p>The location: a 3,700-acre Air Force base located along a river. The challenge: to improve security along that difficult-to-monitor border. The solution: the Internet of Things.</p> <p>Officials at <a href="https://www.maxwell.af.mil/" target="_blank">Maxwell Air Force Base</a> in Montgomery, Ala., <strong>took advantage of smart city technology to create a “smart base” pilot,</strong> enabling security personnel to keep a sharper eye on that fluid river border.</p> <p>With a new network installed by <a href="https://www.cdwg.com/search/?b=cwt" target="_blank">AT&amp;T</a>, the base found enough advantages to the program that officials are in the early phases of preparing contracts and thinking of ways to expand its use. <em>FedTech</em> spoke with Lt. Col. Lloyd McDonald, commander of the 42nd Communications Squadron at the base, about the project.</p> <p><strong><a href="https://fedtechmagazine.com/media/video/feds-bust-common-myths-about-iot" target="_blank"><em>VIDEO: </em></a></strong><a href="https://fedtechmagazine.com/media/video/feds-bust-common-myths-about-iot" target="_blank"><em>Watch federal IT leaders bust some common myths about the Internet of Things. </em></a></p> <h2><strong style="color: #c74037;">FEDTECH: </strong> What was the attraction of smart technology?</h2> <p><strong>MCDONALD:</strong> We were exploring how we could insert technology into our current environment to enhance our capabilities for security and readiness and situational awareness,<strong> to be more responsive to events that happen on the base and to mitigate issues before they happen</strong>.</p> <h2><strong style="color: #c74037;">FEDTECH: </strong> How did it work?</h2> <p><strong>MCDONALD:</strong> The system consisted of an integrated dashboard that received information from sensors through an AT&amp;T network. There was a tool developed by AT&amp;T that<strong> captured data from all the sensors and presented it visually to us in our control center</strong>. It was a closed LTE cellular network; all the information from sensors traveled on <strong>an encrypted LTE tower back to the AT&amp;T hub and then out to us</strong>.</p> <p>The data dashboard is a visualization of the base perimeter. Say someone breached the perimeter fence. Operators w<strong>ould see an alert flash up on the dashboard, as well as an icon for a video feed</strong>. With that, they know immediately where the alert is. They can pull up that video feed and go back 10 seconds to see exactly what triggered that perimeter alarm. From there, they can look and see where the patrol cars are, so they can <strong>make an intelligent decision on which patrol to dispatch</strong> to that alarm location. And using the <strong>smart video technology,</strong> personnel know exactly what to expect as they respond to that alarm.</p> <h2><strong style="color: #c74037;">FEDTECH: </strong> What challenges did you face as the technology was being installed?</h2> <p><strong>MCDONALD:</strong> We had to learn how to <strong>filter out false positives from the data </strong>and how to recognize good data from bad. Then we had to ensure that our operators understood what the technology was intended to achieve, and ensure that they were cognizant of what the data on the dashboard was telling them, so they could make good decisions. </p> <p><a data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" href="https://www.cdw.com/content/cdw/en/orchestration/digital-transformation-report.html" tabindex="-1" target="_blank"><img alt="Digital%20Transformation_IR_1%20(1).jpg" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="https://fedtechmagazine.com/sites/fedtechmagazine.com/files/Digital%20Transformation_IR_1%20(1).jpg" /></a></p> <h2><strong style="color: #c74037;">FEDTECH: </strong> What’s the status of the pilot?</h2> <p><strong>MCDONALD: </strong>The pilot ended in February 2018. It was a one-year pilot. We’ve already gotten the report back, and from that, we are moving forward with <strong>attempting to get this technology integrated into our normal day-to-day business</strong>. Then we plan to actually pursue a contract to integrate some of the smart technology into the base.</p> <h2><strong style="color: #c74037;">FEDTECH: </strong>What would be the long-term benefit of having the system in place? </h2> <p><strong>MCDONALD:</strong> It gives us a redundant security posture, so if the Air Force network, for whatever reason, failed, then the security is on a separate loop, and remains unimpacted by what happens to our traditional IT infrastructure. Basically, we have <strong>uninterrupted security</strong>.</p> <h2><strong style="color: #c74037;">FEDTECH: </strong>What other uses are you considering for this technology?</h2> <p><strong>MCDONALD:</strong> Energy management is a primary concern. We’re looking at ways that, through IoT sensor technologies, <strong>we can do predictive maintenance on things like HVAC systems before they fail</strong>. It also gives us a good idea of how we’re using energy. Are we cooling or heating an empty building? It allows us to effectively manage how we use energy and gives us a return on investment through lower energy costs. </p> <h2><strong style="color: #c74037;">FEDTECH: </strong> Do you plan any integration with the local smart city efforts?</h2> <p><strong>MCDONALD:</strong> At this point, it’s totally base-oriented, but we have had discussions with the city of Montgomery as they move forward with their own smart city project. We’re looking at areas where our interests coincide, and where Defense Department rules for public-private partnerships might allow us to <strong>partner on different pieces of technology insertion that would benefit not only the </strong><strong>base,</strong><strong> but also the city</strong>.</p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"> <div id="taxonomy-term-" class=""> <div class="author-photo"> <a href="/taxonomy/term/11291"><img src="/sites/fedtechmagazine.com/files/styles/face_small/public/people/2016-04-08%2016.05.48.jpg?itok=eGeZcR1m" width="58" height="58" alt="Elizabeth Neus " typeof="foaf:Image" /> </a> </div> <div class="author-info"> <span>by </span><a rel="author" href="/taxonomy/term/11291"> <div>Elizabeth Neus </div> </a> <a target="_blank" class="twitter" href="https://twitter.com/intent/follow?region=follow_link&amp;screen_name=e_neus&amp;tw_p=followbutton&amp;variant=2.0"><span>Twitter</span></a> </div> <div class="author-bio"> <p> <div><p>Elizabeth Neus is the managing editor of<em> FedTech</em>. Before joining <em>FedTech</em>, Elizabeth was a reporter for Gannett, covering health care policy and medicine. As a Gannett editor, she worked on publications and magazines focusing on everything from defense to agriculture to travel to shopping. The Washington Nationals are her team; 80s Brit pop is her sound.</p> </div> </p> </div> </div> </div> </div> Thu, 21 Feb 2019 14:52:55 +0000 phil.goldstein_6191 42226 at https://fedtechmagazine.com The Government Shutdown Rippled Through Federal IT Beyond Closed Agencies https://fedtechmagazine.com/article/2019/02/government-shutdown-rippled-through-federal-it-beyond-closed-agencies <span>The Government Shutdown Rippled Through Federal IT Beyond Closed Agencies </span> <span><span lang="" about="/dashboard/philgoldstein6191" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">phil.goldstein_6191</span></span> <span>Thu, 02/21/2019 - 09:21</span> <div><p>Federal <a href="https://fedtechmagazine.com/article/2019/02/how-did-government-shutdown-affect-federal-cybersecurity">cybersecurity efforts were hampered in some ways</a> by the 35-day partial government shutdown that ended on Jan. 25. However, the record-breaking shutdown’s effects have rippled out to other aspects of government IT. </p> <p>The shutdown led to <strong>backlogs at agencies that approve or review technologies</strong>. It also left scores of security certificates for government websites to expire. And the funding lapse could also <strong>delay the rollout of IT modernization projects </strong>funded through the Technology Modernization Fund.