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MN.IT Cloud Portfolio

Information about each of the projects in the MN.IT Cloud portfolio is detailed below. 


The objective of this foundational priority is to combine individual agency Active Directory (AD) systems into an executive branch Active Directory system that is centrally managed by a dedicated team.  

The focus of this effort is to combine all user and resource (e.g., printers and computers) objects to the executive branch Active Directory system. This means all user workstation computers (e.g. laptops and desktops) have been joined to the new AD and end-users accounts leverage the new AD as their primary authentication domain, including authentication for print, email, instant messaging, and SharePoint services.

While the migrating to the executive branch Active Directory system will result in the de-commissioning of most ADs, it is understood that some may remain for a period of time beyond the migration to support other services (e.g., web servers, databases, or business applications). 

Data Center Preparations Project Information 

The objective of this foundational project was to prepare two facilities - EDC1 and EDC4 - for the consolidated workload laid out in the Tactical Plan.  This project is complete. This project was essential to preparing MN.IT Services to host the state’s physical systems and to close or minimize the other 30+ executive branch data centers. Completing the design and build of these data centers was a prerequisite to other projects in the MN.IT Cloud Program, including standing up managed hosting services (virtual / physical), consolidating database and middleware, and delivering an enterprise web content management service.  

This project prepared two anchor data centers including making the space available, locating racks, power, networking and HVAC to be ready to accept the consolidated workloads.  Both data centers are now ready for production workloads and prepared for a true enterprise active/active solution and are centrally managed and maintained by a single team dedicated to data center facilities management.

Database Project Information 

The objective of this project is to consolidate the function of database administration across all state agencies.  Database Administration is the function of implementing, and providing ongoing care and operational support to databases. It is a complex function spanning both implementation and virtually all aspects of administrative support including monitoring, assuring operational integrity (including availability and performance), space management, providing comprehensive backup and recovery, and performing ongoing upgrade / patching support.  It also includes performance tuning which often entails SQL tuning, index management, environmental tuning, as well as requiring a comprehensive knowledge of database optimizer technology. 

Consolidation of the database administration function includes those databases designed / built as part of a custom solution, as well as those which are part of a COTS solution. It includes databases implemented on a variety of database management system (DBMS) products.  

EUCC Lync Project Information 

The objective of this hosted, software as a service offering was to make the Microsoft Lync communication and collaboration application available to all state workers through an agency-by-agency migration process.  This project is complete.  All user workstation computers (e.g., laptops and desktops) have the Microsoft Lync client installed, user accounts are enabled to use EUCC Lync and the necessary firewall ports have been opened at each state agency. 

The scope of the project also included the development of basic end user materials that demonstrate the value and the workings of this powerful communications tool in order to increase adoption and facilitate end user skills adoption.

EUCC SharePoint Project Information 

The objective of this foundational priority is to leverage and combine, where appropriate, individual agency SharePoint and other collaboration solutions into a unified whole that leverages MN.IT’s investment in the cloud-based Enterprise Unified Communication and Collaboration (EUCC) infrastructure.  

Specifically, the objectives of the SharePoint-related tasks identified in the Tactical Plan are as follows:

• Decrease the current and ongoing expense of maintaining multiple SharePoint farms within the MN.IT infrastructure.  Each SharePoint farm requires multiple servers (Web Front End, Application, Search, SQL), backup processes & storage allocations and staff (for patches, backups, etc.)

• Enable MN.IT staff to spend more time using SharePoint to accomplish business goals and less time managing the SharePoint infrastructure

• Fully leverage our investment in EUCC by reducing equipment, software, management and maintenance expenses

• Enable new business processes through cross-agency collaboration, extranet access, consistency of application development and the implementation of unified governance practices.

ITSM Process Project Information 

The objective of this project is to formalize and implement common ITSM processes for four areas: Incident Management, Request Fulfillment, Change Management and Event Management, based on models already developed by a cross-agency MN.IT team.  These processes will need to be further defined and documented with specific granularity in order to be implemented in service management tools. Though agency-based teams may initially adopt the designated processes on their existing ITSM toolset, eventually all agency-based teams will be expected to migrate to a shared ITSM toolset, which will have the four processes implemented as part of this project.  

Along with process definition and adoption, included in the scope of this project is training to ensure that MN.IT employees and customer end users understand how to follow the processes consistently across all MN.IT offices.

Managed Hosting

The objectives of this project are to design and create a centralized executive branch enterprise server environment and to migrate all executive branch physical servers and virtual instances into an enterprise data center that is centrally managed by a dedicated team.  The focus of this effort is to reduce the required number of physical servers within the executive branch through virtualization while moving workloads to standardized hardware platforms. 

The end result will be a standard of hosting for the executive branch which will reduce the risk and cost of doing business and provide faster and more responsive hosting services – both physical and virtual. 

