CHESTERFIELD, Va., June 2, 2008 (PRIME NEWSWIRE) -- When disasters strike, the last thing citizens and businesses in Virginia should have to worry about is the safety and security of their information kept by state agencies' computer systems.

The successful disaster recovery testing at the Southwest Enterprise Solutions Center by employees of the Virginia Information Technologies Agency (VITA) and its partner Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) established not only that important state information is secure and more easily accessible, but that it also can be accessed quickly.

"The Commonwealth is better served as a result of this disaster recovery test," Virginia Chief Information Officer Lem Stewart said. "In the event a disaster does happen, we are prepared to promptly restore critical systems and data for most state Executive Branch agencies that we serve. This should provide peace of mind to citizens and businesses relying on the Commonwealth for services."

Nineteen agencies and more than 135 personnel participated in the disaster recovery exercise. Specifically, the tests simulated what could transpire in a real disaster, natural or otherwise, and allowed VITA and other Commonwealth employees and Northrop Grumman employees to work together and ensure seamless operations to the state agencies that use VITA services.

As a result of the public-private partnership between VITA and Northrop Grumman, the Commonwealth's data held by Executive Branch agencies now is housed in Virginia at a primary facility in Chester and a backup facility in Lebanon, Russell County. The speed of recovery also has been vastly increased through the use of disc replication and "virtual tape," a system that mimics a traditional tape back-up by using discs instead.

These tests of the platforms provided for an opportunity to review current recovery plans, and plan for configuration changes, new applications, new staff and other changes that will alter test plans annually.

"Together, VITA and Northrop Grumman demonstrated that critical state data now is more safe and secure, and more easily retrievable, allowing for faster recovery of data," said Doug McVicar, vice president and Northrop Grumman program manager for the VITA project. "This exercise helps to ensure Virginia's information technology backbone is back up and running."

About the partnership between Northrop Grumman and VITA

The IT Infrastructure Partnership between Northrop Grumman and the Commonwealth of Virginia, which is overseen by the Virginia Information Technologies Agency, is a landmark public-private venture that is yielding real results for the Commonwealth by modernizing and updating its IT infrastructure for today and the future and creating jobs in Southwest Virginia.

Northrop Grumman Corporation is a global defense and technology company whose 120,000 employees provide innovative systems, products, and solutions in information and services, electronics, aerospace and shipbuilding to government and commercial customers worldwide.

  CONTACT:  Juli Ballesteros
          Northrop Grumman
          (703) 556-2736

          Marcella Williamson
          (804) 416-6002