</p> <p>Lots of government IT operations, including acquisitions, piled up during the five-week shutdown. <strong>More than 4,700 requests</strong> for proposals, requests for information and contract awards were released on <a href="http://fedbizopps.gov/" target="_blank">fedbizopps.gov</a> in the week after the shutdown ended, <a href="https://federalnewsnetwork.com/reporters-notebook/2019/02/gsa-releases-new-it-modernization-rfi-in-post-shutdown-procurement-deluge/" target="_blank">Federal News Radio reports</a>. </p> <p><em><a href="https://fedtechmagazine.com/article/2018/12/5-key-federal-it-trends-watch-2019" target="_blank"><strong>MORE FROM FEDTECH: </strong>Find out the top federal IT trends to watch in 2019. </a></em></p> <h2 id="toc_0">Technology Reviews Got Backlogged During Shutdown</h2> <p>During the shutdown, the Federal Communications Commission and Food and Drug Administration were unable to review and certify new devices. The FCC certifies smartphones and tablets and most new devices that emit radio frequency energy, and the FDA certifies medical technology devices, <a href="https://www.cnet.com/news/end-of-shutdown-means-government-tech-workers-can-get-back-on-the-job/" target="_blank">as CNET reports</a>.</p> <p>At the FCC, while most of the testing is outsourced to private companies the agency authorizes, the FCC still needs to give its approval, and with <strong>80 percent</strong> of the agency’s staff furloughed, those approvals could not be processed, according to CNET.</p> <p>The Telecommunications Industry Association, a trade group representing makers of telecommunications equipment, had warned that <strong>the launch of 5G networks in the U.S. could be delayed</strong> because 5G devices would not be approved in time, CNET reports. The FCC reactivated the Equipment Authorization System during the shutdown, which allowed the majority of devices needing certification to be processed. However, some more “complex” devices could not be certified. In any event, the shutdown led to a backlog agency staff are likely still working through. </p> <p>Meanwhile, government websites were unsecured during the shutdown because there was not enough staff on hand to renew TLS certificates for the websites, which ensure encryption between a computer and a website. <a href="https://news.netcraft.com/archives/2019/01/16/manufacturing-gov-and-white-house-security-suffer-under-u-s-shutdown.html" target="_blank">According to internet security company Netcraft</a>, <strong>130 security certificates used by government websites expired during the shutdown</strong>. </p> <p>Not only did that make it impossible for government workers and citizens to access websites if their web browsers blocked access to the sites, but it left users vulnerable to “man in the middle” cyberattacks if they could gain access. </p> <p><a href="https://fedtechmagazine.com/article/2019/01/how-federal-it-leaders-can-adapt-accelerating-tech-change" target="_blank"><em><strong>MORE FROM FEDTECH:</strong> Find out how your agency can get ahead of technological change. </em></a></p> <h2 id="toc_1">IT Modernization Projects Put on Hold</h2> <p>In October, the Technology Modernization Fund board announced that it had awarded <strong>$23.5 million</strong> to three agencies. <a href="https://tmf.cio.gov/projects/" target="_blank">In its second round of awards</a>, the board doled out money to the Agriculture and Labor Departments and the General Services Administration. </p> <p>The funding included <strong>$15 million</strong> for application modernization at GSA, $5 million for infrastructure modernization and cloud adoption at the Agriculture Department and $3.5 million for a work visa digitization project at the Labor Department. </p> <p>David Berteau, president and CEO of the <a href="https://www.pscouncil.org/" target="_blank">Professional Services Council</a>, said IT modernization projects approved and funded via the TMF were tied up not because of a lack of appropriations but because the agencies required to provide services for them were shut down. </p> <p>“We have companies that are working on IT modernization contracts where the customer is closed even though the funding — which comes, for example, from the modernization fund — is still available,” he said, <a href="https://www.fedscoop.com/shutdown-impacts-may-rippling-beyond-shuttered-agencies-psc-says/" target="_blank">according to FedScoop</a>, while the shutdown was still ongoing. <strong>“So, the work can go on, but you can’t talk to the customer.”</strong></p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"> <div id="taxonomy-term-" class=""> <div class="author-photo"> <a href="/author/phil-goldstein"><img src="/sites/fedtechmagazine.com/files/styles/face_small/public/people/CoMfravQ_400x400.jpg?itok=W9IAwS8L" width="58" height="58" alt="Phil Goldstein" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </a> </div> <div class="author-info"> <span>by </span><a rel="author" href="/author/phil-goldstein"> <div>Phil Goldstein</div> </a> <a target="_blank" class="twitter" href="https://twitter.com/intent/follow?region=follow_link&amp;screen_name=philgoldstein&amp;tw_p=followbutton&amp;variant=2.0"><span>Twitter</span></a> </div> <div class="author-bio"> <p> <div><p>Phil Goldstein is a web editor for <em>FedTech</em> and <em>StateTech</em>. Besides keeping up with the latest in technology trends, he is also an avid lover of the New York Yankees, poetry, photography, traveling and escaping humidity.</p> </div> </p> </div> </div> </div> </div> Thu, 21 Feb 2019 14:21:20 +0000 phil.goldstein_6191 42221 at https://fedtechmagazine.com Agencies Face Long-Term Impacts of Historic Shutdown https://fedtechmagazine.com/article/2019/02/agencies-face-long-term-impacts-historic-shutdown <span>Agencies Face Long-Term Impacts of Historic Shutdown</span> <span><span lang="" about="/dashboard/philgoldstein6191" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">phil.goldstein_6191</span></span> <span>Thu, 02/21/2019 - 08:46</span> <div><p>The longest federal government shutdown in history is receding into memory, but agencies and staff may have to <strong>cope with its impact for some time</strong>. </p> <p>Funding is in place for at least the next six months, and federal IT workers have been able to turn their attention back to their regular work: tending to the technology and services that support their missions and new projects. </p> <p>Yet the effect on the government’s reputation as a solid place to work — at a time when IT workers are desperately needed — will have to be considered. </p> <p><a href="https://fedtechmagazine.com/article/2019/01/how-federal-it-leaders-can-adapt-accelerating-tech-change" target="_blank"><em><strong>MORE FROM FEDTECH: </strong>Find out how your agency can get ahead of technological change. </em></a></p> <h2 id="toc_0">Agencies Were Put in Shutdown Limbo</h2> <p>Let’s not forget what everyone’s been through. It’s ugly, but here’s my rolling list of reported shutdown stats:</p> <ul><li>Shutdown and partially shutdown agencies and supporting contractors and vendors lost 35 days of productivity.</li> <li><strong>More than 800,000</strong> federal employees were either furloughed or worked without pay.</li> <li>Furloughed workers were <a href="https://federalnewsnetwork.com/government-shutdown/2019/01/cbo-shutdown-caused-billions-in-permanent-economic-tax-revenue-loss/" target="_blank">owed $9 billion in back pay</a>.</li> <li><strong>Mor</strong><strong>e than 40,000 </strong>feds who received unemployment <a href="https://www.govexec.com/pay-benefits/2019/02/40k-feds-received-unemployment-during-shutdown-now-they-have-pay-it-back/154585/" target="_blank">must now pay it back</a>.</li> <li>Small and midsized businesses that supply technology or services to the federal government lost <a href="https://www.nextgov.com/cio-briefing/2019/01/how-some-contractors-successfully-weathered-shutdown/154568/" target="_blank">$2.3 billion in revenue</a>.</li> <li>Small business owners missed out on <a href="https://www.sbc.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/pressreleases?ID=B16A25DA-A337-4879-8F20-E98AFE8FCC39" target="_blank">an estimated $117 million in </a><a href="https://www.sbc.