The Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) began modernizing their systems that support Child Welfare, Benefits Management, Youth Corrections, Child Support, and Financial Management, but required assistance in completing the project. Access to these systems required installation of a new statewide network to connect the 7,000 State and county workers distributed throughout Colorado.
Engility designed a state-of-the-art network built to exceed the State’s availability needs by providing dual logical frame relay connections to each site. The network’s core backbones are asynchronous transfer modes (ATMs) ranging up to 45 MB/s (megabytes per second) and dial backup to further ensure availability. The network connects over 130 sites where local area networks (LANs) were installed to support new microcomputers for the users. To ensure availability and operability, Engility installed and operates remote control access to all microcomputers, provides Level 2 and above help desk services, provides remote patch and service pack upgrades, maintains virus signatures, and provides a network management system that continuously monitors and reports on network availability and stability. Network design will accommodate growth as, over time, several additional applications were added. Recently, Engility performed a full technology refresh of servers and application of new Internet technologies including remote/Web file access, Web-based email, thin client access to all core applications, SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) security, heterogeneous directory integration, and portal services. This upgrade consolidates and streamlines the user access to better secure the confidential data on the network and to significantly reduce network operating costs.
Upgrades not only increased security and provided additional services, but also saved the State enough operating dollars to pay for the entire upgrade in 18 months. Complete disaster recovery services became feasible by centralizing services, and the network is now capable of restoring and providing full user service in a disaster situation in a matter of hours. The CDHS has the State’s first real user portal providing users with a common look and feel for secure and managed access to all applications. They also have the first operational disaster recovery site of any State department. The network Engility built and currently manages is a flagship for the State of Colorado. The concepts used to build and operate this network have been discussed several times at the State Chief Information Officer (CIO) Forum as an example of how all Colorado State departments should be consolidating, cutting cost, and building sharable systems.