Tools Federal Agencies Can Use to Simplify Their IT Operations

A key refrain we hear from many federal agencies today is the need to simplify and streamline their sprawling IT operations and infrastructures. Complexity — namely, unplanned and unnecessary complexity — drives costs higher, requires large and specialized staffs, and impairs agility, reliability and performance.

Much complexity that exists is necessary and unavoidable. Federal agencies are intrinsically complex due to their organizational makeup, scale of operations, and unique mission portfolios, and so are the IT operations that support them. But much of today’s complexity is the result of years of IT sprawl and evolution. Peering into the IT operations of many agencies today, one sees a hodgepodge of legacy and modern systems, commercial cloud and on-premise data centers, block storage and object storage, physical hardware and virtualized infrastructure. Such environments tend to be rife with duplicate systems, proliferating and inconsistent data, IT silos, and makeshift integration. Operating, orchestrating, and maintaining these multi-varied infrastructures is time-consuming, complex, and requires staff with many specializations.

However, as data demands continue to grow dramatically – and while federal staff and budget resources decline or stay flat, this approach is unsustainable. Agencies need IT operations that are simple to manage, and maintain, without the need of a highly specialized staff.

There are many effective approaches for addressing the challenge of IT complexity. For example, migrating from disparate proprietary systems to an open-standards, open-source architecture is one way. Moving away from federated and distributed approaches to IT, which remain in vogue at many federal agencies is another. Rationalizing and consolidating applications and infrastructures is yet another effective approach. All of these are valid approaches that agencies should consider.

I would like to focus here on the value that automation and orchestration bring to the challenge of simplifying IT for federal agencies. Neola Group makes IT easier to run and maintain by employing solutions that are highly automated and orchestrated. Now manual processes can be automated and audited but they can also be re-imagined and streamlined to be far more efficient.

One of those solutions, is the Hitachi Storage Viewer (HSV), powered by Aptare, which provides dynamic reporting, chargeback, and management of growing heterogeneous storage environments, providing insights into storage capacity, server virtualization, SAN fabrics, file analytics, and backup data protection across multivendor IT infrastructures. HSV’s single pane of management eliminates the need to have specialized staff managing each of these infrastructure components.

By helping to optimize capacity across heterogeneous storage resources, Hitachi Storage Viewer allows IT administrators to utilize available storage resources effectively and delay new storage purchases. IT administrators can also more easily and efficiently allocate and utilize storage for virtualized server environments. Hitachi Storage Viewer provides easy visualization of an agency’s SAN topology and proactively monitors and receives alerts of changes to the SAN fabric. This helps the IT staff more easily identify bottlenecks that can affect mission-critical applications and optimize SAN performance.

In addition, when combined with the AppDynamics App iQ Platform, HSV provides a complete view of any application — from the end user to the host server, into the storage infrastructure, and back — to provide unsurpassed visibility and mean-time-to-repair for applications.

Similarly, the Hitachi Storage Virtualization Operating System (SVOS) helps simplify storage operations by abstracting data management from the underlying hardware, enabling multiple physical storage systems to be managed as a single, consolidated resource pool. With SVOS, a single IT administrator can easily manage multiple petabytes of heterogeneous storage.

In addition, SVOS integrates a broad range of adaptive deduplication and compression services that intelligently reduce capacity needs by 4:1 or more to deliver maximum value from storage investments and control data center expenditures.

To more easily manage the proliferation of applications and systems that federal IT administrators must oversee, SVOS provides “at a glance” storage administration through a wizard-driven management application, an easy-to-use storage monitoring capability, and the ability to configure resources in minutes.

Federal agencies are under intense pressure to modernize their IT resources to deliver greater value to their enterprises and the citizens they serve. Neola Group approaches this challenge with a focus on simplifying IT infrastructures and operations; improving agility to operate seamlessly in a hybrid cloud environment that may include multiple clouds; and optimizing data and IT assets for improved efficiency and effectiveness.


To learn more about how Neola Group can help your agency, go to www. neolagroup.com.

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