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Archive: March 2016

There are certain situations where going it alone isn't the best option. Asking for help from an expert can often solve a problem more effectively, and this is nowhere more apparent than within government IT. Agencies should know that partnering with knowledgeable outside companies isn't a sign of giving up on the problem. Rather, it shows that officials care enough to get the best person possible to help solve the issue in the most effective and efficient way possible. In that vein, let's look at some of the agencies who've teamed up with private companies recently.  Read More


Humans will always be the weakest link when it comes to security. An agency can utilize top-tier encryption, employ the world's best cybersecurity experts and spend millions of dollars on its defenses, and all it takes for a hacker to gain access to private data is for someone in HR to fall for a social engineering attack.  Read More


Government stepping up its big data game

Posted on March 23, 2016
Category: News

Information is king across every sector. It serves as the basis for all of the decisions that are made and provides businesses with a better idea of how they're performing on a daily basis. With the inclusion of mobile devices and sensors, more data is being generated than ever before, and it's only expected to continue rising in the years ahead. As such, it's important for government organizations in particular to prepare their systems to handle and parse through this information to glean the most relevant parts.  Read More


While advancements in technology have allowed institutions to perform physical functions faster than ever before, {deep? free?} thinking tasks have been largely left to people. This is less of a moral objection to the idea of mechanical minds and more a statement on the effectiveness of the human brain when it comes to problem solving. That said, it would appear the U.S. Air Force and the Pentagon are attempting to break this mold by allowing IBM's Watson to analyze the Federal Acquisition Regulation, according to the Washington Post.  Read More


The growing concern of cyberattacks directed at government agencies cannot be ignored. However, foreign nations attempting to gain access to confidential U.S. data may not be the only issue at play here. Incidents of ransomware – a type of cyberattack that encrypts the users files and demands compensation before the person can regain access – are growing rapidly. What's more, it appears the hackers behind these attacks are becoming bolder every day. What does this malware mean for government agencies, and what can be done to stop it in its tracks?  Read More


It's a pretty commonly held fact in the cybersecurity community that older systems are generally easier to exploit compared to newer ones. A lot of this has to do with the fact that hackers have simply had a lot of time to tool around with them, and therefore know where the vulnerabilities are. This is especially true for the U.S. government's aging IT infrastructure.  Read More


Over the past six years, federal data centers have undergone a number of changes. The 2010 Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative and the 2014 Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act have redefined limits for these facilities and have aimed to minimize the overall sprawl across government agencies. While these two efforts have done a lot to reduce the space, equipment, energy and other resources taken up by data centers, there is still a lot of work to do before government groups can reach their established goals.  Read More


Government cloud spending to increase

Posted on March 07, 2016
Category: Cloud Computing

A report from the International Data Corporation is shedding light on just how important cloud services are to modern governmental functions. The study's researchers expected the federal cloud budget to increase from $6.65 billion in 2014 to $11.46 billion by 2019, according to TechNewsWorld contributor John K. Higgins. A second study by Deltek confirmed this upward trend, although this report's final number differed from IDC's due to a disagreement over IT taxonomy.  Read More


US improving cyberwar capabilities

Posted on March 02, 2016
Category: Cybersecurity

The U.S. government is taking some major steps to increase its digital presence on the battlefield. Military-grade hackers launched an assault against ISIS recently, utilizing denial of service attacks as well as other techniques to overload their computer and cellular networks, according to Government Technology contributor W.J. Hennigan. This marks the first time a country has openly admitted to committing an act of cyberwar.  Read More

How Cloud Computing Can Help Handle Big Data

Posted on October 19, 2012 0 comments

Last week, I attended the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Public Sector Summit and had the pleasure of listening to some very interesting speakers and meeting some of the smartest people in cloud computing. The Summit showcased innovative work being done with ‘Big Data in the Cloud’ and I’d like to share some of my thoughts and observations.  Read More

It’s been an honor to serve on the TechAmerica Big Data Commission as a Commissioner with Darren House, a Data Center Technologist at GTSI, as my deputy. For the past four months, we collaborated with federal customers, members of academia, as well as several industry experts, on this important initiative. This comprehensive and first-of-its-kind report explains the underlying technology in simple terms, and identifies best practices and lessons learned from early efforts. The report also offers a set of policy recommendations and practical steps agencies can take to get started on Big Data initiatives.  Read More

The Temperature is Rising in the SDN Market

Posted on September 25, 2012 0 comments

I recently attended a Cisco webinar on Software Defined Networking (SDN), which has become a very hot topic in the industry after VMware announced its acquisition of Nicira. Many believed this new technology would make Cisco nervous. It made for a good sound bite, but I guess I just wasn’t very hungry…  Read More

Next Generation Collaboration Solutions for the Federal Sector

Posted on September 19, 2012 0 comments

Collaboration is a must for any team to succeed whenever they are involved in a process or common goal of any sort. According to Wikipedia, the definition of ‘collaboration’ is working together to achieve a goal. It is a recursive process where two or more people or organizations work together to realize shared goals.  Read More

A Path to Cloud Compliance

Posted on September 06, 2012 0 comments

Recently, I met with a government customer who made the following comment regarding his agency’s initiative to move to cloud-based resources: “I know I can handle the technical part of the migration, but it’s the red tape that I’m the most worried about.”  Read More

Does Mobility Really Mean Anytime, Anywhere, on any Device?

Posted on August 29, 2012 0 comments

A few years ago I attended a conference with the theme “Anytime, Anywhere, on Any Device,” and I thought that was a catchy phrase. It is interesting to see that vision remained and the federal government is directing agencies to move towards that direction. The recently released Digital Government: Building a 21st Century Platform to Better Serve the American Peoplestrategy states “New expectations require the federal government to be ready to deliver and receive digital information and service anytime, anywhere and on any device.” That conference theme was spot on.  Read More

Emerging Technologies are Taking Big Data to the Next Level

Posted on August 22, 2012 0 comments

In my previous blogs, I have discussed how big data provides significant advantages for the public sector – from helping agencies fight crime to providing event-driven operational intelligence. This week, I would like to discuss some big data technologies that are seeing fast adoption in the marketplace. Traditional data warehouses integrate and manage clean, structured relational data from diverse sources, and mine that data for actionable intelligence using Business Intelligence (BI) tools. However, challenges arise when agencies have to process unstructured data including full motion video, emails, voice, social networks, sensor-enabled facilities, web and biometrics data. By far, the technology getting the most attention in the market for analytic use cases involving unstructured big data at rest is Hadoop.  Read More

Did VMware just make SDN a game changer?

Posted on August 15, 2012 0 comments

Following the recent VMware announcement regarding their intent to acquire Nicira , there has been a lot of talk about Software Defined Networking (SDN) and how it is a “game changer.” At a high level, SDN is a technology and standardization that separates the network control plane from the forwarding of frames/packets. This enables centralized control and management of a network infrastructure, which is the final step in achieving true agility through cloud computing. With SDN in place, organizations can dynamically provision compute, storage and network resources without manual intervention or time delays.  Read More