System integrators perspective

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2008-09-24 Print this article Print

System integrator's perspective

"What the FAA is doing is common to what a lot of other [government] agencies are doing: They're trying to do more standardization across their IT infrastructures," said Tom Kennedy, vice president of sales at GTSI, the systems integrator selected by the FAA.

One of the main requirements in the GTSI contract is that FAA wanted more control of equipment purchases. GTSI worked with the FAA's standardization committee, chaired by longtime FAA IT administrator Rick Jordan, to come up with the standards in upgrading the networking and server/storage parts of the systems, facilitate the buys and carry out the implementations, Kennedy said.

"Right now, we're mostly working on the non-NAS side of the FAA's IT," Kennedy said. "What we want to do is show success on this side of the system, and then bring it to the NAS side."

One of the main challenges GTSI faces is consolidation of storage devices, Kennedy said.

"They made a major investment in virtualization," Kennedy said. "In their [previous] environment, they had disparate storage devices from multiple vendors, all across the FAA. They're now upgrading or consolidating them, via the standards. Now they've honed in down to one platform."

And that would be Sun-Cisco.

"SAVES was a pretty high initiative that came out of the [U.S.] CIO's office. The first year, it seemed like there was some resistance [to the upgrade] internally, as people were getting comfortable with actually having [new] standards," Kennedy said. "But since our implementation, we've done two times the volume [of data transactions] this year versus last year."

That kind of performance will catch attention of bureaucrats every time.

Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

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