Cisco Blogs


Cisco Blog > Government

How Do We Help the Feds Transition to IPv6?

June 1, 2012 at 11:59 am PST

With Cisco’s participation in World IPv6 Launch less than a week away,  IPv6 is definitely top of mind.  Those of us who work in the federal space are also focused on the IPv6 transition deadline that is coming up on September 30th, 2012.  The  OMB Mandate issued in September of 2010 by Federal Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra states that the federal government must “Upgrade public/external facing servers and services (e.g. web, email, DNS, ISP services, etc) to  operationally use native IPv6 by the end of FY 2012”.  According to a Network World article written by Carolyn Duff Marsan, a whopping  99% of Federal Agencies have not yet met the conditions of the mandate.

Why has it been such a challenge for the government to meet this IPv6 transition deadline?  And what needs to be done to help make it happen?

One of the problems is that there has been a lack of  IPv6 support  by government contractors, (including carriers ),   content delivery networks and  network equipment suppliers.  Network equipment must be  “IPv6 certified” to enable government customers to meet the deadline.

Cisco has been leading the way with IPv6 certifications, with a majority of products supporting IPv6 for well over a decade.  Our USGv6 product list is testament to the fact that we are committed to helping our government customers succeed, but it will take more than just IPv6 certified network equipment to help the government successfully make the transition.

The Veteran’s Administration is among the 1% of federal agencies that have successfully transitioned to IPv6.  How did they do it?   By linking the IPv6 transition as an imperative to the VA mission and future IT success.  Their methods and best practiced should be used as a reference for how to accomplish this task.

For those of you in the DC area, if you want to get a update on the outcome of World IPv6 Launch, and more information on how the Veterans Administration successfully transitioned to IPv6, please consider attending  the Digital Government Institute’s  Government IPv6 Day, where all these topics will be covered.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

GPON in the Campus Network – A Misuse of Perfectly Good Technology?

March 21, 2012 at 1:11 pm PST

What’s wrong with running my campus network on Gigabit Passive Optical Network (GPON) technology you ask?

Let me count the ways!

I was just reading a White Paper by Nick Lippis of the Lippis Report entitled, “GPON vs Gigabit Ethernet in Campus Networking” that lays out the issues pretty well in my opinion, and concludes up front that GPON is “suited to niche applications” and that “many GPON assertions and claims are overstated.”

Nick does a nice job of contrasting the two approaches, a last mile SP technology (GPON) that might be a good choice for the home & kids, with a Highly Available Ethernet Design that should be used to run a real business.

I’ll leave it to you to read the details, but he covers facts on all the key areas from power consumption and cabling costs to network scaling, single points of failure, and troubleshooting capabilites.

All this adds up to GPON being a poor choice in the Campus when you look at the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) even though the initial acquisition costs might be lower for the hardware itself.  When you look under the covers, the real price is quite high for GPON in terms of a “lack of flexibility, greater power consumption (certainly not green), limited network capacity, upgrades are system-wide events, troubleshooting tools and skilled technicians are limited and lacking, and multiple single points of failure exist.”

He goes on to say, with the Ethernet market being tens of billions of dollars, research and development is assured while competition privdes the motivation for innovation and feature enhancement.  An Ethernet campus network is a safe investment.

Caveat emptor!

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

” Good Enough” Switching is not Good Enough for Public Sector Customers

March 1, 2012 at 1:03 pm PST

Public Sector customers continue to debate the trade-offs of prioritizing lowest price switching, point product solutions, over designing and deploying Cisco network architecture solutions which provide a lower Total Cost of Ownership (TCO).

On February 23, 2012, Deloitte Consulting presented the findings of an in-depth research study that examines the operational, financial, and risk factors associated with the use of single-vendor and multivendor approaches in different types of complex networks which may be viewed here along with the report itself.

They key findings are summarized in the following 7 items:

  1. Within the context of total IT spending, the use of single-vendor or multivendor architectures does not present material cost differences on a long-term basis. Initial cost savings realized in multivendor network implementations are mitigated by the incremental operating costs over the life of the equipment.
  2. Enterprise networks are considered critical production systems, key to business operations. Networks must be managed with an appropriate operational risk perspective.
  3. Customers prefer a single vendor to be responsible for all network components and services. The operational risk associated with network support, not the cost, is the primary factor when influencing the decisions to use single or multivendor architectures.
  4. Staffing costs are not significantly impacted by the use of multiple vendors; it is more influenced by the mix of functions supported and the types of network services provided.
  5. Using products from different vendors can bring down initial costs for certain products, but adds higher operating risk in service, support, and operational integration.
  6. The use of multiple networking vendors introduces additional operational risk based on the need for customers to assume increased risks for integration, interoperability and support.
  7. When using multiple vendors’ products, customers frequently do not recognize the interdependencies of functionality, long-term costs, and impact on operational risks

And be sure to watch Director of Public Sector Systems Engineering,  Dave West on youtube present his version of why low-cost, ” Good Enough” Switching is not Good Enough for Public Sector Customers looking for a reliable, secure, highly available, well supported and investment protected network.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Come see us, let’s do lunch @ the GSF!

February 20, 2012 at 1:41 pm PST

Join Cisco experts, selected partners, and industry leaders at the 2012 Government Solutions Forum. Get program updates by searching #ciscogsf on Twitter.

We invite you to join Cisco experts, selected partners, and industry leaders on March 21 at the fourth annual Government Solutions Forum. At this interactive educational forum you will discover how public sector agencies and educational organizations are successfully implementing new processes and technologies to improve operational efficiency, enable workforce productivity, and deliver measurable results. You will also benefit from:

  • Technology showcases
  • Interactive demonstrations by Cisco strategic partners
  • Peer-to-peer networking opportunities
  • Detailed discussions of customer best practices and case studies

Benefits

Title: Four Tracks Provide Maximum Value

The 2012 Government Solutions Forum is structured in four tracks to provide detailed technical learning about the topics facing today’s technology and program management professionals in governmental and educational organizations. Choose the track that best suits your interests. They include:

  • Track 1 Mobile Collaboration
  • Track 2 Unified Data Center and the Cloud
  • Track 3 Cutting the Cost of Government
  • Track 4 Managing Risk in a Dynamic Network Environment
Agenda and Registration is here:  http://www.cisco.com/web/strategy/government/solutionsforum.html

Note:  I may be hosting a special deep dive technical session on switching and network management, please write me directly if you are interested in attending.

Tags: , , , , ,

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

December 14, 2011 at 3:32 pm PST

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.

Tags: , , , , , ,