The end of service support of Windows Server 2003 prompted many agencies to migrate — or consider migrating—to Windows Server 2012. The decision to migrate creates apprehension about the impact on service and productivity. Tools are available to facilitate management and compliance, reduce risk and prevent service disruptions and productivity loss to ensure a migration has no impact on an agency’s systems.
Dell Software commissioned Market Connections to find out the status of agency migrations and the migration barriers agencies face.
Reducing Risk & Improving Reliability for Federal Agencies
As the amount of data federal agencies manage and collect continues to grow, so does the opportunity for inaccuracies. These can impact the mission, data security and compliance requirements. Data replication and integration tools help manage this data, keeping it accurate and secure.
In agencies where data is often collected and stored on different systems located in different places, bringing it all together in a timely and efficient manner can be a challenge.
Dell Software commissioned a PulsePoll™ to uncover the biggest frustrations around managing data replication, and what agencies consider the most critical data replication features.
Helping the Military Integrate, Innovate and Secure Networks across the Enterprise
Although the lives of warfighters and civilians are on the line every day, the military must often use outdated systems to respond to enemies using technology to their full advantage. In a recent survey looking at the military’s top challenges working with traditional C4ISR systems, more than half of military respondents see interoperability across military organizations as a problem that cannot be solved without the true integration and networking of C4ISR. Respondents agree an integrated approach to C4ISR would provide benefits to military organizations in the forms of agile development, security features and enhanced acquisition.
Agile and open C4ISR systems help the military respond quickly to technology changes. These state-of-the-art technology solutions also address key process, budgetary, operational and cultural concerns that impede rapid and effective implementation, upgrades, innovation, integration and situational awareness.
Federal agencies’ virtualized infrastructure requires monitoring and automation to optimize and fine-tune systems. Maintaining multiple hypervisors can require multiple tools that only present a partial view of the environment.
Agencies tend to use more than one hypervisor because they all have different functions, strengths and costs. This may be efficient operationally, but is very expensive to manage, and comparing the data between the hypervisors is difficult, if not impossible.
Dell Software contracted Market Connections to assess agencies’ virtual environment management practices and the challenges and concerns related virtual monitoring.
As government agencies handle increasing volumes of information, it falls to every person within an agency to manage and protect vital records. In addition to traditional paper documents, records can include everything from emails to photos to electronic files. With so much information to manage and so many people handling the information, are federal records at risk?
Strong records management policies and practices, coupled with formal training, internal controls and communication, will keep agency records safe and meet federal records management regulations. When agencies take these steps congruently, they can boost confidence in their information management processes, increase productivity and expand access to information, all while complying with federal mandates.
Adopting BYOD and VDI Programs
A new Market Connections study commissioned by NetApp shows that schools are realizing benefits as a result of Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) that supports BYOD, or students bringing their own devices such as laptops, smartphones and tablets into the classroom.
Market Connections on behalf of NetApp conducted a study of schools and districts across the country to understand to what extent schools are implementing BYOD and VDI programs, the outcomes they are seeing, and how other technology considerations fit into the overall challenges and solutions involved.
More than half of respondents including schools and districts (57%) have realized savings, reduced costs and enhanced learning, which are believed to be the greatest benefits of BYOD. At both the district and school level, BYOD is on decision- makers’ minds; 73% believe BYOD implementation is essential to success.
With regard to VDI, research shows that for those implementing a VDI solution, nearly all (96%) report some level of technology budget savings and more than half of respondents have seen improved performance as a result of implementing virtual desktops. Interestingly with VDI, cost was cited as the top challenge for adoption despite nearly every single respondent indicating budget savings.
“In a K-12 environment where educators and administrators wear multiple hats, VDI offers an opportunity for schools to increase efficiency, decrease costs, and use fewer resources by making rapid changes across thousands of desktops. The benefits of VDI allow schools to focus on their core mission: education and learning anytime, any place,” said Regina Kunkle, Vice President, State, Local, and Education, NetApp U.S. Public Sector.
ABOUT THE STUDY
The NetApp 2013 K-12 Education VDI & BYOD Online Survey explores the challenges, barriers, and concerns relative to VDI and BYOD for IT decision makers and influencers in the K-12 education marketplace. Schools represented 61% of respondents, school districts 36%, and those with a joint role 3%. Of the school districts represented, two out of three report an enrollment of 3,001-5,000 students. Most respondents describe their primary role as administrator, IT/MIS/IRM or teacher/instructor. Two out of three respondents anticipate their school/district will invest between$20K and $1M in technology over the next 12 to 18 months. For a full report and analysis of the study, download the white paper.
NetApp’s efficient, cost-effective data storage and management solutions meet education’s IT infrastructure needs. NetApp’s unified storage solutions, with superior storage efficiency, can help educational institutions manage data growth, comply with mandates, and meet Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening standards—all while lowering total cost of ownership. NetApp’s dedication to principles of simplicity, innovation, and customer success has made them one of the fastest-growing storage and data management providers today. For more information and case studies about NetApp’s BYOD and VDI solutions for schools, visit www.netapp.com/edu.
MISSIONS EVOLVE, CONTENT REMAINS KING
Federal decision-makers turn to thought-leading content to inform and influence their procurement decisions—but which content is most useful and influential?
The Federal Content Marketing Review from Market Connections and Merritt Group looks at how content is influencing the federal buying process and how contractors are leveraging content in their marketing, communications and business development activities.
Studies predict there will be 40 exabytes of data by 2020. As the volume of data grows, data analytics will become increasingly important in shaping the future of federal agency policies and services.
To get the most from big data analytics—and to make these, and other far-reaching agency initiatives possible—federal agencies need better analytics. Collecting data means little if analytics are not in place, or the existing tools don’t have the ability to extrapolate actionable insights. Many agency department managers don’t realize how many staff hours go into managing this data, or how much information is not being used because the data is outdated by the time it is compiled or because the tools being used can’t access all of the insights.
Given the importance of robust data analytics solutions, data analytics company Qlik commissioned government market research firm Market Connections, Inc. to assess how federal agencies are using analytics, and to what extent.
In a world of shrinking budgets, data growth and technology innovations, network infrastructures put in place 20 years ago can no longer handle today’s IT requirements. The New IP represents a change in the network from a physical to a virtual entity, and prepares federal IT environments for the future.
Are agencies ready to adopt the New IP? To determine federal agencies’ understanding, needs and propensity to adopt key elements associated with the New IP, Market Connections conducted a study of federal IT decision-makers on behalf of Brocade Federal. The research revealed budget constraints, limited internal resources and lack of expertise as the top challenges to making network improvements. However, infrastructure improvement does not necessarily need to be a barrier to adopting the New IP.
Is Data as Safe as Agencies Think it is?
As networks become increasingly complex—and more data moves across the network—vulnerability to security breaches can increase. Despite the volume of unencrypted inter- and intra-agency data traversing most enterprises, many federal agencies are not implementing procedures to protect the network because it is expensive and degrades performance.
Market Connections conducted this study on behalf of Brocade Federal to learn to what extent agencies feel their data is protected in transit, the challenges they face addressing data protection proactively and gaps between priorities and actions.