Outdated federal IT networks are incapable of fully exploiting the extensive advantages of the mobility, cloud, social networking, and big data analytics technologies collectively described by IDC as the Third Platform. That deficiency limits the ability of government agencies to effectively serve constituents.

Today’s private sector businesses are transitioning away from networks built on the same hardware-based, proprietary approach used by the federal government, and moving toward an open, software-driven environment that simplifies network processes and reduces costs. This approach is the New IP.

To efficiently support government functions, the federal IT network must undergo this transition, as well. A New IP infrastructure will allow agencies to develop flexible networks that can easily and cost-effectively adapt to the changing needs of federal employees, citizens, and warfighters.

The New IP path to network modernization

The transition to the New IP can be accomplished incrementally, as needs direct and budgets permit. We believe this transition is best accomplished through the following initiatives:

Move to open standards—By reducing vendor lock-in, standards-based products enable choice that increases flexibility, while reducing cost and complexity. These benefits help accelerate the rate of innovation. Agencies that take advantage of open standards are more agile and better positioned to adapt to advances such as software-defined networking (SDN). Brocade has built a reputation for innovating high-performance networking solutions that address the needs and requirements of today’s and tomorrow’s network infrastructures. At the core of this reputation is our commitment to open standards solutions.

Implement a multi-vendor network— Multivendor networks enable the competition that controls costs and encourages the use of best-of-breed products.

Deploy Ethernet fabrics—A fabric is a flattened architecture that simplifies networks by replacing traditional point-to-point relationships. Brocade fabrics are extremely easy to deploy with a simple plug-and-play procedure. They are self-provisioning and self-healing, which eases scalability and dramatically reduces training and maintenance costs. Brocade fabrics also feature automation that reduces errors and accepts commands and controls from enterprise-level orchestration tools such as OpenStack. 

Initiate SDN—SDN abstracts data flow control from proprietary software in switch and router control planes, giving administrators the power to create efficient, customized, network-wide data flows. The freedom to programmatically control the way data flows through a network eases manageability, supports automation, and helps administrators more quickly deliver customized services that enhance agency operations. Brocade allows agencies to transition to SDN in a phased approach by supporting simultaneous SDN and traditional traffic flows on the same port at the same time. We also support SDN with our Brocade SDN Controller (formerly known as Brocade Vyatta Controller), which is the first commercial edition of the OpenDaylight SDN controller. The Brocade SDN Controller is an important member of our portfolio of Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) offerings.

Leverage alternative procurement models—Opting for a vendor-neutral, requirements-based approach allows agencies to choose from a wider variety of solutions to meet their price, performance, and flexibility needs. In acquiring those solutions, agencies can stretch resources by using an alternative “pay-as-you-go” approach that spends OpEx dollars rather than CapEx funds. The Brocade Network Subscription (BNS) program, for example, is a pay-as-you-go acquisition model that offers cloud-like agility, freeing agencies to scale up and down as needs change without incurring upfront infrastructure costs.

possibilities-federal-new-ip-diagram

Now is the time

Brocade has been empowering government agencies to accomplish their missions through leading-edge networking solutions since 1995. Today, that means transitioning to an open, multivendor, software-centric New IP infrastructure.

Implementing the New IP will let agencies embrace Third Platform technologies that improve collaboration and speed service delivery to constituents. Studies also project that modernizing network systems and procurement strategies can save federal IT organizations up to $7 billion over the next five years.

The ability to transition gradually to a modernized architecture that is flexible, cost-effective, and adaptable to future needs leaves little argument for retaining the static, proprietary, hardware-centric networks used throughout the federal government today. It’s time to launch a new era in federal IT. It’s time for the New IP.

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Brocade products turn Possibilities into realities. Through transitions and technology evolution. For agencies and departments large and small. Our proven data and storage network fabrics, state-of-the-art virtual devices, management tools, and open approach are ready to support your mission.

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