The Peace Corps traces its roots and mission to 1960, when then Senator John F. Kennedy challenged students at the University of Michigan to serve their country in the cause of peace by living and working in developing countries. From that inspiration grew an agency of the federal government devoted to world peace and friendship.
Since that time, more than 195,000 Peace Corps Volunteers have served in 139 host countries to work on issues ranging from AIDS education to information technology and environmental preservation.
Recently, Peace Corps has deployed Cisco router-embedded WAN optimization solutions (WAAS) across 26 rural locations for cost reduction and application acceleration. Here’s my interview highlights with Domenico Palombo – Network Chief for Peace Corps:
WAN bandwidth savings: Cisco WAAS has reduced overall bandwidth utilization by 50 percent, enabling the Peace Corps to deploy a global Microsoft SharePoint portal.
Microsoft Sharepoint acceleration: Accelerated application performance up to 20 times for file sharing. “The Cisco WAAS solution is accomplishing exactly what we wanted it to,” says Palombo. “We can provide services on existing links with good performance. And the relative cost, compared to upgrading the links, was very low.”
Microsoft Active Directory acceleration: “Microsoft Active Directory and all of our web-based services are much faster. Recently, I downloaded a 345 MB file in 15 minutes, which would have taken almost two hours without the Cisco WAAS solution.” —Luis Ly, IT Specialist, Peru, Peace Corps.
ROI: “If we were to actually buy additional bandwidth instead of optimizing, we would have had to pay an average of U$970 monthly per site, or US$11,640 annually,” says Palombo. “That compares to US$6,175 annually per site for Cisco WAAS.” As of March 2009, Peace Corps had deployed WAAS across 29 countries, at a total cost of US$192,465. “Buying enough bandwidth across the [Americas] region to support collaboration would have cost US$302,640 annually,” says Palombo. “Cisco WAAS saved US$185,315 in the first year alone. Savings across all 29 sites will be US$642,610.”
And watch this video testimonial of Domenico Palombo from Peace Corps: http://b.static.ak.fbcdn.net/swf/mvp.swf?8%3A172197%3A1&v=97657394370&ev=0