NOS made preparations in Fiscal Year 2019 to safely relocate multiple data centers from Silver Spring, Maryland, to Virginia in Fiscal Year 2020, with the least possible downtime. Despite the short turn-around, NOS moved quickly to engage a relocation project manager and establish an NOS-wide working group to develop a relocation plan. NOS is using this opportunity to consolidate Information Technology (IT) Services, decommission obsolete equipment, upgrade IT architecture with modern components, improve performance for critical systems, and establish a robust stepping stone for NOS to move to cloud services. NOS will share the space with NOAA’s Office of the Chief Information Officer, and is working with the office to complete the relocation. NOS has met its planned FY 2019 milestones.
NOS completed planning for its transition to a pending NOAA General Services Administration (GSA) contract that will modernize networks while achieving potential cost savings of up to 21%. GSA’s Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions contract strategically sources telecommunications and information technology infrastructure services. NOS identified 100% of the telecommunications and networking infrastructure inventory to transition, created a detailed transition plan, and drafted a new ordering process to complete a seamless NOS-wide transition within 12 – 18 months after NOAA’s contract is awarded.
Enabling productivity for a remote workforce is an IT priority. NOS led an initiative at the NOAA level to enable Google Hangouts Meet functionality. NOS offices previously used expensive video and telephone conferencing solutions that were limited in scope. With Google Hangouts Meet enabled, every user can easily add video and audio conferencing capabilities to any meeting without incurring additional costs. Google Hangouts Meet empowers all NOS users to manage their own conferencing requirements, leverage integrated video and conference call capabilities, and improve collaboration through sharing features.
NOS worked with NOAA’s N-Wave networking team to migrate NOS Tidewater Virginia data circuits to N-Wave provided circuits. This upgrade provides higher bandwidth for less cost and facilitates the ability for NOS field sites to reach cloud-based services. IMO also completed a technical refresh of the entire NOS Silver Spring Metro Center (SSMC) backbone network — a multi-year effort. The new hardware increases network security and delivers higher bandwidth across NOS networks in SSMC.
Everyone needs IT services to work during an emergency. The actual services needed change as technology and mission evolve. IMO sponsored a study to review and analyze how IMO IT services are currently used by all NOS Program and Staff offices. The study helped identify IMO services that need to remain functioning to accomplish the NOS mission during emergency situations. IMO will use the results of the study to ensure the ongoing availability of those services.