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/pressreleases?ID=B16A25DA-A337-4879-8F20-E98AFE8FCC39" target="_blank">capital</a><a href="https://www.sbc.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/pressreleases?ID=B16A25DA-A337-4879-8F20-E98AFE8FCC39" target="_blank"> </a>every day due to a loan backlog by the Small Business Administration.</li> <li>Contractors <a href="https://www.nextgov.com/cio-briefing/2019/01/heres-how-shutdown-hurts-government-contractors/154197/" target="_blank">lost $1.5 billion per week</a> and may have laid off<strong> “tens of thousands” </strong>of workers.</li> <li>The economy’s Q1 growth rate may <a href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-cost-of-the-shutdown-11548717877" target="_blank">slow by 0.5 percent</a>.</li> <li>An estimated <a href="https://www.cbo.gov/system/files?file=2019-01/54937-PartialShutdownEffects.pdf" target="_blank">$3 billion in </a><a href="https://www.cbo.gov/system/files?file=2019-01/54937-PartialShutdownEffects.pdf" target="_blank">annual</a><a href="https://www.cbo.gov/system/files?file=2019-01/54937-PartialShutdownEffects.pdf" target="_blank"> gross domestic product</a> will never be recouped.</li> </ul><p><a data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" href="https://www.cdw.com/content/cdw/en/orchestration/digital-transformation-report.html" tabindex="-1" target="_blank"><img alt="Digital%20Transformation_IR_1.jpg" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="https://fedtechmagazine.com/sites/fedtechmagazine.com/files/Digital%20Transformation_IR_1.jpg" /></a></p> <h2 id="toc_1">IT Challenges Are Exacerbated</h2> <p>The shutdown intensified the ever-expanding pressures that agencies face as they attempt to<strong> recruit and retain IT talent</strong>. </p> <p>Baby boomers are retiring, and agencies can’t hire replacements fast enough. Since 2010, the number of retirement-age federal IT specialists grew <strong>64 percent</strong>, and the number of young technologists <a href="https://www.nextgov.com/cio-briefing/2018/10/numbers-federal-agencies-struggle-hiring-young-techies/151669/" target="_blank">shrank 30 percent</a>. Meanwhile, it takes agencies <a href="https://federalnewsnetwork.com/hiring-retention/2018/03/it-took-agencies-an-average-of-106-days-to-hire-new-employees-in-2017" target="_blank">an average of 106 days</a> to hire a new employee. Start factoring in the <a href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/defense-firms-battle-long-wait-for-security-clearances-1540033200/?mod=article_inline" target="_blank">average wait time of 543 days</a> to obtain security clearances for Defense Department–related work, and the crunch gets painful quickly.</p> <p>And that was before Amazon announced last November that it had picked Arlington, Va., for a new HQ2 location and plans to hire 25,000 employees in the next 15 to 20 years. Any thoughts as to how Amazon will ramp up its staff in the greater D.C. market? Here’s one possible source: <strong>71 percent </strong>of IT workers in the metropolitan D.C. area <a href="http://www.eaglehillconsulting.com/opinion/should-i-stay-or-should-i-go" target="_blank">surveyed by Eagle Hill Consulting</a> said that they would consider leaving their current job to work for Amazon.</p> <p>Then this 35-day government shutdown occurs, fully or partially closing more than a dozen civilian agencies and forcing more than 800,000 federal employees to be furloughed or work without pay. Consider what impact that might have on retaining and recruiting talent. </p> <p>Making <a href="https://federalnewsnetwork.com/pay/2019/01/house-set-to-clear-2-6-percent-federal-pay-raise-for-civilian-employees/" target="_blank">the Federal Civilian Workforce Pay Raise Fairness Act of 2019</a> law would be a small start to making the government a more attractive employer. Perhaps the End Government Shutdowns Act, which would prohibit government shutdowns while budget negotiations take place, would be an even better option.</p> <p><a href="https://fedtechmagazine.com/article/2018/11/data-migration-process-how-agencies-can-successfully-move-data-modern-systems-perfcon" tabindex="-1" target="_blank"><em><strong>MORE FROM FEDTECH:</strong> Find out how to effectively migrate your agency’s data to the cloud. </em></a></p> <h2 id="toc_2">Agencies Can Rely on Partners</h2> <p>One thing that’s clear is that the dependability of industry partners will be key in helping civilian agencies meet their fiscal 2019 IT planned goals and strategies. According to <a href="https://www.marketconnectionsinc.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/MC-Shutdown-Poll_FINALREPORT.pdf" target="_blank">a recent survey conducted by Market Connections</a>, top shutdown impacts reported by civilian employees include: short-term agency mission effectiveness; execution/startup of new projects; delaying payment to vendors; and funding for new and current projects. </p> <p>Agencies will need all the support they can get. It’s on industry partners to do what they can to<strong> help serve our partners in meeting their mission-critical goals</strong>.</p> <p><em>This article is part of </em>FedTech's <em><a href="https://fedtechmagazine.com/capital" tabindex="-1">CapITal blog series</a>. Please join the discussion on Twitter by using the <a href="http://twitter.com/hashtag/FedIT" tabindex="-1" target="_blank">#FedIT</a> hashtag.</em></p> <p><em><a data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" href="https://fedtechmagazine.com/capital" tabindex="-1" target="_blank"><img alt="CapITal blog logo" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="https://fedtechmagazine.com/sites/fedtechmagazine.com/files/CapITal_Logo.jpg" /></a></em></p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"> <div id="taxonomy-term-" class=""> <div class="author-photo"> <a href="/taxonomy/term/11601"><img src="/sites/fedtechmagazine.com/files/styles/face_small/public/people/TSW2018-928.jpg?itok=rbY5kpEI" width="58" height="58" alt="Mark Pazdan of CDW" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </a> </div> <div class="author-info"> <span>by </span><a rel="author" href="/taxonomy/term/11601"> <div>Mark Pazdan</div> </a> </div> <div class="author-bio"> <p> <div><p>Mark Pazdan is Marketing Manager of Insights at CDW and is responsible for providing customer insights, market strategy and competitive intelligence with specific focuses on Government and Education. </p> </div> </p> </div> </div> </div> </div> Thu, 21 Feb 2019 13:46:44 +0000 phil.goldstein_6191 42216 at https://fedtechmagazine.com Feds Embrace Document Digitization with Gusto https://fedtechmagazine.com/article/2019/02/feds-embrace-document-digitization-gusto <span>Feds Embrace Document Digitization with Gusto</span> <span><span lang="" about="/dashboard/philgoldstein6191" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">phil.goldstein_6191</span></span> <span>Wed, 02/20/2019 - 09:02</span> <div><p>From routine office paperwork to giant airplane blueprints, against a deadline just three years away, <strong>the records of the federal government are being scanned into digital form</strong>.</p> <p>After Dec. 31, 2022, the <a href="https://www.archives.gov/" target="_blank">National Archives and Records Administration</a> will accept only electronic records from agencies. By the end of this year, agencies are expected to manage their documents electronically <a href="https://www.archives.gov/about/plans-reports/strategic-plan/draft-strategic-plan" target="_blank">in preparation for the 2022 deadline</a>.</p> <p>Agencies with permanent records collections — from policy papers created at the <a href="http://energy.gov" target="_blank">Energy Department</a> to historic documents at the <a href="https://www.loc.gov/" target="_blank">Library of Congress</a> — “need to think about either getting those records into federal records centers ahead of the deadline, or <strong>finding some way to do large-scale digitization of that content</strong>,” says David Miller, director of records management services for <a href="https://www.archives.gov/frc" target="_blank">NARA’s Federal Records Centers Program</a>.