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US Department of Health

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) says its email management woes are on the mend, thanks to a server consolidation project that relies heavily on a SAN.

Pushed into enterprise architecture reform by the Federal Information Security Management Act, the agency began evaluating numerous ways of consolidating IT systems spread across its numerous agencies, such as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Email systems were a likely target, with more than 200 email servers maintained and managed separately by various HHS agencies.

By consolidating email systems, HHS "can ensure that all 75,000 users will have the same high standard of anti-virus protection, uniformly controlled physical and electronic system access, and improved system availability during emergencies," said Kerry Weems, Acting Assistant Secretary for Budget, Technology, and Finance, in testimony to the U.S. House Committee on Government Reform last March.

Enter the HHS Enterprise Email System (HHS-EES), a project that HHS enlisted Unisys Corp. (NYSE: UIS) to help develop and implement. Over the course of a year, Unisys and its partners came up with an outsourced email infrastructure hosted and managed by Unisys in its Washington, DC-area data center. HHS contracted Unisys for the hosted service in February, paying about $8.6 million for the first year. Options for an additional four years would cost the agency up to $22.4 million more.

The new email infrastructure includes Unisys ES7000 and ES3000 servers running Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Microsoft Exchange Server, and Microsoft Identity Integration Server (MIIS). The servers are connected to a SAN including EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC) Symmetrix DMX and Clariion CX700 storage systems, Storage Technology Corp. (StorageTek) (NYSE: STK) tape libraries, and Brocade Communications Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: BRCD) switches. As of this writing, equipment has been installed but has not been completely configured.

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