Office of Environmental Management

Successful IT Project Keeps Hanford Workers Connected

February 19, 2019

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Robin Maples, Zack Larson, Joe Jensen, and Quinn Bragg with Mission Support Alliance were among the technicians who replaced access layer switches throughout the Hanford Site.
Robin Maples, Zack Larson, Joe Jensen, and Quinn Bragg with Mission Support Alliance were among the technicians who replaced access layer switches throughout the Hanford Site.

RICHLAND, Wash. - Part of a successful cleanup mission means ensuring workers have the proper tools and resources to complete tasks.

   Thanks to EM Richland Operations Office (RL) contractor Mission Support Alliance (MSA), Hanford workers now have a more reliable connection to the site’s computer network. MSA recently completed a year-long project that included replacing nearly 900 “access layer switches” in the IT equipment rooms of more than 400 buildings. The switches connect a series of workers’ computers to the intranet.

   “Our cleanup work relies on providing dependable information services,” said Ben Ellison, the Hanford Site’s federal chief information officer. “This project is an important part of managing our legacy risk and ensuring resilient and efficient operations.”

   Dennis Rains, MSA project manager, said the switches are important to Hanford’s day-to-day operations.

   “Without a reliable connection to the site’s computer network, workers would be unable to complete certain tasks,” Rains said.

   Rains said the old equipment was not reliable and was costly to maintain. The new equipment will save RL approximately $100,000 per year in labor and replacement costs.

   As a part of the project, MSA coordinated with building administrators across the site to schedule and plan network outages to reduce the impact to workers.

   The new equipment is easier to manage, offers higher bandwidth, and provides redundancy in locations where multiple systems are stacked together.

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