US Government IT Survey Shows IPv6 Confusion and Low Adoption for Virtualization Management Tools

Survey conducted at FOSE 2008 assess key trends within government IT, including IPv6, green IT and virtualization management

IPv6 readiness and virtualization management proved to be key issues in the second annual Federal IT Trends Survey, conducted by IT management solutions provider ScienceLogic. Administered at FOSE 2008, over 100 federal agency IT managers, systems administrators and network engineers were polled on various topics within federal IT, including Green IT solutions, virtualization and FISMA compliance.

Surprisingly, only 65 percent of agency IT personnel surveyed say that IPv6 is important to their operations – making this issue second to last on the list of priorities covered by the survey. Last year, an equal number of respondents, 1 in 5, said that their agencies would and would not meet the June 2008 mandate for IPv6. This year, the numbers went up, 1 in 3, but the respondents remain equally split on whether or not their agencies will meet the mandate.

“Government IT workers remain equally split on IPv6 readiness, and even personnel from the same agency had differing opinions,” said David Link, CEO of ScienceLogic. “This shows the general lack of understanding about the mandate requirements and what agencies are really doing about them. The June mandate only requires that backbone
networks support IPv6, probably making it a lower priority for most government IT workers. The real test will come when actual IPv6 applications must be supported which will impact networks, systems, applications and monitoring tools throughout the government.”

Virtualization management continues to be important to federal IT personnel, with over 85 percent marking the technology as important to their daily operations. Adoption of solutions, however, appears to have dropped off from last year; only 15 percent polled have tools in place versus 20 percent last year.

“The lack of adoption for virtualization management tools reflects the immaturity of the solutions in this market and general lack of understanding about best practices and the tools necessary to optimize infrastructure availability and performance and manage virtual sprawl,” said Link. “More vendors are entering this market all the time and trying to find real solutions amid the noise has become increasingly difficult.”

The survey also showed:

  • FISMA compliance and Securing IT is a top issue – Since last year, this category showed the most marked gains in terms of importance and solutions deployed or planned. Over 90 percent of respondents said it was important, over 50 percent have a solution in place and nearly three-quarters will have a solution or upgrade in place by next year. It will be interesting to see how this translates to higher FISMA grades this year.
  • Having a complete IT Asset Inventory is a critical issue – Topping the list of important issues for government IT at almost 100 percent was the need for a complete IT Asset Inventory, with almost 70 percent of those surveyed already having tools in place or planning for implementation by next year.
  • Green IT is important, but low priority – Almost 75 percent of respondents say Green IT is important to them, but only 13 percent actually have any tools in place. The gap between intention and implementation is very telling making Green IT very low on the priority list.
  • ITIL/CMDB deployments are up – The importance of this best practices framework remained steady and last on the list in terms of priority at 56 percent. Actual ITIL/CMDB implementations jumped from 1 percent last year to 10 percent this year.
  • Web 2.0 Tools are being adopted – Government IT is taking advantage of wikis and RSS tools to improve communications and efficiency. 67 percent said that Web 2.0 tools are important with 22% current adoption backing up that importance.

IT personnel were also asked to list the top challenges for their department; Budget Constraints came in at first place at 62 percent of those surveyed. Following it were IT Security (46 percent) and New Technology and Innovation (39 percent). Surprisingly, Proving Value and ROI came in at only 10 percent, perhaps showing that many agency IT departments are confident that the technology they employ can meet service-level agreements.

To see the full results of the survey, please visit http://www.sciencelogic.com/pdf/FOSE2008_Survey_Results.pdf.
To see comparisons between the 2007 and 2008 results, please visit
http://www.sciencelogic.com/pdf/FOSE_SurveyComparison.pdf. About ScienceLogic
Reston, Va.-based ScienceLogic LLC was started with one goal: Simplify IT. Founded and staffed by technology professionals who are intensely focused on making IT management simpler, better and faster, ScienceLogic is committed to delivering solutions with unquestionable quality and value and enabling its customers to deliver impeccable service to their constituents. ScienceLogic’s patent-pending EM7 Meta-Appliances are a next-generation “framework” solution engineered to deliver comprehensive systems, network and application management out-of-the-box. The revolutionary EM7 technology combines a secure and pre-integrated set of applications with automation tools, reporting, “single pane of glass” view and centralized data repository – all optimized to work together for proactive and efficient IT operations management. It is currently deployed across a wide range of public and private organizations, including BET Networks, XM Satellite Radio and Navy Knowledge Online. For more information, call 1-800-SCI-LOGIC (1-800-724-5644) or visit our web site at www.sciencelogic.com and our blog at http://blog.sciencelogic.com.