Technically, it’s not even a city. It is a town. Possibly one of the newest zip codes in America. Not surprisingly, it is also one of the hardest hit by the mortgage crisis. Let it be unnamed given that I’m using it for illustrative purposes. How does a town like this survive, or even thrive, given budget cuts, foreclosures and property tax defaults?
Cost cutting is an obvious answer. Some administrative staff were let go. Vendor contracts were re-negotiated. Additional government funding was solicited where possible. Mostly common-sense stuff.
There was also some stuff that was uncommon. Somebody did an analysis and came up with some a “bright” idea. They figured that if the street lights on the non-arterial roads could be turned into blinking red lights instead of red, yellow and green, they could actually save a lot of energy and thereby the cost.
Needless to say, after the initial confusion (when most people initially thought the lights were non-functional, and then came to the realization that it was a deliberate act from the town administration), there was a lot of hue and cry. “What? Blinking red lights all the time? No green or yellow? What about safety? What about those who don’t stop. Off with their heads!”
Our expectations for how we can use technology to connect people and organizations have changed drastically, even in the past few years. We want to live in a world without the borders that have traditionally hampered our ability to innovate, collaborate and deliver services. Cisco’s Borderless Networks architecture is paving the way for this vision in a number of concrete steps that began with the launch of the ISR G2 in October 2009. The ultimate goal is for the network to render tasks, which previously required a great deal of time and resources, painless and effortless. Imagine if the network could carry the burden of global connectivity for you…with the click of a button.
For example, what if you wanted to send critical, rich data and applications to remote locations around the world instantaneously?
The IRIS program has been in the works for a while, with the primary objective of building radiation-tolarant IP routers for satellite and related spacecraft. These would support network services for voice, video and data communications, in much the same way as routers on the ground do. IRIS provides the dynamic flexibility and adaptability of the Internet Protocol to help streamline communications flow, improve mobility, reduce the number of hops between end points etc. compared to conventional circuit switched satellite technology.
In my last post on the top security challenges for Borderless Networks, I focused on several issues facing businesses in 2010. Trends like an increasingly dynamic and distributed workforce, the growth of cloud computing and virtualization, and IT consumerization which are driving an evolution of the network bring not only great opportunities, but also new security threats. Outside the private sector, organizations are facing security issues that stem similarly from the ubiquity of the network as well as specific regulatory requirements.
Here, I focus on three areas that are coping with changing security threats in a borderless world: government, healthcare and education.