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CBP Moves to the Cloud; Charlie Armstrong Comments

Charlie Armstrong
Charlie Armstrong

DHS’ Customs and Border Protection is expanding its cloud services technology with modernized IT infrastructure, according to a Federal News Radio article.

“We have a number of infrastructure components at the server level, the switch level and the router level that were well beyond their end of life, some of them beyond 10 years old,” said CBP chief information officer Charlie Armstrong.

Armstrong, who is also the Office of Information and Technology assistant commissioner, said the CBP will start implementing some of the new hardware in 2013.

The new equipment will be used for “cloud computing, allow us collapse down the number of servers we have and move more toward more virtualization, lower our power cost and improve our performance time and availability time,” he added.

The new hardware supports the CBP’s C3E cloud initiative to use a big data environment.

While the move to the cloud will be a slower process, CBP has already migrated 73,000 users to the DHS email-as-a-service offering.

The switch to cloud email occurred in November, according to Armstrong.

With the CBP moving toward the cloud in its IT infrastructure, mobility might be better utilized as a result.

“We think mobility is going to help us,” Armstrong said. “We have a pilot with our Office of Administration where they’ve been able to drastically reduce their footprint in one of their offices, about cut it in half. They are doing a lot of telework and moved away from physical phones and moved to soft phones, they are using collaboration tools that allow them to do online meetings, online chat and share documents in real time,” he added.

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