Federal Insights

How Network Automation Can Move AI from Science Fiction to Reality

by gcastell ‎10-11-2017 07:09 AM - edited ‎10-11-2017 07:14 AM (362 Views)

Artificial intelligence (AI) has become a buzzword in the federal space, and what once was realized only in sci-fi movies, is now a burgeoning reality in IT processes. In fact, just last year, the White House encouraged federal agencies to explore all of the possibilities AI could offer, and the General Services Administration (GSA) launched programs to enable federal adoption of AI.

 

Furthermore, a recent Deloitte study found that AI could potentially save government 1.2 billion hours and $41.1 billion annually and increase mission-delivery speed by automating processes. However, before government can take advantage of advancements like AI today, agencies must take a few key steps. One area where Brocade has implemented fundamental changes to make way for AI technology is in the network. Below I will explore how agencies can begin to evolve their network technology in order to leverage AI capabilities in the near future:

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New Users and Devices on the Network? How to Maintain Security & Productivity

by bwright on ‎06-06-2017 08:14 AM - last edited on ‎06-15-2017 01:49 PM by Community Manager (8,240 Views)

You are a network administrator, responsible for running a campus area network spanning several buildings within a business park. Your company, Widget Inc., runs a portion of its manufacturing, all shipping and receiving, sales, support, admin and HR out of the buildings in the office park. At the same time, you provide support for the remote sales reps and a few overseas employees that offer oversight to an off-shore manufacturer of some of your Widget components.

 

Fortunately for Widget Inc., the buildings in use are close together, sharing parking lots and allowing for direct cable runs between each. This makes for an easier to build, deploy and maintain campus network infrastructure. However, the diverse nature of the operations that Widget Inc. maintains requires a robust network infrastructure providing wired and wireless access to employees, and wireless access to guests and visitors. With all business functions of Widget Inc. accessing the same network, security concerns have arisen.

 

As the network administrator, you must identify what your requirements are for a secure means of network access, both for internal and external users and for wired and wireless. For years, you’ve run an Active Directory (AD) server with LDAP and some type of NAT for your Windows-based desktops. However, several new employees have stated that they prefer to use Mac OS-based computers, all staff use smartphones now and warehouse staff use tablets to facilitate a new inventory application that you have been testing. At the same time, the devices brought in by your suppliers and visitors run all sorts of operating systems, from Linux-based laptops to Google Chromebooks. All of these devices need access to the guest network.

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Security On The Edge: How Is Your Agency Protecting Data at the Edge?

by walkerj ‎03-21-2017 08:47 AM - edited ‎03-21-2017 09:58 AM (6,934 Views)

It’s no surprise that the Internet of Things (IoT) is expanding. IHS predicts that the number of IoT-connected devices will grow to 75.4 billion in 2025. While greater connectivity increases innovation and operational flexibility, these devices raise concerns about network security.

 

In January 2017, the Government Business Council (GBC) surveyed 442 federal employees about the state of their network security and what their agencies are doing to secure the data at the edge. Sixty percent of respondents cited security as the most important performance feature when it comes to the devices and sensors their agency uses to transmit data, ranking above stability, speed and accuracy. Further, 89 percent of those surveyed felt it was very or extremely important that devices operating on the edge, such as IoT-connected devices, were secure from malicious attackers.

 

Despite this agreement, 58 percent of respondents are only somewhat, not very or not at all confident about the security of edge devices. The most commonly cited tactic for securing the edge is also one of the easiest approaches for hackers to work around: stringent password requirements. What is causing these security gaps? Insufficient funding, slow procurement and lack of technical expertise were highlighted as top challenges. However, agencies can take steps to protect their networks from the edge to the core.

 

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IHS reports that the Internet of Things (IoT) will double from around 15 billion devices in 2015 to more than 30 billion devices by 2020. There is no doubt that the federal government is sharing in this growth. Already agencies are using IoT devices, with uses ranging from soldiers gathering data from satellite imagery and other sensors before or during a mission to agencies tracking critical assets such as trucks, construction materials or medicine supplies.

 

These opportunities are only going to increase as government agencies integrate more Internet of Things (IoT) devices into supporting mission outcomes. What many may not realize is that occurring in the background is likely a wireless network that makes data retrieval from these sensors possible. For the federal government to capitalize on the potential of IoT, it needs a network that is scalable, integrates Wi-Fi technology seamlessly with cellular networks and can be easily deployed. These requirements can all be achieved with a few considerations.

 

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From cloud to the Internet of Things, digital transformation is catching hold in government. While agencies are becoming better at identifying new technologies to support their needs and are working with industry to find solutions to mission challenges, innovation isn’t just about technologies themselves. To effectively speed IT advances, agencies are now considering a DevOps methodology.

 

A recent study found 78 percent of federal IT professionals feel DevOps can accelerate innovation at their agency. DevOps is a culture of trust and collaboration in which people use the right tools for automation to achieve continuous delivery. As a result issues can be resolved in days rather than months.

 

How can agencies know if DevOps is right for them and how can they adapt?

 

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Government networks now face a multitude of users demanding access to massive amounts of data, but they’re losing steam trying to keep up.

 

The legacy frameworks propelling them forward aren’t getting any more capable, either. But through a revolutionary networking practice called the New IP, limited and wasteful networks can transform into open networks — and they can do it now.

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Is your agency using the right type of network for its mission and business critical workloads?

 

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Network modernization is more than a buzzword. It is a real, mission-critical endeavor central to the goals of every federal agency. It is also one that, if left ignored, will have huge ramifications.

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Internet of the Things You Can Do in Government IT

by Anthony Robbins on ‎04-01-2015 06:46 AM (7,429 Views)

The Internet of Things is making a huge impact on the public sector and changing the role of everyday devices, from watches to thermometers. As government’s understanding of the IoT expands, agencies are now thinking in terms of what they can do as a result of these connected devices. This is what we define as the “Internet of Things You Can Do.”

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