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FCW : April 15, 2016
across the entire network infrastructure, and apply monitoring and detection and automated response to suspicious activity. "Agencies need to be able to detect anomalies and potential breaches before they become issues and then react to them very quickly before they cause real impact," said McLaughlin. Many agency legacy networks simply don't have the capacity, bandwidth or agility to handle the volume and variety of cyberthreats that many agencies are currently experiencing. Evolving the network doesn't require a complete network overhaul or a disruptive shift in network design. It does require reconsidering traditional views on network architecture and that new thinking evolves in order to start down the path of transformation. WORK TOGETHER Combining their expertise and technology, network specialist Ciena and communications and hybrid IT leader CenturyLink can help federal agencies create and manage a network transformation plan for configuration management, change management, and technology refreshes and insertions. That's everything an agency needs to ensure that its network is never out of sync with its mission. Using the cost-effective "as-a-service" model, CenturyLink can provide the expertise and Ciena can provide the networking equipment. Together, CenturyLink and Ciena continue to push the envelope, both in terms of customer service and technology. For example, CenturyLink recently completed a 1 Terabit trial on part of its fiber network in central Florida using Ciena's 6500 packet-optical platform. This Terabit superchannel more than doubled the network's traffic carrying capacity during the trial. CenturyLink has also developed a Programmable Services Backbone using Ciena's BluePlanet SDN controller for orchestration. TAKE THE FIRST STEP Regardless of the route an agency chooses to pursue network transformation, taking that step is the only way to prepare for the future. Simply put, many federal agency networks aren't prepared for the security, bandwidth, capacity and scalability demands that today's agency missions require. "One size doesn't fit all. Not every network needs to be reworked from scratch, but they all need to transform," said CenturyLink's Meehan. "The discipline to commit to a process of continuous evolution is the key. By inserting innovation into networking planning, an agency's IT infrastructure will be in a state of perpetual transformation---which is more effective than doing a network refresh once every 10 years." For more information, please visit www.TransformingNetworks.com Sponsored Content SPECIAL REPORT NETWORK TRANSFORMATION The Business Case for Networking as a Service Whether it was with software, platforms, infrastructure, disaster recovery or security, most federal agencies have at least dipped a toe into the "as-a- service" concept. By moving previously agency-maintained processes to a third-party service provider, agencies can effectively outsource day-to-day troubleshooting and IT management. And as a result, they can focus on their core missions while reducing the amount of time onsite IT specialists spend running software or hardware. Agencies also reap cost bene ts from this strategy. Instead of making large capital outlays for application licenses, hardware and IT staff, employees can simply access the services they need when they need them---and agencies only pay for the time the services are in use. This helps shift expenditures from capital expenses to operational expenses (CapEx to OpEx). OpEx costs are more predictable, and federal nancial executives generally believe that operational expenses are easier to justify and provide more control over capacity. Another area where agencies can take advantage of managed services is networking. Networking as a Service (NaaS) means IT managers have just one link through which they can provision, access and manage services. For example, if an agency runs a critical application that thousands of employees across the globe actively use, it no longer needs to own and manage the entire infrastructure. Instead, managers can focus on making sure employees can access applications and data quickly whenever and wherever needed. It also means that agencies no longer have to worry about changing bandwidth usage. According to a survey commissioned by Ciena, the top challenge affecting network connectivity planning and requirements for all industries was bandwidth. With the NaaS model, if bandwidth requirements suddenly increase or decrease, it's not an issue. Agencies can simply spin up and reduce network capacity as needed, while only paying for what they use.
March 30, 2016
April 30, 2016