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Secure desktop virtualization and more highlights from Citrix Synergy

Last week I had the opportunity to attend the Citrix Synergy conference in San Francisco.   The conference was buzzing with the latest innovations for desktop virtualization, data center and cloud.   

Secure desktop virtualization infrastructure is compelling for government agencies seeking strategies to reduce costs, improve operational efficiency, and provide control and security of centralized desktops and mobile multi-media clients. 


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A Fortunate Insight into the United States Navy (Part 3 of 3)

by: John N. Stewart, Vice President, Chief Security Officer, Cisco Systems, Inc.

What seemed like just a short while after we closed our eyes, yet realistically five hours later, a 5:00 a.m. wakeup call sounded and we rushed to join the enlisted men and women for breakfast.

This was a highlight of our visit for me, as I met and had breakfast with PO3 Dodson from Maryland. She informed me that she and her sister are both in the Navy. We shared a laugh about the food onboard and sleeping quarters for the enlisted, and discussed the challenges of being an enlisted woman on a naval aircraft carrier. We talked about life and her experiences in the military, which was a treat because she shared her experiences unfiltered and straight up. I really enjoyed meeting her.

As expected, we had a full agenda ahead for that day. It started with us watching a tender ship, which was pacing alongside the USS Stennis approximately 60 feet away, offloading ordinance via zip lines connected between the ships. Two CH-53 helicopters that only landed to refuel were also zipping between the two ships to help move the kit.

It was amazing to watch the two large ships moving side by side, transporting large containers from ship to ship, and knowing that in many cases the containers included things that may explode. Wow!

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A Fortunate Insight into the United States Navy (Part 2 of 3)

by: John N. Stewart, Vice President, Chief Security Officer, Cisco Systems, Inc.

Immediately upon arrival, the rear cargo hatch of the C-2 opened to expose the activity of the military operations on the aircraft carrier’s flight deck, and the great expanse of the Pacific Ocean. We were at sea on board the USS Stennis, and saw, heard, smelled and tasted F-18s taking off nearby. We had arrived!

After a short taxi, with the wings folding up, we stopped near the tower and were given the signal to unbuckle and prepare to step onto the flight deck. The flight deck was a bustle of activity, with aircraft landing and taking off at the same time, and we were quickly rushed inside to a welcoming room.

Aboard a carrier, the welcoming room was about 10×15 feet, yet lots of fun. We met Ensign Uranga (aka Chewy) and Lt. Commander Cindy Fields, who were our officer guides for the tour, along with MCSN Keim, MC3 Cameron, MC2 Sellbach, and MC2 Chepusov, all of whom cared for us throughout our stay. We were the first DV group of the year, and for some of our hosts, their first DV group ever.

After our preparation, an itinerary was handed out, which – due to our late arrival – was already outdated. We didn’t mind, however, because it meant that our group would start off on the flight deck watching the jets land and take off. We donned our safety gear, walked towards the bow about half the length of the ship, and stood in the hallway preparing to go up to the flight deck.

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A Fortunate Insight into the United States Navy (Part 1 of 3)

by: John N. Stewart, Vice President, Chief Security Officer, Cisco Systems, Inc.

This past March, I had the great fortune to be selected to participate in the Distinguished Visitor (DV) program aboard the United States Navy aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis, CVN-74, while she was at sea. The Distinguished Visitor program has existed for more than 30 years, enabling approximately 1,000 visitors each year aboard Navy vessels on the West and East Coasts of the United States. I’d like to share this account with you, as this experience certainly made a lasting impression on me and challenged some of my existing beliefs.

On Tuesday, March 22, I arrived in San Diego, CA, just a short hop from where I live, and spent the night a few miles away from the Naval Air Station (NAS) at Coronado. On Wednesday, early morning, eleven of us from across the United States checked in with Steve Fiebing and MC2 Jeffrey Miltzer to learn about the NAS. As headquarters for the US Navy Pacific Fleet, the NAS also serves as a training, repair, upgrade and staging facility for the United States Army and Navy. This support infrastructure and staging facility serves the aircraft aboard the carrier fleet, including CH-53 helicopters, C-2 CODs and F-18s, and would be our departure airport for this momentous experience.

After meeting with Captain Brad “Marge” Margeson – who is the self-described “largest Marge in the Navy” – this ex-pilot and current head for all flight training shared some of his remarkable Naval experiences with us. He explained what we would experience during our time aboard the USS Stennis, creating a sense of genuine excitement for our experience. He also suggested for us to engage with everyone on the crew, asking them questions about where they are from, what they do, and talk to them about their Navy experience.

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Secure Collaboration for Mobile Emergency Responders

During the past several months we have witnessesed a number of disaster and emergency response crises around the world including:

  • Tornados in Alabama
  • Earthquake and tsunami in Japan
  • Earthquakes in China and New Zealand
  • Floods in Australia and Brazil
  • Gas pipeline explosion and fire in San Bruno California

    When major disasters and emergencies occur, response organizations and government public safety agencies  require immediate communications support to save lives, establish relief operations and provide ongoing assistance in affected communities.  

    IP-based secure communications provides flexible capabilities for mobile emergency responders including Cisco TacOps.

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