</p> <p>NARA has been promoting digitization since 2015, but for the Energy Department, that analog-to-digital transition began 15 years ago, when DOE created a <a href="https://www.energy.gov/management/office-management/employee-services/document-imaging" target="_blank">Document Imaging Group</a> within its <a href="https://www.energy.gov/ig/mission/management-administration" target="_blank">Office of Administrative Management and Support</a>.</p> <p>At first, the group offered an array of scanning services to internal customers, mostly for converting a backlog of paper documents to electronic form for archival purposes.</p> <p>“The conversion eliminated the need to store paper documents, freeing up valuable office space, with the <strong>productivity benefit of having digital content searchable, retrievable and communicated on demand</strong>,” says Ralph Freedman, a DOE media production specialist.</p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"> <div id="taxonomy-term-" class=""> <div class="author-photo"> <a href="/author/david-raths"><img src="/sites/fedtechmagazine.com/files/styles/face_small/public/people/David-Raths.jpg?itok=siLqMmXT" width="58" height="58" alt="David Raths" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </a> </div> <div class="author-info"> <span>by </span><a rel="author" href="/author/david-raths"> <div>David Raths</div> </a> </div> <div class="author-bio"> <p> <div><p>Philadelphia-based writer David Raths has served as managing editor of InfoWorld and the Portland Business Journal. He covers information technology topics for several publications, including Healthcare Informatics, Public CIO, Campus Technology and THE Journal.</p> </div> </p> </div> </div> </div> </div> Wed, 20 Feb 2019 14:02:08 +0000 phil.goldstein_6191 42211 at https://fedtechmagazine.com There’s Still Time to Begin Windows 10 Migration https://fedtechmagazine.com/article/2019/02/theres-still-time-begin-windows-10-migration <span>There’s Still Time to Begin Windows 10 Migration</span> <span><span lang="" about="/dashboard/philgoldstein6191" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">phil.goldstein_6191</span></span> <span>Wed, 02/20/2019 - 08:35</span> <div><p>Most agencies began the migration process to <a href="https://www.cdwg.com/content/cdwg/en/brand/microsoft/windows-10.html" target="_blank">Windows 10</a> as part of the government’s ongoing goal to modernize its technology. As many have found, the <strong>migration is generally a yearlong journey, and sometimes longer</strong>. </p> <p>However, this particular journey, from planning to reaching employee buy-in, is complicated by the fact it involves technology nearly every worker touches and uses daily, and even knows by name.</p> <p>This is what agencies face as they <strong>phase out Windows 7 in its final year of life</strong>. </p> <p>The Windows 10 transition technically should be complete for everyone <a href="https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windowsforbusiness/end-of-windows-7-support" target="_blank">by Jan. 14, 2020</a>, the day that <a href="https://www.cdwg.com/content/cdwg/en/brand/microsoft.html" target="_blank">Microsoft</a> ends technical support and stops sending automatic security updates for Windows 7. </p> <p>Since its release in October 2009, Windows 7 has been the primary operating system used on millions of federal computers. Some agencies, <a href="https://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-16-696T" target="_blank">as recently as 2016</a>, still ran on Windows XP and Windows 3.0. Worldwide, 7 percent of desktop computers still ran on XP in 2017.</p> <p>Those agencies that haven’t started moving to Windows 10 yet, or are in the early phases of planning the migration (preparation can take longer than the actual deployment), might not make the deadline. Given the lack of support after next Jan. 14, however, <strong>starting late is better than not starting at all</strong>.</p> <p><a href="https://fedtechmagazine.com/windows-7-end-life" tabindex="-1" target="_blank"><em><strong>MORE FROM FEDTECH: </strong>Find out everything you need to know about Windows 7 End of Life. </em></a></p> <h2 id="toc_0">The Benefits of a Windows 10 Migration</h2> <p>Perhaps the biggest upside to moving to Windows 10 isn’t improved security or better cloud access, but one many agencies may not have considered: Microsoft hopes this is <strong>the last major migration they’ll ever need</strong>.</p> <p>In addition to replacing major upgrades with more frequent (and relatively less complicated) updates, there are other reasons to switch to Windows 10, including:</p> <ul><li><strong>Security:</strong> Windows 10 includes at least <a href="https://www.techrepublic.com/article/7-windows-10-security-features-that-could-help-prevent-cyberattacks-against-your-business/" target="_blank">seven different security features</a> that allow agencies to structure a protection system to fit their specific needs. Automatic updates for bug fixes, security patches and general upgrades replace voluntary ones, guaranteeing that no computer is left unprotected. </li> <li><strong>Cloud Access: </strong>The Data Center Optimization Initiative is spurring many agencies to move quickly to Windows 10, which provides them with a cloud-friendly, modern platform. </li> <li><strong>Updating Legacy Technology: </strong>The federal government’s reliance on legacy equipment is well known, from the IRS and its Tax Day crash of 2018 (a new app wouldn’t work with older technology) to the Department of Homeland Security, which as recently as early 2018, still had <a href="https://www.zdnet.com/article/homeland-security-cybersecurity-is-a-hot-mess-watchdog-report/" target="_blank">three servers running on Windows Server 2003</a>. </li> </ul><p><a href="https://fedtechmagazine.com/article/2018/07/army-coast-guard-sba-complete-journey-windows-10" tabindex="-1" target="_blank"><em><strong>MORE FROM FEDTECH: </strong>Discover how the Army, Coast Guard </em></a><a href="https://fedtechmagazine.com/article/2018/07/army-coast-guard-sba-complete-journey-windows-10" tabindex="-1" target="_blank"><em>and</em></a><a href="https://fedtechmagazine.com/article/2018/07/army-coast-guard-sba-complete-journey-windows-10" tabindex="-1" target="_blank"><em> SBA migrated to Windows 10. </em></a></p> <h2 id="toc_1">Prepare for a Windows 10 Migration</h2> <p>The first step for any agency starting the migration process: Know what you own. <strong>Do an inventory of every machine, every device, every piece of software, every endpoint and every cloud-based app</strong> downloaded by a user without telling you. </p> <p>How many users do you have? How experienced are they? Do they perform mission-critical duties that can’t be interrupted? How many machines? How old are they? Do they need to be updated as well?</p> <p>Microsoft <a href="https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365/blog/2018/09/06/helping-customers-shift-to-a-modern-desktop/" target="_blank">has toolkits and other analytics</a> to assist IT teams with this heavy lift. Once the task is complete, a pilot group of users can begin testing the new system, and plans for actual deployment can begin. A few basic tips: <strong>Stagger the rollout so that the IT experts and hard-core beta users go first</strong>; avoid deploying to mission-critical people in the middle of a project.</p> <p><a href="https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/deployment/update/waas-deployment-rings-windows-10-updates" target="_blank">Deployment rings</a> can ease the process. Each ring should include workers from a variety of departments so problems limited to one department can be seen quickly and affect only a few people at a time. </p> <h2 id="toc_2">Plan for Missed Windows 10 Deadlines</h2> <p>What if you don’t make it? <a href="https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365/blog/2018/09/06/helping-customers-shift-to-a-modern-desktop/" target="_blank">Extended support will be </a><a href="https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365/blog/2018/09/06/helping-customers-shift-to-a-modern-desktop/" target="_blank">available</a>, but <strong>comes at a per-device cost that will increase until the support expires at the end of January 2023</strong>. (Note: Internet Explorer 11 <a href="https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/17454/lifecycle-faq-internet-explorer" target="_blank">remains compatible</a> with Windows 10, but it’s the last version of that browser, which is being replaced by Microsoft Edge.)