Achieve Higher Marks on the FITARA Scorecard with Zerto | Zerto
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Achieve Higher Marks on the FITARA Scorecard with Zerto

September 30, 2020

Congress passed the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA) in 2014. The act was meant to improve technology implementations in federal agencies with the following core objectives:

  • Decrease costs
  • Improve efficiencies by streamlining purchasing
  • Reduce duplicative spending and unused capacity

The law has produced positive results, with some agencies achieving improved measurable outcomes. The House Committee on Oversight and Reform and General Accounting Office convenes every six months to assess federal agencies and release a scorecard for achievements. With Zerto’s help, agencies can get higher marks in several key areas:

Software Licensing

When it comes to licensing, the goal is to avoid paying more than you should for enterprise license agreements. Duplication is common, especially when different branches have separate contracts for the same type of software and pay for multiple SKUs. Zerto eliminates duplication and extra expenses by reducing the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) for agency IT assets like BCDR, cloud workload mobility, backup, and the technologies needed to continuously replicate, protect, and migrate application workloads. Zerto offers a single platform for operations continuity, so deploying software across multiple offices is a standardized, streamlined process.

Data Center Optimization

Optimizing a data center usually involves consolidating locations by transporting equipment from one site to another, and investing considerable time and effort into turning everything back on and getting it synchronized. With Zerto, data is replicated and protected continuously to the private and public cloud, even when the gear is en route. Our journaling approach has orchestration, automation, and reverse protection that make it easy to capture your virtualized workloads from the cloud and resync all servers and databases at the new location. The old site can be shut down seamlessly without interruption to services or production environments.

Typically, agencies spend millions just to conduct assessments and compatibility tests for migration plans. Zerto is infrastructure-agonistic and provides the orchestration and automation layers for “lift and shift” migrations at scale. It can re-platform on any new infrastructure or cloud while assisting with data center consolidation initiatives, eliminating the typical, expensive assessment and discovery work. Instead, agencies can proceed straight to the testing phase, accelerating migration projects without impacting service availability.

CIO Authority Enhancement

Agency CIOs are tasked with addressing technology debt and migrating expensive legacy systems to more affordable, modern infrastructures. In fact, some agencies still run legacy systems up to 80 years old that require multimillion-dollar annual maintenance budgets. Transferring those legacy workloads can be expensive and difficult, creating a deterrent to modernization. With Zerto, modernization is as simple as selecting an application and pointing it to the target datastore. The platform automates steps like IP-reconfiguration, VM-boot order, and refactoring and converting workloads for the cloud. Workloads are replicated and protected , so you don’t pay for VM instances running in the public cloud until you actually perform a failover.

Portfolio Review

The focus of this segment is to prevent silos, that drive increased costs and complexity, by identifying redundant purchases and increase standardization on agency-wide tools, solutions, and purchases. Zerto addresses this need by consolidating the prevalent tool-chains (that combine at least a half-dozen tools from various vendors) with end-to-end backup processes and business recovery in one seamless platform. It provides federal agencies with a single point of contact along with the means to manage RPOs, RTOs, and SLA uptimes to the most stringent requirements—all with near-zero data loss and downtime from a single pane of glass.

Transparency and Risk Management

Migrating workloads implicates a great deal of risk, if not cost & time. Agencies need an insurance plan for both planned and unplanned outages. Zerto enables reverse protection, giving an agency the option of putting everything back the way it was. It provides a mechanism to send block updates back to the original location, making it easy to migrate back to the original infrastructure if needed—an important element of transparency and risk planning that introduces resiliency by removing risk with consistent RPO & RTO’s. With Zerto, both the migration and reversal processes are highly automated and orchestrated, requiring only simple point-and-click actions to perform tasks. The platform also provides a mechanism to leave the virtual machines at their original location without sending back updates, helping to mitigate risk by providing a “go-back” methodology without having to restore at all.

The MGT Act

Enacted in 2018, the Modernizing Government Technology (MGT) Act is a key component in continuing efforts to improve federal technology by providing financial resources and technical expertise to agencies. The act requires agencies to have a strong execution strategy and technical approach when implementing new MGT-funded technologies. The goal is to encourage efficiency and reduce costs through new technology adoption. Zerto’s capabilities such as journaling, automation, and orchestration help agencies meet this goal, providing the protection they need to move applications to, from, and between clouds without disrupting operations.

Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity models traditionally have revolved around protecting at the physical perimeter, a method that is no longer effective because of mobile devices, Internet of Things (IOT), edge computing, and distributed hybrid environments. Instead, modern security needs include zero-trust policies and shared services (build once and use many). Zerto employs a number of methods to ensure security and resiliency, including the use of secure, encrypted channels for communication. And to foil ransomware attacks, Zerto has a “rewind and resume” function that allows an agency to dial back to a specific point in time—seconds before an attack—to restore and resume operations in a secure environment while forensic analysis gets under way.

IT implementations and cloud migrations can turn into protracted, complex endeavors for federal agencies, making it harder to get good marks on the FITARA scorecard. But they don’t have to be. Contact Zerto to find out how to simplify migration and implementation while keeping costs down.

To learn more about how federal agencies are partnering with Zerto, download our IT Resilience for Government Overview and Federal Use Case Ebook.