RD685 - Network Infrastructure Report – November 2021
VITA provides information technology (IT) infrastructure services to the Commonwealth’s 65 executive branch state agencies and the workforce of over 55,000 state employees, equipping and empowering the agency’s colleagues to serve Virginia’s 8.6 million residents. Network services are a critical and highly visible part of those IT infrastructure services, foundational for almost all government interactions with Virginians. If the network is congested or experiences an outage, members of the public may not be able to register to vote, renew their driver’s license, obtain health and other social services, or communicate with government officials.
Technological and societal advances have only heightened the importance of a capable and modernized network. Cloud-based IT services offer tremendous scalability and reliability benefits, but network traffic must flow constantly and at an adequate rate to use those services. The pandemic has spurred the rapid development of remote work and of videoconferencing and other electronic interactions, but none of that is possible if the network is down.
Over time, the Commonwealth’s network has accumulated a substantial amount of “technology debt," as equipment aged, the network architecture fell behind industry standards and best practices, and roll out of new and upgraded services struggled to reach completion.
VITA’s transition to the multisupplier model has enabled great progress, but additional investments and resources are needed for the Commonwealth’s network to fully meet the needs of state agencies and citizens.
This report recounts the progress and challenges since the transition to the multisupplier model, describes the complexity involved and both the current and future state of network troubleshooting, and also details the additional work and investment needed to achieve the network capacity, performance, and reliability that will enable the future success of state agencies and everyone that state government serves.