The Multi-Agency CIO Advisory Council (MAC) formed the Enterprise Technical Architecture Subcommittee (ETA SC) in response to Executive Order 2009-07S, Implementing Additional Spending Control Strategies. This order addresses reducing the state's information technology expenses though the adoption of common hardware, software, services and security.
As its initial focus, the ETA SC recommended the establishment of enterprise technical infrastructure components that, when considered in the aggregate, could bring significant business value at a reduced cost to the state. These goals have been pursued through cross-agency work groups that focus on specific aspects of the state's IT infrastructure. The recommendations of the ETA SC and its work groups are described below.
Enterprise Technical Architecture Subcommittee Recommendations
As the work groups evolved toward making their recommendations, several procurement and IT planning-related themes arose. The ETA SC examined these topics and made recommendations to the State CIO.
Topic 1. General IT Procurement and Planning Recommendations
ET1. Vendor contract language modification. The ETA SC recommends that modifications to standard vendor contract language, including STS, reflect that the lowest price offered to one agency will apply to all agencies.
ET2. Common format for price quotes. The ETA SC recommends that a common format for price quotes be created for all hardware/software/services vendors, and a repository of agency-realized vendor pricing be created and made available to agencies for review, research, and analysis for price comparison and negotiation.
ET3. Ongoing analysis of vendor-provided agency pricing. The ETA SC recommends that an ongoing analysis of vendor-provided discounts and pricing realized by the state agencies be conducted for selected software/hardware/services.
ET4. Research/analysis/purchasing cycles for mainline components. The ETA SC recommends the establishment of research, analysis and consolidated purchasing cycles for selected mainline components.
ET5. Streamline the procurement process for standards-based purchases. The ETA SC recommends that the process to procure standards-based items be streamlined.
Business Continuity Work Group Recommendations
The primary objective of the Business Continuity Work Group was to identify an enterprise solution to manage the process of creating, maintaining and activating agency business continuity plans across the state’s executive agencies.
BC1. State of Ohio agencies should use RPX by RecoveryPlanner.com software to manage the process of creating, maintaining and activating agency business continuity plans across the state. The WG also recommends that local government and education consider using RPX by RecoveryPlanner.com software to manage the process of creating, maintaining and activating their business continuity plans.
Endpoint Computing Work Group Recommendations
This work group was created to address specific topics including endpoint hardware standards, alternative client guidelines, MS enterprise agreements in the endpoint space and endpoint management tools.
Topic 1. Analysis and Recommendation on Agency Microsoft Enterprise Agreements
EC1. Defer statewide Microsoft Enterprise Agreement enrollment. The work group recommends that efforts to establish a statewide Microsoft Enterprise Agreement be deferred until further notice.
EC2. Be deliberate in acquiring Microsoft Licensing and Software Assurance. The work group recommends that agencies do so and recommends that agency decision making must include an assessment of the value and benefits of software assurance.
EC3. Establish enterprise competency for Microsoft licensing. The work group recommends that the enterprise invest in ongoing, concentrated Microsoft licensing expertise to support the agency decision-making process.
EC4. Create an enterprise profile for Microsoft product usage. The work group recommends that DAS/OIT construct and maintains an enterprise profile for the current licensing of Microsoft endpoint products and planned acquisitions for the foreseeable future.
Topic 2. Develop Model Specifications for Desktops, Laptops/Tablets and Netbooks
EC5. Develop and maintain specifications for desktop and laptop computers. The work group recommends that state agencies must purchase computers in accordance with set specifications for all standard business uses. ♦ Standard ♦
EC6. Develop specifications and use requirements for netbooks and mini-notebooks. The work group recommends that the state allow the purchase of notebook equipment in the “mini-notebook” category of systems, with proper business justification.
Topic 3. Develop Recommendations for Alternative Client Computing
EC7. Use state IT standard thin client standard configurations. The work group recommends that agencies acquiring thin client devices as cost-effective replacements for traditional desktop hardware use the standard configuration recommended by the work group.
EC8. Conduct cost-benefit analysis for Hosted Virtual Desktop (HVD) initiatives. The work group recommends that agencies contemplating a desktop virtualization initiative conduct a cost-benefit analysis using the resources identified by the work group.
Identity Management Work Group Recommendations
The Identity Management Work Group was charged with identifying the requirements to implement identity management across state agencies by leveraging the Ohio Administrative Knowledge System (OAKS). To date, the work group's recommendations are as follows:
IDM1. That the single forest multiple domain model be implemented by all agencies for core shared services. The ETA SC recommends that state agencies must implement the single forest model for all core shared services and that the use of trusts be limited to the migration of agencies into this environment (core shared services) once the single forest multiple domain model has been implemented. After migration, all trusts would be removed.
