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A Public Manager’s Guide to Cloud Computing

Cloud computing—delivering infrastructure, services, and software on demand via the network—offers attractive advantages to the public sector. For example, it has the potential to reduce information and communications technology (ICT) costs by virtualizing capital assets like disk storage and processing cycles into a readily available, affordable operating expense.

One of the most significant cloud computing opportunities for the public sector is the ability to share ICT resources among multiple agencies. While governments have tried hard to create frameworks geared toward shared services, these have not always been successful. Cloud computing offers an easier and less burdensome route to more efficient and effective public sector information management.

Of course, cloud computing is not without its challenges:

  • A service provider residing outside of a government’s legal or territorial jurisdiction may put access or security at risk.
  • Open standards and interoperability may not be guaranteed, leading to the risk of vendor lock-in.
  • Data privacy is a concern when using public clouds. This can be addressed by the development of private clouds.
  • Business continuity will continue to be a concern. Cloud computing, however, may also mitigate this risk, as cloud vendors are likely to use more robust and better-maintained computing platforms that provide more redundancy and are less likely to fail.

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Highlights from the National Town Hall for the Next Generation Workspace: Public Sector Edition

In case you missed it, you can still watch the National Town Hall for the Next Generation Workplace online

This 90-minute TeleWebcast features public sector customer best practices from federal, state and local government, and education organizations hosted via Cisco TelePresence in Atlanta, Herndon, Los Angeles, Richardson, San Jose, and Seattle.

Moderator: Steve LeSueur  
Contributing Editor, 1105 Government Information Group

Shane Milam
Director, Systems and Networks, Mercer University

 Paulette Robinson
Associate Dean for Teaching and Learning, iCollege, National Defense University

Josh Sawislak 
Senior Fellow, Telework ExchangeSenior Fellow, Telework Exchange

Jac Fagundo
Chief Technology Officer for Internal Services Department, LA County

Brooks Moore 
Manager of Technology Services, Dallas County Public Schools – Aledo

Matt Byers
Senior Systems Administrator, Seattle University

Chris Westphal
Senior Manager for Desktop Solutions Marketing, VMware

Tony Paikeday
Senior Marketing Manager for Desktop Virtualization, Cisco

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2011 – A Very Good Year for Government Product Certifications at Cisco

As 2011 comes to a close, it’s a good time to look back at a very successful year for Cisco’s Global Certifications. Cisco is committed to government product certifications and has increased the investment to ensure customers can trust the integrity, security and interoperability of Cisco IT network systems. New certifications include:
– 12 FIPS 140-2 validations,
– 5 Common Criteria certifications,
– 25 new product listings on the US Department of Defense Unified Communications Approved Products List (UC APL),
– 13 new USGv6 certifications, and
– 12 new IPv6 Ready Logo Phase 2 certifications

These 67 new certifications, the most ever in one year at Cisco, continue to demonstrate Cisco’s commitment to our Public Sector customers. At the same time, these certifications improve product quality and security for all customers.

In addition to product certifications, Cisco continues to stress the importance of a single, standards-based, mutually recognized certification program, specifically Common Criteria, for evaluating product assurance. Information and Communications Technology (ICT) vendors cannot scale to demands from countries with unique product certification requirements. Not only does this impact the ability of vendors to improve product security but it reduces the portfolio of products customers have to choose from, thereby potentially reducing the security of their networks against emerging cyber security threats.

2012 will be an exciting year at Cisco for government product certifications. We will continue to look for ways to scale, both internally and externally, to the ever increasing demand for product certifications across a broader set of our product offerings. We also expect to deliver even more product certifications than we did in 2011. For more information on government product certification at Cisco, please visit us at www.cisco.com/go/govcerts.

Happy Holidays!

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The Cisco 5940 Embedded Services Router (ESR) awarded Common Criteria Certification

The Global Certification Team is pleased to announce thati  the 5940 Embedded Services Router (ESR) has been awarded Common Criteria certification.  The 5940 ESR is certified at EAL2+ against the Traffic Filter Firewall in Basic Robustness Environments v1.1.  The Cisco 5940 ESR validated for IOS Version: 15.1(2)GC1.

More information on the validation effort can be found at: http://www.niap-ccevs.org/cc-scheme/st/vid10429/

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Paying Attention to TCO can save the Government Millions in Transport Costs

I’ve been thinking a lot about TCO recently and ways we can help the Government maximize the investment of our tax dollars. By chance, I ran across this incredible White Paper written by one of our top Optical Engineers  entitled “Government Transport Networks:  Minimize Lifetime Costs”.

It’s a good read, and if you are a Network Architect making purchasing decisions in this area, I would highly recommend it.  In fact, if you have any further questions on any of the data presented please reach out to me directly and I’ll put you in touch with the author.

This paper makes the case that transport networks represent a significant portion of government IT costs and is often overlooked in terms of TCO.  It guides the reader through the various Network Deployment Models (private, managed private, hybrid) and the benefits  in real dollars by going with one approach over another.

Transport networks affect government operational costs at least as much as campus or data center networks, and carefully selecting the platform can result in significant savings. In summary, a well-planned transport architecture can help agencies avoid the considerable expense of upgrades as they accelerate adoption of business video and virtualization. In contrast, a platform with lower upfront costs may have a shorter lifespan and require IT teams to continually add overlay networks that increase costs and management complexity.

So “caveat emptor” when considering your next network purchase.

To learn more about Cisco transport platforms, visit: http://www.cisco.com/go/optical.

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