road to the cloud

Cloud move prompts network cleanup

When the Department of Transportation decided on a departmentwide move to the cloud-based Microsoft 365 platform, IT leaders knew they first needed to understand the departmentwide existing infrastructure consisting of more than 100 field sites across the country and nearly as many organizational silos. 

Then-CIO Richard McKinney, now-acting CIO Kristen Baldwin and their team set about taking a full inventory to ensure that the agency's network could handle the increased demands a cloud-based productivity suite would bring. Working with Secunetics and Riverbed Technology, the Office of the CIO scanned all known devices on the network — roughly 800 in all — to identify performance and security problems.

Along the way, the team discovered some 200 shadow IT devices, many of them consumer-grade switches and routers that were not receiving security patches and were not compliant with central management standards.

Armed for the first time with an accurate picture of the network, DOT officials moved quickly to remove the unauthorized equipment, replace it with enterprise-grade devices when needed, and ensure that all devices were being monitored and maintained. The newly hardened network not only addressed the security risks and latency problems that could have crippled the Microsoft 365 rollout, but also laid the foundation for future cloud migrations and other IT modernization efforts for years to come.

About the Author

Troy K. Schneider is editor-in-chief of FCW and GCN.

Prior to joining 1105 Media in 2012, Schneider was the New America Foundation’s Director of Media & Technology, and before that was Managing Director for Electronic Publishing at the Atlantic Media Company. The founding editor of NationalJournal.com, Schneider also helped launch the political site PoliticsNow.com in the mid-1990s, and worked on the earliest online efforts of the Los Angeles Times and Newsday. He began his career in print journalism, and has written for a wide range of publications, including The New York Times, WashingtonPost.com, Slate, Politico, National Journal, Governing, and many of the other titles listed above.

Schneider is a graduate of Indiana University, where his emphases were journalism, business and religious studies.

Click here for previous articles by Schneider, or connect with him on Twitter: @troyschneider.


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