The majority of Federal agencies are embracing converged infrastructure for their data center needs, and seeing improvements, according to a new MeriTalk report. “It amazes me that 72 percent of Federal IT managers are already stating that converged will become the central housing mechanism for their data center needs,” said Milo Speranzo at Tech Data. “That number is only going to increase and that increase will happen rapidly and in the near future.”






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The Federal Communications Commission announced Aug. 3 that it’s exploring ways to improve the quality of the data it collects on broadband service. The FCC released a Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to seek comment on proposals to collect better data. The FCC in 2000 established its deployment data collection program, which requires Internet providers to file the information with the FCC twice a year.






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In order for Federal agencies to make the best decisions about moving to the cloud, they have to optimize their data centers, according to IDC researchers. The Federal government is moving to a cloud-first approach when it comes to IT infrastructure, which makes CIOs reluctant to invest in a Data Center Infrastructure Management solution to optimize their data centers to meet Data Center Optimization Initiative requirements.






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The Department of Defense is following the Federal push to move toward an enterprise structure by using Defense Enterprise Office Solution (DEOS), an effort by the Defense Information Systems Agency to acquire Software-as-a-Service at a DoD enterprise scale. DoD plans to move 4.5 million users to the cloud, using this approach.






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Data analytics professionals in the Federal government advised new data analytics teams to earn credibility in their agencies by finding a real-life problem and fixing it. “Pick someone in the C-suite that has a solvable problem and go do it,” said Kevin Garrison, chief of analytics at the Department of Defense, at MeriTalk’s big data webinar.






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The best way for agencies to begin their transition to the cloud is to talk to agencies that have been through the same experience. “It’s always good to talk to people who have gone through it,” said Craig McCullough, vice president of Commvault Federal.






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Lawmakers should ensure law enforcement agencies can gain lawful access to information to protect their citizens and uphold U.S. laws, but without putting companies and workers at a disadvantage, according to a report from the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation.






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Federal agencies that amass multitudes of data because of drone use have had to think about how to store and protect that data. Agencies that use drones are caught between following the regulations in place for aircraft and following the regulations for IT systems, since drones contain properties of both categories.






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Congress should focus on providing Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) with technology to patrol the border and detect illegal smuggling, rather than building a physical barrier across the whole southern U.S. border, according to Rep. Will Hurd, R-Texas.






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IBM released its new mainframe, IBM z14, which offers encryption for 100 percent of user data and achieves the highest level of government security standards currently on the market. The mainframe will be made available in mid-September and IBM is working with the Federal government to integrate this technology into its IT strategies.






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If Federal agencies invest upfront in technologies to track fraud and improper payments, the government could end up saving enough money to pay back some of the national debt or stave off sequestration, according to Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va.






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Cloud infrastructure may be the safest place to store an agency’s most sensitive data, department of Justice officials said at an AWS Public Sector Summit. “I’d say it’s a pretty good place to put your crown jewels,” said Karl Mathias, chief information officer for the United States Marshals Service, adding that commercial clouds may end up being safer than an agency’s own data centers.






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The Department of Labor announced the availability of about $5.7 million in grants for its Workforce Data Quality Initiative. The agency plans to award approximately three grants to eligible State Workforce Agencies to provide for the development or enhancement of a state workforce database.






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