By Greg Stemberger, Networking Practice Director, Iron Bow Technologies
More and more often, federal agencies are choosing not to be limited by the IT shackles that hardware presents. A rapidly growing trend in federal IT is a turn toward leveraging software-defined networking in very specific use-cases, through which organizations have found new levels of IT agility and enhanced networking capabilities, leading to better mission success.
Within the federal government, agencies are starting to see the benefits they can reap from a move to software-enabled environments – from better IT management to reduced operating costs as well as enhanced security capabilities. All of which, but especially security, are top-of-mind with the current administration and will continue to be a priority in the coming years.
Agency networks are complex, making network management a difficult and sometimes error prone manual task. With a massive footprint in the federal government, each network must be managed and operated via separate components, each individual element requiring location administration. Software-defined networking (SDN) can centralize this management, focusing on a single outcome rather than the many different pieces to the puzzle.
Through SDN, the network is not a box-by-box implementation but instead deployed as a cohesive solution with centralized management, automated policy, and simplified operations. This allows for networking and security that is flexible to agencies’ particular needs and automated by nature. Agencies today are trying to achieve their mission with a smaller headcount and fewer resources than ever before.
Automated processes can provide agencies with an operational model that reduces operational error – a type of error that remains a common issue in government IT today. With so many complex network changes for operators to keep track of, moving to SDN can help to reduce this risk potential.
VMware’s NSX software platform reproduces the capabilities of traditional hardware-centric solutions but offers additional network capabilities in terms of scale, flexibility, speed and agility.
NSX is a major player in federal SDN. In fact, the Department of Defense (DoD) recently wrote guidelines on how the solution should be deployed, making it a baseline for all DoD agencies. This recognition is spreading across the federal space, as agencies look to adopt SDN as a means for better network security that is integrated and able to evolve with our IT landscape and the risks that come with it.
SDN allows IT to better meet the needs of a mission. With an efficient and automated system of management, agencies will find they are not only better equipped for security but also to leverage digital transformation trends such as cloud or IT modernization – a persisting demand in government.
With a software-defined IT environment, less is more. It’s time agencies make the move to a cost-effective, agile, flexible IT architecture that doesn’t sacrifice efficiency or security and allows the government to keep up with it’s ever-evolving IT mission.