</p> <p>Microsoft also plans to release <a href="https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/services/virtual-desktop/" target="_blank">Windows Virtual Desktop</a>, which will virtualize Windows 7 applications and, in some cases, desktops for agencies that need to move forward with migration but are strapped for time or personnel to correct application compatibility issues.</p> <p><em>This article is part of </em>FedTech's <em><a href="https://fedtechmagazine.com/capital" tabindex="-1">CapITal blog series</a>. Please join the discussion on Twitter by using the <a href="http://twitter.com/hashtag/FedIT" tabindex="-1" target="_blank">#FedIT</a> hashtag.</em></p> <p><em><a data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" href="https://fedtechmagazine.com/capital" tabindex="-1" target="_blank"><img alt="CapITal blog logo" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="https://fedtechmagazine.com/sites/fedtechmagazine.com/files/CapITal_Logo.jpg" /></a></em></p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"> <div id="taxonomy-term-" class=""> <div class="author-photo"> <a href="/taxonomy/term/11596"><img src="/sites/fedtechmagazine.com/files/styles/face_small/public/people/c822a-1280x1280.jpeg.jpg?itok=h9jTFzS6" width="58" height="58" alt="Kim Giannini " typeof="foaf:Image" /> </a> </div> <div class="author-info"> <span>by </span><a rel="author" href="/taxonomy/term/11596"> <div>Kim Giannini</div> </a> </div> <div class="author-bio"> <p> <div><p>Kim Giannini has been an Army Sales Manager at CDW for 12 years, spending 10 of those years in the federal sector.</p> </div> </p> </div> </div> </div> </div> Wed, 20 Feb 2019 13:35:25 +0000 phil.goldstein_6191 42206 at https://fedtechmagazine.com NIH, NASA and DOE Use the Cloud to Boost Research Collaboration https://fedtechmagazine.com/article/2019/02/nih-nasa-and-doe-use-cloud-boost-research-collaboration <span>NIH, NASA and DOE Use the Cloud to Boost Research Collaboration</span> <span><span lang="" about="/dashboard/philgoldstein6191" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">phil.goldstein_6191</span></span> <span>Tue, 02/19/2019 - 10:10</span> <div><p>Federal agencies are the ­custodians of massive amounts of data. The <a href="https://www.noaa.gov/" target="_blank">National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration</a> alone ­<a href="https://oceanservice.noaa.gov/ocean/observations/data-standards.html" target="_blank">gathers about</a> <strong>20 terabytes</strong> of data per day, for example.</p> <p>There was a time when such large data sets could only be accessed or analyzed by powerful on-premises computers, <strong>but the arrival of cloud computing has shifted the dynamic</strong>.</p> <p>Today, it’s entirely possible to work with terabytes of data without downloading a local copy or laying claim to a supercomputer. Agencies such as the <a href="https://www.nih.gov/" target="_blank">National Institutes of Health</a>, <a href="https://www.nasa.gov/" target="_blank">NASA</a> and the <a href="https://energy.gov/" target="_blank">Energy Departmen</a>t are exploring ways to use the cloud to <strong>share their wealth of data efficiently with researchers outside of government</strong>.</p> <p>“Cloud provides a practical mechanism for distributing data more easily, quickly and to a wider audience,” says <a href="https://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=PRF004841" target="_blank">Adelaide O’Brien</a>, research director of government digital transformation strategies at IDC.</p> <p><a data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" href="https://www.cdw.com/content/cdw/en/orchestration/hybrid-cloud-infrastructure-report.html" target="_blank"><img alt="IT%20Infrastructure_IR_1%20(2)_0.jpg" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="https://fedtechmagazine.com/sites/fedtechmagazine.com/files/IT%20Infrastructure_IR_1%20(2)_0.jpg" /></a></p> <h2 id="toc_0">NIH Turns to Cloud to Enhance Research Partnerships </h2> <p>In late 2017, NIH launched the <a href="https://commonfund.nih.gov/commons" target="_blank">Data Commons Pilot</a> to <strong>test-drive commercial cloud services as a way to store, access and share biomedical data and associated tools</strong>. The program involved about 20 universities and independent research institutes, and three test case data sets: Genotype-Tissue Expression (GTEx), Trans-Omics for Precision Medicine (TOPMed) and the Model Organism Databases (MODs). “TOPMed is very large and very complex, in the petabyte range,” says Vivien Bonazzi, senior adviser for data science at NIH and the Data Commons project lead. “MODs has highly used assets, but is not very big. GTEx is somewhere in between, at several hundred terabytes.”</p> <p>“They’re also related to each other scientifically, in the sense that <strong>researchers want to look across those data sets </strong>and get much more informed answers,” she explains.</p> <p>The Data Commons Pilot is not the NIH’s only foray into the cloud. The <a href="https://commonfund.nih.gov/strides" target="_blank">Science and Technology Research Infrastructure for Discovery, Experimentation, and Sustainability (STRIDES) Initiative</a> consists of <strong>public-private partnerships with commercial cloud service providers</strong>. STRIDES provides computational storage, computing, tools and training for data-intensive ­biomedical research in a cost-effective manner, project lead Nick Weber says.</p> <p>NIH has made agreements with two commercial cloud service providers, including <a href="https://www.cdwg.com/content/cdwg/en/brand/google-cloud.html?" target="_blank">Google Cloud Services</a>, to support the STRIDES Initiative; however, both the Data Commons Pilot and the STRIDES Initiative are being designed with an architecture that will <strong>function across cloud platforms and providers to ensure interoperability.</strong></p> <p><a href="https://fedtechmagazine.com/article/2019/02/iaas-vs-paas-vs-saas-what-cloud-strategy-right-your-agency-perfcon" tabindex="-1" target="_blank"><em><strong>MORE FROM FEDTECH: </strong>Find out which cloud model is right for your agency. </em></a></p> <h2 id="toc_1">NIH Overcomes Both Tech and Cultural Cloud Hurdles</h2> <p>Bonazzi and Weber faced hurdles in standing up their projects, which fall under the <a href="https://commonfund.nih.gov/data" target="_blank">NIH Common Fund’s New Models of Data Stewardship program</a>, and those<strong> hurdles have been both technological and cultural</strong>.</p> <p>On the tech side, finding a cloud serv­ices provider is only the start, they say. Data needs to be uploaded (and when it comes in petabytes, that takes time), it needs to be compartmentalized into buckets, and<strong> researchers need the right permissions to access it</strong>. </p> <p>Most biomedical researchers are not technologists, so<strong> a robust user interface</strong> is a must. Increased personal use of cloud resources can mask the scale of the challenge faced by the Data Commons Pilot, Bonazzi says: “When data is already in the cloud, there’s a misconception that you can use it right away.”</p> <p>Making the test case data sets accessible and interoperable but still secure in a cloud environment is a daunting task. Bonazzi explains that this approach to data management is <strong>a cultural shift for NIH stakeholders</strong>, and requires time and buy-in to be successful.</p> <p><script type="text/javascript" src="//sc.liveclicker.net/service/getEmbed?client_id=1526&amp;widget_id=1734112503&amp;width=640&amp;height=360"></script></p> <p>There’s also the competitive nature of research to contend with. Because researchers need to battle for scarce funding, they are often territorial — <strong>but if each group builds its own service stacks on top of the data, that creates silos</strong>, Bonazzi warns.