Letters to the Editor
Picking the Perfect Option
In "The price of (near) perfection" [FCW, Aug. 28], the chief information
officer at Goddard Space Flight Center, Milton Halem, asked what it would
cost to give Goddard's e-mail servers "99.999 percent" reliability.
I submit that no organization can reasonably justify the cost of providing
a maximum of 5.526 seconds of downtime per year for e-mail. It's one thing
to require perfection in heart valves and quite another for computer systems.
Instead of reaching for nirvana at taxpayer expense, NASA should first
determine its real need for uptime and then look at options. The General
Services Administration's advocacy of requirements analysis and analysis
of alternatives is just common sense.
Victor H. Agresti
Senior Program Manager
Clearing the Way for Contractors
This is in response to the letter regarding turning over the "keys to
the kingdom" of the Navy/Marine Corps Intranet to a contractor and the
resulting extremist risks to security mentioned in "Contracting with Big
Brother?" [FCW, April 24].
Does this "government worker" believe that contractors, working for
our government, are any less patriotic or security-cleared than actual workers
on the government payroll?
Certainly, having cleared personnel would be prudent for any such systems
administration, and whether a person is paid directly by a government bureaucracy with all the excessive costs associated with that or paid on a contract
basis does not reflect his or her ability to support sensitive systems with
good security. It's called clearance, and it works as well for contractors
as it does for direct civil servants.
This typical attitude that work can only be done by government-payrolled
workers with their renowned sloth and attitude for noncompetitiveness is
what is holding our country back. And that, my friend, poses a great security
risk for us all and not just job security either.
Name withheld upon request