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The Federal Market: We Are Committed

by Ian.Whiting on ‎07-25-2011 09:00 AM (783 Views)

Federal agencies have a unique set of challenges to overcome and I feel for those who have to make the really tough decisions.  How to maintain and run their network should not be one of them.

The difference between military and enterprise systems is that with the enterprise some money may be lost and it would be inconvenient if a system fails, but with the military, the stakes are much higher.  Our product can’t fail.  Mission critical data depends on it.  We take it very seriously and are committed to the customer and their experience.

Tim Angelos, our director of sales for the Department of Defense is extremely close to the federal market and below has outlined one of the current topics being discussed in federal circles, transitioning to IPv6.  In future posts we will address other challenges unique to the government.

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3 Ways IPv6 Can Help Make Federal Agencies More Efficient, Plus 5 Tips for a Successful Deployment
Tim Angelos, Director, Department of Defense Sales, Brocade

I have a theory. That theory is that many Department of Defense customers are buying gear that supports IPv6, per the government issued mandate, but they don’t have a deployment strategy.  I don’t blame them.  It could be daunting - added to a constantly growing list of day to day responsibilities.

There has been a lot of discussion over the last several months about IPv6, culminating with a successful, if uneventful, World IPv6 Day. But what does it really mean to federal agencies and what are the tangible benefits?  Aside from the mandate, what is driving this adoption?

With all the hype about the Internet running out of addresses spurring on the adoption of IPv6, it is hard to remember that the lack of addresses is really the least of it.

The transition to IPv6 will be mostly driven by tactical applications, such as device tracking where the DOD will assign IPv6 addresses to all assets, such as: armor vehicles, weapons and fuel trucks.  The assets will transmit location information which will provide military operators to have real time tracking of assets.

So what does it ultimately come down to?  Efficiency.

Here are three ways that IPv6 can help make federal agencies more efficient.

3 Ways IPv6 Can Help Make Federal Agencies More Efficient

  1. Security
    • Provide security services for end-to-end networking that we believe will be the foundation for securing future IT systems.
  2. Flexibility
    • Help enable the successful deployment and expansion of key IT initiatives, which depend on reliable, scalable networks; IPv4 and IPv6 should coexist for decades; infrastructure needs to support both.
  3. Simplification
    • Help simplify the overall network architecture while streamlining network deployment and ongoing support.

Moving to IPv6 is a major, industry wide initiative that will take time.  I’m not suggesting a rip and replace situation.  It should be an easy incremental transition.  There will likely be a long period where dual-protocol network solutions will need to run while supporting high-speed switching and routing.  However, I believe that the benefits far outweigh the challenges, and with the right technology partners those challenges can be minimized.

Did you know that more than 50 percent of U.S. Army bases have Brocade switches and routers installed and more than 80 percent have Brocade storage-area networking gear?  We also recently did a network installation with Fort Carson, upgrading the base to be IPv6 ready.

We help customers develop a non-disruptive approach to storing and accessing their critical data.  Brocade can help agencies seamlessly transition to IPv6 while reducing time, cost and risk.


Bonus: 5 tips for a successful deployment from networking expert Ron Broersma, Chief Engineer of the Defense Research and Engineering Network (DREN) and a member of the Federal IPv6 Task Force.

1.    Don’t buy from vendors unless they support IPv6.
2.    Don’t wait until it’s a crisis; just roll it out gradually as part of normal tech refresh or other upgrades.
3.    It’s not really that hard, and doesn’t have to be very expensive.
4.    Don’t be afraid to “break some glass”.
5.    Share lessons learned and solutions.