</p> <p>“If we, in the long term, plan on having a collection of NIH data sets in the cloud, and if we have systems that operate individually on that data, and they can’t talk to each other — that’s a really big problem,” she says.</p> <p>Helping outside researchers to work together was key to the success of the pilot, and Bonazzi is <strong>pleased with the progress made toward a collaborative approach</strong>. Even in its early stages, the NIH’s work on data stewardship is attracting interest.</p> <p>“I’ve had quite a few federal agencies contact me over the last year asking for more information,” Bonazzi says.</p> <p><a href="https://fedtechmagazine.com/article/2018/11/data-migration-process-how-agencies-can-successfully-move-data-modern-systems-perfcon" tabindex="-1" target="_blank"><em><strong>MORE FROM FEDTECH: </strong>Find out how your agency can successfully migrate data to modern architectures. </em></a></p> <h2 id="toc_2">NASA Gains Access to Scalable Computing Resources</h2> <p>Moving from pure storage to cloud-based analytics — those stacks of serv­ices NIH is building — has <strong>significant benefits</strong>, allowing researchers to both save time and work across data sets in a way that can be difficult or impossible using only on-premises computing resources.</p> <p>NASA began seriously investigating the use of the cloud to host its vast earth sciences holdings in 2012, and is <strong>prototyping, testing and evaluating the use of cloud computing for distributing and processing earth observation data</strong>.</p> <p><img alt="NASA" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="/sites/fedtechmagazine.com/files/nasa-worldview-2013-01-10-1548441153.jpg" /><br /><span style="font-size: 11px; line-height: 20.8px;">This image of Tropical Cyclone Riley off the Australian coast was created with data from NASA’s Worldview app, which lets scientists download satellite imagery layers collected in near real time to create their own maps and imagery. (The black slashes are data gaps.) Source: NASA</span></p> <p>Two major subsystems, the <a href="https://earthdata.nasa.gov/about/science-system-description/eosdis-components/common-metadata-repository" target="_blank">Common Metadata Repository</a> and <a href="https://search.earthdata.nasa.gov/" target="_blank">Earthdata Search</a>, have been migrated to the cloud and are operating there, says NASA’s Karen Petraska, program executive for computing services in the Office of the CIO, and Andrew Mitchell, manager of the agency’s <a href="https://earthdata.nasa.gov/about/esdis-project" target="_blank">Earth Science Data and Information Systems Project</a>.</p> <p>Petraska and Mitchell cite the <strong>scalability</strong> of the cloud as a key research-enabling factor, allowing NASA scientists and affiliated researchers ­on-demand access to computing power on a needs-driven basis. Hosting data in the cloud also helps the organization move closer to the goal of making NASA’s earth science data accessible to the public, they say.</p> <p><em><strong><a href="https://fedtechmagazine.com/article/2018/12/what-casb-and-how-will-cloud-smart-strategy-increase-its-use-perfcon" tabindex="-1" target="_blank">MORE FROM FEDTECH: </a></strong><a href="https://fedtechmagazine.com/article/2018/12/what-casb-and-how-will-cloud-smart-strategy-increase-its-use-perfcon" tabindex="-1" target="_blank">Discover how agencies can take advantage of CASBs. </a></em></p> <h2 id="toc_3">Cloud Enable DOE Labs to Enhance Collaboration </h2> <p><a href="https://www.pnnl.gov/" target="_blank">Pacific Northwest National Laboratory</a> has the distinction of being the first federal entity to negotiate enterprise cloud computing contracts with a commercial cloud provider such as <a href="https://www.cdwg.com/content/cdwg/en/brand/microsoft.html" target="_blank">Microsoft</a>. Since that beginning in 2011, PNNL has supported strong integration among cloud-based and on-premises resources, says CISO Jerry L. Cochran.</p> <p>“Overall, we try to take the approach in IT that the <strong>cloud is just an enabling technology</strong> — we don’t put it in a box,” he explains.</p> <p>Based in Richland, Wash., PNNL uses the cloud to drive cross-country collaboration, such as its atmospheric research project with Tennessee-based Oak Ridge National Laboratory.</p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"> <div id="taxonomy-term-" class=""> <div class="author-photo"> <a href="/author/jacquelyn-bengfort"><img src="/sites/fedtechmagazine.com/files/styles/face_small/public/people/Screen%20Shot%202015-08-24%20at%2010.46.40%20PM.png.jpg?itok=0Wu86nnL" width="58" height="58" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </a> </div> <div class="author-info"> <span>by </span><a rel="author" href="/author/jacquelyn-bengfort"> <div>Jacquelyn Bengfort</div> </a> <a target="_blank" class="twitter" href="https://twitter.com/intent/follow?region=follow_link&amp;screen_name=jacib&amp;tw_p=followbutton&amp;variant=2.0"><span>Twitter</span></a> </div> <div class="author-bio"> <p> <div><p>Jacquelyn Bengfort is a freelance writer based in Washington, DC. A social anthropologist by training, she writes on topics from education to the military, gender to fictional post-apocalyptic worldscapes.</p> </div> </p> </div> </div> </div> </div> Tue, 19 Feb 2019 15:10:03 +0000 phil.goldstein_6191 42201 at https://fedtechmagazine.com EMM Solutions Keep Mobile Devices Secure at USDA, DHS and SBA https://fedtechmagazine.com/article/2019/02/emm-solutions-keep-mobile-devices-secure-usda-dhs-and-sba <span>EMM Solutions Keep Mobile Devices Secure at USDA, DHS and SBA</span> <span><span lang="" about="/dashboard/philgoldstein6191" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">phil.goldstein_6191</span></span> <span>Mon, 02/18/2019 - 10:13</span> <div><p>At the <a href="http://dhs.gov" target="_blank">Department of Homeland Security</a>, workers rely on <a href="https://www.dhs.gov/publication/personal-identity-verification" target="_blank">Personal Identity Verification</a> cards to authenticate their identity on desktops and notebooks, but the cards don’t work on smartphones. DHS relies on enterprise mobility ­management to handle ­credentials<strong> for more than 100,000 mobile devices</strong>.</p> <p>The sprawling department, made up of nine component agencies, uses <strong>a variety of EMM solutions</strong>, says Tom McCarty, director of <a href="https://www.dhs.gov/science-and-technology/office-enterprise-services" target="_blank">DHS’ Enterprise IT Services division</a>. </p> <p>The <a href="https://www.fema.gov/" target="_blank">Federal Emergency Management Agency</a> and the <a href="https://www.uscg.mil//" target="_blank">Coast Guard</a> have standardized on <a href="https://www.cdwg.com/search/?key=mobileiron&amp;searchscope=all&amp;sr=1" target="_blank">MobileIron</a>, while the <a href="https://www.tsa.gov/" target="_blank">Transportation Security Administration</a> and <a href="https://www.ice.gov/" target="_blank">Immigration and Customs Enforcement</a> use <a href="https://www.cdwg.com/search/?key=BlackBerry%20s%20Enterprise%20Mobility%20Suite&amp;searchscope=all&amp;sr=1" target="_blank">BlackBerry’s Enterprise Mobility Suite</a>. The other agencies rely on <a href="https://www.cdwg.com/search/?key=AirWatch&amp;searchscope=all&amp;sr=1" target="_blank">AirWatch</a> or <a href="https://www.cdwg.com/content/cdwg/en/brand/apple.html?enkwrd=apple" target="_blank">Apple</a>’s device enrollment program.</p> <p>When it comes to devices, DHS employees can choose between iOS and Android, and that can pose management issues.</p> <p>“Particularly with credentialing, because the way Apple manages keys and the way Samsung does it for Android are different,” McCarty says. “I’m hopeful we’ll get more consistency across the agency, <strong>so we can standardize some of those things</strong>.”