IDM2. The primary tools selected for implementation of the IDM model are Microsoft Active Directory (AD), and Microsoft Forefront Identity Manager (FIM). The ETA SC understands, however, that other tools will be identified as part of the IDM implementation and that other tools will be used by state agencies.
IDM3. The state develops and implements an Identity Governance Committee (IGC) consisting of multi-agency representation to oversee the state’s identity management processes, including risk and change management.
IDM4. The ETA SC formed additional WGs (or teams) that defined recommendations on organizational structure, security and privacy, and business continuity.
LAN/WAN Work Group Recommendations
This work group was created to develop enterprise technical architecture and best practice recommendations for the state’s LAN/WAN infrastructure with a particular focus on cost savings opportunities in support and maintenance.
Topic 1. Develop Lifecycle Cost Analysis for the LAN/WAN Environment
LW1. Combine individual Cisco state agency contracts into one multi-year state of Ohio contract. The state should purchase the contract with a common starting point that includes all agency contracts to allow for economies of scale and ease of management.
LW2. Conduct a careful review annually of LAN/WAN equipment maintenance needs in all agencies to optimize levels of coverage and determine whether maintenance should be provided. Significant difficulties have been experienced truing up equipment with contracts and vendors, resulting in significant manual effort and increasing the possibility of incorrect charging for maintenance. ♦ Guideline ♦
LW3. Develop a LAN/WAN equipment and spare parts capability for the state. The work group identified the opportunity for state agencies to share both equipment and spare parts across the state.
Topic 2. Develop a Common Component Architecture and then Specifications for Each Component in the LAN/WAN Environment
LW4. All LAN/WAN access and distribution layer switch procurements for small, medium and large campuses must be in accordance with the standard. Component specifications are defined in Attachment A of the standard. ♦ Standard ♦ Attachment A ♦
LW5. An annual analysis/specification process must be implemented and supported by all agencies.
LW6. An annual forecast/procurement process for network switches must be implemented and supported by all agencies.
LW7. All WAN router procurements for small, medium and large branch offices must be in accordance with the the standard. Component specifications are defined in Attachment A of the standard. ♦ Standard ♦ Attachment A ♦
LW8. An annual analysis/specification process must be implemented and supported by all agencies.
LW9. An annual forecast/procurement process for branch routers must be implemented and supported by all agencies.
LW10. All WAN remote site firewall procurements for small remote branch offices must be in accordance with the the standard. Component specifications are defined in Attachment A of the standard. ♦ Standard ♦ Attachment A ♦
LW11. An annual analysis/specification process must be implemented and supported by all agencies.
LW12. An annual forecast/procurement process for remote site firewalls must be implemented and supported by all agencies.
LW13. All LAN/WAN Wireless Access Points and Controller procurements must be in accordance with the component specifications defined in Appendix A. ♦ Standard ♦ ♦ Appendix A ♦
Server/Storage Virtualization Work Group Recommendations
Topic 1. Document the Requirements and Rationale for the Selection of Virtualization Software and Document the State Hypervisor Standard
SS1. State agencies should use VMware’s hypervisor and related products.The work group recommends the use of the state’s VMware enterprise purchase agreement to acquire virtualization products and services facilitated by The Ohio State University and OARnet. ♦ Guideline ♦
SS2. The selection of VMware hypervisors should be reviewed every six months. The work group recommends reviewing VMware as the hypervisor of choice every six months, because virtualization technology is still emerging. ♦ Guideline ♦
Topic 2. Develop Statewide Opportunity Assessment and Agency TCO Toolkit
SS3. All state agencies to use VMware’s Capacity Planner. The work group recommends that all state agencies use VMware’s Capacity Planner, and for Novell environments, PlateSpin or HP Systems Insight Manager, as enterprise planning resources to support the state’s virtualization effort.
SS4. DAS/OIT to create an enterprise repository for server virtualization. With data input from agencies, this will produce enterprise information for supporting and assessing server virtualization progress and for identifying future virtualization opportunities statewide.
SS5. All state agencies to use VMware’s TCO Calculator when planning virtualization implementations. All agencies will use this tool to plan virtualization implementations. ♦ Guideline ♦ ♦ Attachment to Guideline ♦
Topic 3. Develop Enterprise Storage Virtualization Standard and Agency Guidance for Implementation
SS6. Agencies that have the use cases and can make a cost-justifiable business case to purchase heterogeneous storage virtualization products must purchase the standard products. This recommendation discusses the need for and advantages of standardizing on heterogeneous storage virtualization products.
