Assuring High-Speed Availability to Government Resources During COVID-19
- Increase in network bandwidth consumption by remote employees
- Need for uninterrupted benefits delivery for citizens during critical times
- nGeniusONE® Service Assurance platform
- InfiniStreamNG® appliances supporting 100G network speeds, with extended storage units (ESUs) for expanded data retention
- Sustained availability of government unemployment benefits to impacted residents
- Uninterrupted business application access for at-home government workers
NETSCOUT met critical government IT service delivery timelines, both preparing and shipping the required InfiniStreamNG 100G appliances and extended storage units within 4 hours of receiving the agency’s order.
Like many of today’s government organizations, this large-scale agency uses a centralized information technology (IT) team to manage the network, application, and Unified Communications (UC) platforms necessary to deliver benefits and transaction processing for residents and visitors.
For years, the agency has used the NETSCOUT® nGeniusONE platform to assure network and application performance and availability for their critical government services.
Amid the everyday challenges of managing this large-scale technology infrastructure, this IT team never loses focus of the agency’s core mission – providing citizens with uninterrupted access to the benefits and services required for everyday needs. That mission became even more crucial when COVID-19 prompted the government to quickly close non-essential services and send employees home to work remotely.
The IT team had strategically monitored performance of Internet access circuits for some time, even planning a regional Internet hub upgrade earlier in the year to better support key government departments. But with thousands of government employees working from home offices, available virtual private network (VPN) capacity and Internet bandwidth were quickly being consumed in an unprecedented manner. The IT team used nGeniusONE real-time service dashboards, monitors, and reporting to provide further evidence of how constrained network resources impacted service delivery.
In addition to facing these internal challenges, the IT team also was focused on supporting a much-needed temporary unemployment program designed to provide critical financial assistance to those residents suddenly separated from their jobs. The government had announced availability of a new, dedicated website to access these special unemployment benefits, along with a go-live date. With this new program, there would be a flood of Web-based applications that would further tax the agency’s already-overburdened Internet resources. From experience, the IT team knew they lacked the necessary visibility to determine how the additional VPN and Internet capacity was performing.
In response to these critical challenges, emergency government funding was released to enable the IT staff to increase their infrastructure capacity.
Solution in Action
For a government agency that had already ratified NETSCOUT Smart Visibility and nGeniusONE performance analytics solutions, this project had some unique timelines that required agile vendor responsiveness and a proven supply chain process. In response to the pressing project requirements, the IT team arranged for quick deployment of several InfiniStreamNG (ISNG) hardware appliances with extended storage to monitor the high-volume traffic expected to cross the new 40G and 100G network links. This would ensure they had the visibility necessary for troubleshooting and forensic analysis of issues going forward.
During the course of this ongoing crisis, the IT team leveraged NETSCOUT technology and business resources to meet a tight timeline for implementing the monitoring and analysis of this critical part of their environment. Through tight collaboration between NETSCOUT and all levels of this agency, they successfully generated critical nGeniusONE reports and service dashboards multiple times a day for viewing by government executives before, during, and after the new ISNG appliances were deployed.
It was critical that this online unemployment website was successfully launched, with the agency avoiding the types of system crashes that had been experienced in similar government programs across the globe. When the agency’s unemployment application process went live, the IT staff and NETSCOUT technologists worked together to monitor performance using nGeniusONE. The newly deployed ISNG appliances monitoring the new network links helped assure uninterrupted website availability and responsiveness for benefits applications and government resources processing those transactions, with nGeniusONE performance and utilization analysis in real time.
With this expanded network capacity, the government is assuring that the thousands of agency representatives working remotely are operating in a business-as-usual model, maintaining both the productivity and ability to support residents in need.