</p> <p>Agencies turn to EMM solutions to guarantee that only authorized personnel can use their devices to access department resources while ensuring that the device remains a convenient way to work outside the office. </p> <p><img alt="ModernWorkforce_IR_700x220_theoffice_0.jpg" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="https://fedtechmagazine.com/sites/fedtechmagazine.com/files/ModernWorkforce_IR_700x220_theoffice_0.jpg" /></p> <p>Having a unified way to manage endpoints is a top priority for agencies, says <a href="https://ovum.informa.com/analysts-and-events/meet-the-team/adam-holtby" target="_blank">Adam Holtby</a>, senior analyst of workspace serv­ices at Ovum.</p> <p>“Mobility should be at the core of any digital transformation effort,” he says. “Adopting a single solution to manage a broad range of devices and apps can <strong>improve security and productivity, ease endpoint and application administration and deliver new insights</strong> into how the modern employee works.” </p> <p>Managing mobile app security while still providing a positive user experience remains a great challenge, McCarty says. Apps used to process government data, such as <a href="https://www.cdwg.com/search/?key=Microsoft%20outlook&amp;ctlgfilter=&amp;searchscope=all&amp;sr=1" target="_blank">Microsoft Outlook</a> for email, undergo an internal vetting process known as Carwash before they’re added to a whitelist in the department’s mobile apps catalog. </p> <p><a href="https://fedtechmagazine.com/article/2018/11/how-nsf-nasa-state-keep-tech-working-far-flung-employees" target="_blank"><em><strong>MORE FROM FEDTECH: </strong>Find out how agencies like NASA and NSF keep tech working for far-flung employees. </em></a></p> <h2 id="toc_0">DHS Balances BYOD and EMM Other Models </h2> <p>A DHS pilot program integrates <a href="https://www.cdwg.com/search/?key=Lookout&amp;searchscope=all&amp;sr=1" target="_blank">Lookout Mobile Security</a> with AirWatch to identify and <strong>blacklist potentially malicious third-party apps</strong>.</p> <p>“It’s a delicate balance,” McCarty says. “You want to make sure you don’t lock down the device so much that it’s not a good user experience. </p> <p>“With different applications,” he adds, “there are always different kinds of threats. That’s why <strong>mobile threat protection</strong> will be really helpful.”</p> <p>One question agencies face is whether to allow employees to use their personal mobile devices for work, or let them use work phones for personal business.</p> <ul></ul></div> <div> <div class="field-author"> <div id="taxonomy-term-" class=""> <div class="author-photo"> <a href="/author/dan-tynan"><img src="/sites/fedtechmagazine.com/files/styles/face_small/public/dan-tynan-180.jpg?itok=mnbuJzub" width="58" height="58" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </a> </div> <div class="author-info"> <span>by </span><a rel="author" href="/author/dan-tynan"> <div>Dan Tynan</div> </a> <a target="_blank" class="google-plus" href="http://plus.google.com/102093055760798427858/posts?rel=author"><span>Google+</span></a> <a target="_blank" class="twitter" href="https://twitter.com/intent/follow?region=follow_link&amp;screen_name=tynanwrites&amp;tw_p=followbutton&amp;variant=2.0"><span>Twitter</span></a> </div> <div class="author-bio"> <p> <div><p>Dan Tynan is a freelance writer based in San Francisco. He has won numerous journalism awards and his work has appeared in more than 70 publications, several of them not yet dead.</p> </div> </p> </div> </div> </div> </div> Mon, 18 Feb 2019 15:13:24 +0000 phil.goldstein_6191 42196 at https://fedtechmagazine.com 4 Ways to Manage Windows 10’s Quicker Update Cadence https://fedtechmagazine.com/article/2019/02/4-ways-manage-windows-10s-quicker-update-cadence <span>4 Ways to Manage Windows 10’s Quicker Update Cadence</span> <span><span lang="" about="/dashboard/philgoldstein6191" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">phil.goldstein_6191</span></span> <span>Fri, 02/15/2019 - 08:00</span> <div><p><a href="https://www.cdwg.com/content/cdwg/en/brand/microsoft/windows-10.html" tabindex="-1" target="_blank">Windows 10</a>, delivered as a service, features <strong>monthly quality updates and biannual feature updates that are not voluntary</strong>. The new delivery model can cause challenges during and after migration if an IT department isn’t well prepared. Users of Pro or higher products can delay updates, but not forever; the twice-yearly updates, in spring and fall, are <strong>supported for just 18 and 30 months</strong>, respectively. Here are ways to handle the new cadence.</p> <p><a href="https://fedtechmagazine.com/windows-7-end-life" tabindex="-1" target="_blank"><em><strong>MORE FROM FEDTECH: </strong>Find out everything you need to know about Windows 7 End of Life. </em></a></p> <h2 id="toc_0">1. Choose a Servicing Tool for Windows 10 Updates</h2> <p><a href="https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/Windows-Blog-Archive/What-is-Windows-Update-for-Business/ba-p/167033" target="_blank">Windows Update for Business</a> (WUfB) is configured in Group Policy.<strong> Users can receive updates as they are ­publicly released or wait </strong>for the twice-yearly cadence, known as the Semi-Annual Channel (SAC). Feature updates can be delayed for up to a year. For more control, use <a href="https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-server/administration/windows-server-update-services/get-started/windows-server-update-services-wsus" target="_blank">Windows Server Update Services</a> (WSUS) or <a href="https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/cloud-platform/system-center-configuration-manager" target="_blank">System Center Configuration Manager</a> (SCCM). WUfB pulls updates from <a href="https://www.cdwg.com/content/cdwg/en/brand/microsoft.html" target="_blank">Microsoft</a>’s online update servers or neighboring devices; WSUS uses a local repository.</p> <h2 id="toc_1">2. Create Deployment Rings for Testing Windows Updates</h2> <p>Test the updates on <strong>a limited group of computers</strong> before rolling them out to all devices. Some devices might update on the SAC as soon as a monthly update is released, and others might use the SAC to test updates before wider distribution. Use WUfB settings or SCCM to create <strong>deployment rings</strong>. Each group policy object can ­contain unique WUfB settings, which are applied to a given ring. SCCM collections can target devices with specific updates. </p> <h2 id="toc_2">3. Test Business-Critical Apps in Advance</h2> <p>Line-of-business applications should be tested before a feature update is installed. New features and other changes can break applications, so <strong>develop a test for each app to ensure critical functionality isn’t affected</strong>. Agencies can join the <a href="https://insider.windows.com/en-us/for-business/" target="_blank">Windows Insider Program for Business</a> to get advance access to builds in active development. The Security Update Validation Program provides access to updates three weeks before release. </p> <h2 id="toc_3">4. Use New Technology to Roll Out Windows 10</h2> <p>Consider modern ­deployment options, such as mobile device management and <a href="https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windowsforbusiness/windows-autopilot" target="_blank">Windows Autopilot</a>. Windows Autopilot makes use of the image installed by the vendor,<strong> but it can be configured with additional ­software and settings using MDM</strong>. Deployments can be cloud or IT-driven, letting agencies use <a href="https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/configuration/provisioning-packages/provisioning-install-icd" target="_blank">Windows Configuration Designer </a>to create provisioning packages that can be deployed locally.