Is Your Agency On The Road To Software-Defined IT?

Cloud, mobility, the Internet of Things – these transformative technologies mandate government agencies rethink their IT strategies. Now, more than ever before, the federal government needs to rapidly deploy innovative capabilities to support a more connected and automated environment.

A growing number of connections and a steadily rising influx of data to manage are creating greater demands on the federal network infrastructure. Many government agencies are preparing for monumental network modernization efforts underlined by the need to adopt open, software driven networks that are capable of handling the increasingly complex demands of mobile and cloud technologies, the Internet of Things and other emerging trends.

Too often, government agencies are stuck with legacy network environments that represent the Old IP – a vendor-driven, hardware-centric infrastructure locked down by proprietary protocols with high maintenance costs. The Old IP was not designed for the IT environment today’s infrastructure must support. As a result, many government networks can’t efficiently manage cloud services, mobility and analysis of big data – cornerstones of federal government innovation.

In order to truly modernize, agencies must make a holistic move to the New IP – a user-driven, software-centric, virtualized infrastructure firmly based on open standards and offering low OpEx alternatives.

Is your agency on the highway to the New IP or is it stuck on the Old IP path? We’ve put together a checklist, which we’ll outline throughout a series of upcoming posts, to see whether your agency is moving in the right direction when it comes to modernizing your network.

Standards: Proprietary or open?

The New IP is fueled by open source initiatives like OpenDaylight and OpenStack that are designed to support software defined networking (SDN) and cloud adoption. These initiatives have had a huge impact on network innovation, enabling IT leaders to work together to spread the adoption of emerging technologies. Recognizing the value of open source initiatives, Obama’s recent Open Government Partnership Action Plan requires agencies to develop open source software policies to enable innovation and cost savings.

Research proves the cost-saving potential of open standards through the use of multi-vendor networks. Ninety-four percent of infrastructure independent agencies report having saved money due to the use of multi-vendor networks. Selecting network vendors that follow open standards allows the government to not only reduce costs but also to increase competition and spur innovation.

One of the first things agency IT leaders should consider when undertaking network modernization efforts is whether the new network will be open source and multi-vendor.

Government’s legacy networks continue to become more expensive and cumbersome with age. If agencies want to make the most of emerging tech, now is the time for a shift to the New IP. Stay tuned for the next item on the New IP checklist.


Learn more about the impact of the New IP and software-based technologies.


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