Middleware Project Information 

The objective of the new Middleware service is to consolidate the middleware software infrastructure into the centrally managed datacenters, reducing the amount of middleware infrastructure.  Additionally the project will standardize and consolidate the various middleware software licenses to reduce the overall costs of middleware software to the State of Minnesota. 

Mobile Device Management Project Information 

The objective of this MN.IT Cloud project is to complete all service design details and fully roll out a Mobile Device Management service across the executive branch.  When complete:

• All mobile devices such as iPhones, iPads, Androids and Windows phones will be added to the Mobile Device Management system

• All customer-facing and back office service design policies, standards, and processes will be defined, documented, and implemented

• Where beneficial, MDM staff will be consolidated and/or redistributed.

This tactical plan priority is a continuation of work that began in early 2012 by a cross-MN.IT team, which has already resulted in:

• A firm understanding of business requirements

• A thorough understanding of product solutions in the MDM space

• The selection of a MDM vendor (Airwatch) that meets the State of Minnesota’s business needs

• The development of some preliminary service design documents

• A pilot of the selected Airwatch MDM solution.

Service Level Management Project Information 

Service level management is the most important process for continual service improvement.  The objective of this project is to develop a robust service level management process for the agency which defines service delivery and measures results.  Specific objectives include providing a process for managing Service Level Agreement (SLA) documents, providing a “store” to order services from and metrics to report on how MN.IT services are performing related to delivery times, availability and satisfaction, along with others specific to that particular service.

Single Service Desk Project Information 

The objective of the Single Service Desk MN.IT Cloud Project is to consolidate individual agency help desks into a single service desk for the executive branch which is centrally managed under one service delivery organization.  This initiative will standardize and improve the way in which MN.IT Services provides the service desk function, regardless of what the IT service is, or how and where it is delivered. 

There are several important elements to meeting the final objective: 

• The implementation of common service management operational processes across all services and all executive branch agencies 

• The adoption of a common service management tool

• The management of all service desk functions (regardless of location) under a single division 

• Where beneficial, the consolidation and/or redistribution of service desk staff.

This project will focus on these key areas:

• Single point of contact – one single support phone number;  one customer portal for all services, all agencies

• Standardized service desk operational processes at all agency-based offices, and all infrastructure and application management teams

• Running a standardized service desk incident/request management tool (ITSM Suite) 

• Refined metric reporting 

• Consolidation of standard service requests and incident management tasks (dependent on MN.IT Cloud Program ITSM project). 

Voice Project Information 

The objective of the MN.IT Cloud IP Telephony Service Project is to ensure that the State is able to leverage the enterprise IPT infrastructure to the fullest extent possible to meet executive branch telephony business needs and to leverage IPT investments.  In this project, telephony needs that are currently met using non-IPT technologies will be evaluated for the efficacy and value of their adoption of the enterprise service.  

Specifically, the following are objectives of this project:

• Analyze the remaining 15% of executive branch phones not using IPT to determine the feasibility of conversion to IPT

• Create a plan to centrally manage all voice systems capable of transitioning to IPT within two years

• Develop state policy that all new voice services capable of doing so will adopt IPT.

Web Content Management Project Information 

The objectives of the WCM project identified in the Tactical Plan are as follows:

• Decrease the current and ongoing expense of maintaining multiple website hosting capabilities within the MN.IT infrastructure.  Each website hosting capability requires servers, backup processes & storage allocations, and staff (to apply patches, perform backups, etc.)

• Enable MN.IT staff to spend more time on delivering useful, citizen-facing content that furthers business goals, and less time managing separate website hosting infrastructures

• Fully leverage our investment in the enterprise dynamic hosting infrastructure by utilizing it to deliver as many websites as possible

• Enable new and/or consistent website content delivery options by sharing coding and implementation expertise across multiple customers, i.e., build once, deploy multiple times.

Wide Area Network (WAN) Project Information 

The objective of the Wide Area Network (WAN) redesign is to move MNET to a corporate / enterprise model appropriate for the MN.IT Cloud.  This will make the executive branch WAN more conducive to consolidated management and the delivery of shared services, such as a combined authentication (Active Directory) model, an enterprise security framework, and a centralized management model for end user services, including workstations, and VoIP. The WAN redesign will balance the requirements of a consolidated IT service model at the State with the requirements of its non-executive branch network customers and partners.  

WAN redesign will include:

• Logical issues around topology (ISP model to Corporate / Enterprise Model)

• Security segmentation

• Increased capacity to MN.IT Cloud services (AD authentication, File and Print services, and workstation management)

• Improved prioritization and resiliency.

Workstation Management Project Information 

The objective of this End User Service is to build a single, centralized end-to-end workstation management service for the State of Minnesota and its 30,000 employees; including the necessary people, process and technology to meet the needs of business and end users. This means all workstation computers (e.g., laptops and desktops) have been added to the new centralized system, and that these devices must have regular connectivity to the centralized workstation management system for inventory and configuration updates.