</p> <p><a data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" href="https://www.cdw.com/content/cdw/en/orchestration/digital-transformation-report.html" tabindex="-1" target="_blank"><img alt="Digital%20Transformation_IR_1.jpg" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="https://fedtechmagazine.com/sites/fedtechmagazine.com/files/Digital%20Transformation_IR_1.jpg" /></a></p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"> <div id="taxonomy-term-" class=""> <div class="author-photo"> <a href="/author/russell-smith"><img src="/sites/fedtechmagazine.com/files/styles/face_small/public/people/russell_smith_hed.jpg?itok=25dOyqnM" width="58" height="58" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </a> </div> <div class="author-info"> <span>by </span><a rel="author" href="/author/russell-smith"> <div>Russell Smith</div> </a> <a target="_blank" class="twitter" href="https://twitter.com/intent/follow?region=follow_link&amp;screen_name=smithrussell&amp;tw_p=followbutton&amp;variant=2.0"><span>Twitter</span></a> </div> <div class="author-bio"> <p> <div><p>Russell Smith is a technology consultant and trainer specializing in management and security of Microsoft server and client technologies. He is a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer with more than 15 years of experience.</p> </div> </p> </div> </div> </div> </div> Fri, 15 Feb 2019 13:00:00 +0000 phil.goldstein_6191 42186 at https://fedtechmagazine.com The Future of Networking Arrives https://fedtechmagazine.com/resources/white-paper/future-networking-arrives-0 <span>The Future of Networking Arrives </span> <div><p>Server virtualization has revolutionized data center operations over the past decade, and the technology is becoming increasingly commonplace in organizations of all types and sizes. Software-defined networking now brings similar capabilities to network operations. Although SDN adoption is still at an early stage, many experts expect SDN deployments to skyrocket over the next few years.</p> <p>SDN delivers numerous benefits, yet organizations considering the technology’s adoption must understand a variety of technical and other factors in order to make informed decisions about its deployment. Organizations contemplating a transition to SDN should consider a wide range of deployment options, including imperative and declarative SDN models, as well as the possible use of a software-defined network overlay. Potential adopters must also pay close attention to technology advancements and changes in market direction in what is still a rapidly evolving field.</p> <p>Download this white paper to learn how SDN can benefit agencies, but to achieve its benefits IT leaders must understand several essential factors.</p> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/dashboard/philgoldstein6191" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">phil.goldstein_6191</span></span> <span>Fri, 02/15/2019 - 07:58</span> <img src="/sites/fedtechmagazine.com/files/document_images/FedTdch-SDN.jpg" width="800" height="533" alt="FedTech SDN" typeof="foaf:Image" /> <div> <div>Document File</div> <div><span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"><a href="https://fedtechmagazine.com/sites/fedtechmagazine.com/files/document_files/The-Future-of-Networking-Arrives-MKT2862_0.pdf" type="application/pdf; length=244670">The-Future-of-Networking-Arrives-MKT2862.pdf</a></span> </div> </div> Fri, 15 Feb 2019 12:58:58 +0000 phil.goldstein_6191 42191 at https://fedtechmagazine.com SaaS Streamlines Operations at DLA, State and Treasury https://fedtechmagazine.com/article/2019/02/saas-streamlines-operations-dla-state-and-treasury <span>SaaS Streamlines Operations at DLA, State and Treasury</span> <span><span lang="" about="/dashboard/philgoldstein6191" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">phil.goldstein_6191</span></span> <span>Thu, 02/14/2019 - 09:46</span> <div><p>To consolidate its data centers, the <a href="https://www.dla.mil/" target="_blank">Defense Logistics Agency</a> wants to host all of its ­applications in the cloud. Part of that strategy includes <strong>using Software as a Service where it can</strong>.</p> <p>In 2017, <strong>DLA migrated 26,000</strong> users to <a href="https://www.cdwg.com/content/cdwg/en/brand/microsoft.html" target="_blank">Microsoft</a> <a href="https://www.cdwg.com/content/cdwg/en/brand/microsoft/office365.html" target="_blank">Office 365</a> for email, collaboration and productivity tools, and completed a move to <a href="https://www.cdwg.com/search/?key=sharepoint&amp;searchscope=all&amp;sr=1" target="_blank">SharePoint</a> online in 2018. In doing so, it <strong>eliminated duplicate instances of software running in-house</strong>.</p> <p>“We were managing eight instances of Exchange in different regions, and we had four to six versions of SharePoint,” says Michelle Jacobs, director of the <a href="https://www.dla.mil/HQ/InformationOperations/About/Organization/" target="_blank">DISA Liaison and Hosting Office</a>.</p> <p>“Each field site implemented SharePoint differently. It met local needs, but some DLA organizations had top-tier IT services and others had basic serv­ices,” she adds. “Our goal is to give customers the best capabilities available across the agency by taking an enterprise approach.”</p> <p>Federal agencies such as DLA, as well as the <a href="https://www.state.gov/" target="_blank">State</a> and <a href="https://home.treasury.gov/" target="_blank">Treasury</a> departments, are taking advantage of SaaS to <strong>streamline and standardize applications,</strong> but it’s also a quick and cost-effective way for agencies to <strong>modernize outdated technology</strong>.</p> <p>“The main benefits are not having to pay for and support infrastructure and moving from a capital expense to an operating expense, and the ability to provision a product or service very quickly,” says <a href="https://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=PRF005064" target="_blank">IDC Analyst Frank Della Rosa</a>.</p> <p><a data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" href="https://www.cdw.com/content/cdw/en/orchestration/hybrid-cloud-infrastructure-report.html" tabindex="-1" target="_blank"><img alt="IT%20Infrastructure_IR_1%20(2)_0.jpg" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="https://fedtechmagazine.com/sites/fedtechmagazine.com/files/IT%20Infrastructure_IR_1%20(2)_0.jpg" /></a></p> <h2 id="toc_0">SaaS Eases Complex Application Modernizations </h2> <p>In addition, agencies don’t have to ­provide mobile access, because browser-based SaaS grants access anywhere. SaaS providers also <strong>give users a stream of new features</strong>. “That is a great benefit, because enhancing the functionality of an application deployed on-premises is a drawn-out process,” Della Rosa says.</p> <p>Some SaaS offerings, such as contact management, are easier to adopt than others. But if agencies need to integrate that software with case management software,<strong> the resulting complexity may require a systems integrator</strong>, says <a href="https://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=PRF004840" target="_blank">Shawn McCarthy</a>, research director at IDC Government Insights.</p> <p>“The real issue is that as more government solutions are moved to SaaS, the easy stuff moves first. Then, a lot of choices need to be made if application programming interfaces need to be used to tie multiple systems together,” McCarthy says. </p> <p>“We saw government moving to hosted email or hosted SharePoint services several years ago. But they are grappling with moving more complex systems to the cloud.”</p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"> <div id="taxonomy-term-" class=""> <div class="author-photo"> <a href="/author/wylie-wong"><img src="/sites/fedtechmagazine.com/files/styles/face_small/public/wylie-wong.jpg?itok=gph_Y-uT" width="58" height="58" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </a> </div> <div class="author-info"> <span>by </span><a rel="author" href="/author/wylie-wong"> <div>Wylie Wong</div> </a> <a target="_blank" class="twitter" href="https://twitter.com/intent/follow?region=follow_link&amp;screen_name=WylieWong&amp;tw_p=followbutton&amp;variant=2.0"><span>Twitter</span></a> </div> <div class="author-bio"> <p> <div><p>Wylie Wong is a freelance journalist who specializes in business, technology and sports. He is a regular contributor to the CDW family of technology magazines.</p> </div> </p> </div> </div> </div> </div> Thu, 14 Feb 2019 14:46:44 +0000 phil.goldstein_6191 42181 at https://fedtechmagazine.com