In February 2011, US CIO Vivek Kundra laid out a plan to migrate the US Federal government IT services to the cloud in a white paper. The opening paragraph within the Executive Summary spelled out the challenges facing the Federal Government’s IT environment:
“The Federal Government’s current Information Technology (IT) environment is characterized by low asset utilization, a fragmented demand for resources, duplicative systems, environments which are difficult to manage, and long procurement lead times. These inefficiencies negatively impact the Federal Government’s ability to serve the American public”
In the next paragraph the potential spending on Cloud computing was put at $20 Billion (out of $80 Billion based on 2011 budgets). For Service Providers, a potential cloud market with a $20 Billon size is extremely enticing. But getting a piece of this $20 Billion spend is not trivial.
The most basic challenge of getting a piece of the Federal Cloud IT pie is meeting the Federal government’s security and performance requirements for data in-flight. Market Connections completed a survey of Federal network security needs. You can find out the survey results here. If you were to boil down the survey to simple terms, Service Providers will need to deliver the following in order to meet Federal agencies requirements for interacting with public cloud applications:
1. 10Gbps+ reliable connectivity, as 67% require 10Gbps++ today.
2. 256-bit AES Suite B Encryption, as Suite B IPsec is mandated for a large number of Federal agencies.
Brocade offers a solution that addresses these requirements. The Brocade MLXe Router with an IPsec interface module delivers 256-bit Suite B encryption at wire speed and is scalable up to 176Gbps in a single 4 slot chassis (5U total). The Brocade MLXe IPsec module addresses the two largest barriers noted in the Market Connections survey. It eliminates the impact of encryption on network performance. It also delivers industry best $/Gbps encryption cost for keeping agency data in-flight secure. You can learn more about the scalable Brocade IPsec security solution, here.