SS7. Agencies should select from a standard list of mid-range disk array products based on the connectivity use cases outlined in the recommendation document. The standard list of mid-range disk arrays is Compellent, Dell/EqualLogic, EMC Celerra Unified Storage, HP Storage Works EVA, IBM XIV and NetApp FAS 31XX.
SS8. Agencies should coordinate purchase planning and purchases of storage products to create possible opportunities for quantity discounts. DAS/OIT should establish a process to gather agency storage purchases to accommodate agency buying cycles and to identify any opportunities for quantity discounts.
SS9. A biannual review of the storage virtualization and mid-range disk array products must be implemented. Storage virtualization is rapidly changing and evolving, and review must be accomplished on an enterprise basis.
SS10. Consider industry best practices when virtualizing storage. This recommendation discusses the best practices for storage management, ranging from managing complexity and storage sprawl, through storage selection practices. ♦ Best Practice ♦
Topic 4. Develop Common Platform Architecture and Component Specifications for Servers
SS11. All x86 server hardware procurements for server virtualization must be in accordance with the component specifications defined in the recommendation. Any deviation from the standards must be accompanied by business justification from the agency. Model specifications should be reviewed every 12 to 24 months. ♦ Standard ♦ Attachment A ♦ Attachment B ♦
SS12. An annual analysis/specification/forecast/procurement process must be implemented and supported by all agencies. This recommendation focuses on a documented process that must occur prior to procurement to keep the specifications relative and current.
SS13. Industry best practices to consider when virtualizing x86 servers. This recommendation discusses best practices ranging from goals relating to complexity and server sprawl, through SAN migrations, VM lifecycle management, backups and partition size. ♦ Best Practice ♦
Topic 5. Develop Recommendation for Server and Storage Management Platform and Tool Selection
SS14. Establish a guideline for SRM product purchases in two categories. Agencies should consider purchases of products guided by Gartner's Magic Quadrant for Storage Resource Management and SAN Management Software and the considered experiences of agencies using these products.
SS15. Establish a guideline for server management tools. Agencies should consider purchasing products listed in Appendix C, "Recommended Server Management Tools."
SS16. A semi-annual analysis/specification/forecast/procurement process must be implemented and supported by all agencies.
Unified Communications Work Group Recommendations
The task of the Unified Communications Work Group (UC WG) was to develop a definition of unified communications as it applies to state government in Ohio. The group was also to recommend the priority and scope for each unified communication topic, as well as the criteria to use for review. The work group's recommendations are as follows:
UC1. Priority should be given to implementing VoIP across all agencies in the state of Ohio, developing a standard implementation approach, and selecting a standard set of tools. The work group recommends that state agencies implement VoIP for their telephony needs to harvest the cost savings and productivity benefits associated with this initiative.
UC2. Priority should be given to implementing conferencing across all agencies in the state of Ohio, developing a standard implementation approach, and selecting a standard set of tools. The UC WG recommends that state agencies implement conferencing for their training and real-time communication needs to harvest the cost savings and productivity benefits associated with this initiative.
UC3. Priority should be given to implementing instant messaging across all agencies in the state of Ohio, developing a standard implementation approach, and selecting a standard set of tools. The UC WG recommends that state agencies implement instant messaging for enhanced communication and collaboration needs to harvest the cost savings and productivity benefits associated with this initiative.
UC4. Priority should be given to implementing SharePoint across all agencies in the state of Ohio and developing a standard implementation approach. SharePoint is the de-facto standard for collaboration in the agencies, and therefore the UC WG recommends that state agencies continue to implement SharePoint for their collaboration needs.
UC5. The ETA SC should form WGs (or teams) to continue examining implementation approaches and requirements for the following areas (in priority order).
- Conferencing (Video, Audio, Web) and Instant Messaging (and Presence)
- Collaboration (SharePoint)
- Social Media (in Collaboration with Agency Communication Bureaus)
UC6. Microsoft Lync is adopted as the state standard for IM/Presence. The ETA SC recommends that state agencies must use this product for all new IM/Presence implementations. Agencies without current IM/Presence solutions must adopt the core Lync solution when they move into the core e-mail services and implement IM/Presence functionality.
UC7. Existing deployments of IM/Presence need not be replaced with a new Microsoft Lync implementation until one of the following occurs:
- Hardware lifecycle replacement
- Major solution enhancements
- Microsoft enterprise agreement renewal
UC8. The VoIP/Conferencing requirements identified by the ETA SC are the mandatory requirements for the statewide implementation of VoIP/Conferencing, either hosted or on-premises. Requirements have been developed in 17 different categories.
UC9. Instant Messaging (IM) Logging and Records Retention - Agencies must determine and implement policies that govern logging of instant messages and retention of records based on their individual business needs.