News in Brief

Network disruptions, DISA's DECC shutdown and still more industry advice

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Study: More complex networks lead to more disruptions

Federal agencies with more complex networks are three times as likely to experience frequent disruptions as agencies with simplified networks, MeriTalk found in a study it publicized July 14. More network users, a move to virtualized servers and cloud computing, and increased mobile devices are all factors making agency networks more complex, the study said.

The survey polled about 200 federal network managers in May. Respondents suggested added bandwidth, open standards and increased virtual networking, among other options, as means of simplifying networks.

"Agencies must move toward open, non-proprietary standards to simplify their networks," said Anthony Robbins, vice president of federal at Brocade, which underwrote the study.

DISA expects to save $3.2 million by closing computer center

The Defense Information Systems Agency has closed a computing center in Alabama, a move that DISA expects will save the Defense Department $3.2 million annually. DISA closed the Defense Enterprise Computing Center in Huntsville, Ala., on May 30, but announced the closure July 14.

There are now 10 DECCs, down from 18 in 2008, DISA said, adding that it is "aggressively consolidating data centers and information technology infrastructure," which will "establish a core computing infrastructure that provides assured and ubiquitous access to vital enterprise services."

The consolidation supports DISA's efforts to establish a DOD-wide IT platform, the Joint Information Environment.

New tech commission will advise administration

The TechAmerica Foundation is forming a Technology Convergence Commission to bring together a body of technology leaders to make recommendations to the executive branch.

The commission will be looking at the convergence of social, mobile, analytics and cloud technologies and their ability to improve government efficiency, services and capabilities while driving innovation and the economy, according to a TechAmerica Foundation statement.

Kay Kapoor, president of AT&T Government Solutions, and David Zolet, executive vice president and general manager of Computer Sciences Corp.'s North American Public Sector, will co-chair the commission.

"The convergence of information and communication technologies has been one of the most noticeable and innovative trends in the IT sector over the past few years and will continue to be a major strategic enabler of business, program and mission outcomes in the near future," Kapoor said in the release. "It is important the federal government be positioned to take advantage of this convergence and leverage best practices in the private sector to achieve successful outcomes."

Thirty-six commissioners will work in four different areas: social media, mobile, analytics and cloud. Commissioners will need to be able to commit financial support "to underwrite the commission's efforts" as well as thought leadership to the commissions' recommendations and final report.

The commission will hold its first meeting on Sept. 3 with the Office of Science and Technology, where it will lay out its structure and areas of coverage.

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