U.S. Department of State
Other State Department Archive SitesU.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
The State Department web site below is a permanent electronic archive of information released online from January 1, 1997 to January 20, 2001. Please see www.state.gov for current material from the Department of State. Or visit http://2001-2009.state.gov for information from that period. Archive sites are not updated, so external links may no longer function. Contact us with any questions about finding information. NOTE: External links to other Internet sites should not be construed as an endorsement of the views contained therein.
U.S. Department of State

Department of State

 

About IRM
Who's Who
CIO's Corner
Publications
Vendor Liaison
Modernization
Enterprise Management
Links

IRM Logo

ALMA
A Logical Modernization Approach

The Department operates a variety of decentralized IT platforms at posts around the world, including proprietary Wang VS systems and different types of local area networks, some with closed, proprietary network operating systems.  These diverse, aging platforms do not conform to Department modernization plans and architectures, cannot accommodate Year 2000 date requirements in most cases, do not support business requirements for messaging and other new applications, and cannot be managed effectively in a distributed environment.  These platforms are interconnected by several discrete networks for worldwide communications, supporting multiple protocols including SNA, WSN, TCP/IP, and others.  The circuits at many sites do not have the capacity to support current and projected requirements for throughput and reliability.  Moreover, some larger sites operate five or more individual circuits, resulting in inefficient, expensive operations.  In short, the deficiencies in the current worldwide post infrastructure impair the effective delivery of information throughout the Department, placing the conduct of U.S. foreign policy at risk.

Through A Logical Modernization Approach (ALMA), the Department began installing an IT infrastructure which addresses these deficiencies and provides posts with modern, open, and standards-based systems, while allowing integration with and use of legacy systems during the transition period.  The Department has deployed the ALMA infrastructure successfully at 8 pilot posts, 90 ‘production’ posts as part of the FY97-99 deployment schedule, and numerous other posts have ‘self-deployed’ ALMA components.  In conjunction with ALMA deployment, Diplomatic Telecommunications Service (DTS-PO) will upgrade the circuits at each post, establishing a single, standard circuit of adequate capacity to replace the multiple inefficient, non-standard, undersized circuits in place today.  These activities match actions in progress to migrate applications to ALMA components.

The project meets the Diplomatic Readiness/Information Resources goals for unclassified processing at posts.  The Department goal is to have standards-based ALMA platforms, Open Net connectivity, and adequate circuits at all locations Department-wide to support business quality e-mail office automation, modernized Bureau and corporate applications, and access to new technologies such as Internet, video teleconferencing, and distance learning.  ALMA installations are a critical activity in accomplishing the Department goals of retiring legacy Wang VS equipment and avoiding Year 2000 code problems.

A worldwide ALMA-based infrastructure will also lower costs and risks by enabling IRM to provide improved and integrated services in systems and network management, user and technical support, and security.