Case Study

SCRGT’s responsive solutions make positive impacts on missions and lives.

Case Study: IT Engineering & Operations
Customer: Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Office of Information Technology (OIT)

Background

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), with more than 278,000 employees, serves and honors America’s veterans by providing the world-class benefits and services they have earned through their service. The VA’s mission includes operating the largest integrated health care network in the United States, with more than 1,200 health care facilities serving over 19.2 million enrolled veterans each year and helping service members transition out of military services by assisting with education, home loans, and life insurance.

The VA’s Office of Information Technology (OIT) delivers responsible, secure, and cost-effective technology services to the VA and acts as the steward for all of the VA’s IT assets and resources. Under OIT, the VA’s Network Security Operations Center (NSOC) is responsible for defending, managing, and monitoring the network operating status and cyber security posture of the VA. This is accomplished by providing the day-to-day management, operation, and configuration of the enterprise network infrastructure and Trusted Internet Connection (TIC) Gateways, as well as delivery of enterprise network security systems and services, including monitoring and reporting of security incidents, conducting threat and vulnerability analysis, and validating security controls.

The Challenge

OIT faced new demands for Office of Management & Budget (OMB)-mandated data center consolidation, introductions of various new enterprise applications, remote support for telemedicine technologies and radiology, and telemedicine convergence of voice and video. It awarded Salient CRGT (SCRGT) a five-year network engineering, design, implementation, and infrastructure support contract to aid in evolving our government’s second-largest federal department to a robust, high-performance, cost-effective, assured telecommunications, and IT infrastructure. SCRGT is assisting OIT on major IT initiatives to transform the VA’s wide area network design, move to enterprise telecommunication services and infrastructure, and migrate VA IT and telecommunication into the cloud.

The Solution

SCRGT has been supporting the VA since 2016, operating and evolving the government’s second-largest federal network, consisting of more than 1.4 million nodes, spanning more than 2,200 locations, and supporting more than 12 petabytes of traffic per day. We provide comprehensive enterprise IT modernization and operations services, including:

  • Ensuring availability of mission-enabling IT communications across all VA departments and locations.
  • Providing technical support services for VA Corporate Data Centers, the VA NSOC, the National Service Desk (NSD), TIC Gateways, and the Business Partner Extranet (BPE).
  • Performing all activities necessary to design, implement, maintain, operate, and improve the VA enterprise network security and transport.

We partnered with OIT to employ enterprise-class networking technologies, including Multiprotocol Label Switching over Generic Routing Encapsulation (MPLSoGRE) and Group Domain of Interpretation (GDOI), and support the acquisition and transition of more than 12,000 telecommunications circuits. We developed enterprise roadmaps and designed and implemented a “flattening the network” architecture, improving quality of service while introducing IPv6, enhanced security, and other technologies as part of VA’s NextGen Network to enable cloud computing and enterprise Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP).

We continue to enhance the VA’s network, engineering a software-defined wide-area network (SD-WAN), evolving the VA’s TIC Gateways to comply with TIC 3.0 guidance, and supporting data center consolidation and cloud migrations.

As the VA grappled with continued operations in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, SCRGT reengineered capacity and availability for remote access solutions within 72 hours of notification, supporting both VA operations as well as connections to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), public hospital groups, and insurance companies.

The Impact

SCRGT’s improvements to the VA’s network enterprise, including the use of virtualization and automation technologies, reduced network provisioning response time from days to seconds. Our deployment of Splunk as an enterprise security incident and event manager has improved VA’s cyber threat analysis and response. SCRGT’s streamlining of the telecommunication circuit acquisition and transition process and integration along with overarching capacity planning enabled the VA to realize more than $1.3M in unanticipated monthly telecom savings. Our rapid support to ensure continued operations in a post-COVID environment increased telework capacity from 45,000 users to more than 700,000 users in less than a month, enabled telemedicine to increase from approximately 165,000 contacts per month to more than two million in less than six months, and maintained 99.999% network availability despite a 500% increase in peak network load.

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