Thursday, February 2

Build your network of tomorrow today

Network modernization It is imperative for federal agencies leveraging next-generation technologies that demand higher data transfer rates, faster communications, and more connectivity and mobility to improve operations and service delivery.

Earlier this year, Congress provided federal agencies with the resources to launch multi-year transformation projects by contributing $ 1 billion to the Technology Modernization Fund. It is basically a revolving fund that provides agencies with five-year loans for IT modernization projects that show a lucrative return on investment. The influx of capital will enhance the agency’s initiative to modernize and secure the networks.

Many network administrators are evaluating projects to determine if the agency can make the most of investments in network modernization. And the answer will depend on the agency’s specific mission, existing infrastructure, and future technology plans. When it comes to getting the most out of network investments, agencies should consider the following factors.

Looking over 802.11 wireless

Several agencies have older network equipment that meets today’s network requirements, but may not meet the mobile connectivity requirements of the future generation. Most of them have an iteration of the 802.11 wireless standards; however, rapid changes in that technology could be more than five years old. Agencies are now considering Wi-Fi 6, Wi-Fi 6E and soon also Wi-Fi 7. These wireless technologies will provide improved performance and connectivity for users of mobile devices, latency-sensitive applications, and Internet devices in the United States. things. Additionally, agencies must ensure that up-to-date network infrastructure is designed to accommodate the capabilities of upcoming wireless networks.

Inside the wiring closet

Some simple network upgrade fixes focus on multi-gigabit Ethernet access. Assessing the status of the access switches within the wiring closet is where you should start. Swapping legacy switches with modern stackable devices that provide more uplink capacity, increased power capacity over the Internet, and multi-gig interfaces is a great investment. Investing in these switches is an easy way to capitalize on the current cabling infrastructure in the building.

Adhere to strong security protocols

Agencies must maintain strong data security across the enterprise. Wired security or physical layer security is a vital aspect of a comprehensive security strategy. Network administrators must be on guard against unauthorized access or cable intrusions and contactless eavesdropping.

These security threats can lead to data theft, unscheduled downtime, or network degradation. Additionally, network administrators should invest in strong, secure port blockers and secure patch cables that protect unauthorized access to copper and fiber ports on patch panels, switches, and outlets through a color-blocking mechanism. coordinated integrated into the port.

Monitoring the cabling infrastructure

Cabling is an important aspect supporting the efficient operation of the agency’s mission today and will continue to be integral with increasing bandwidth requirements. What kind of copper runs from your closet to your desk? What fiber infrastructure is in place and when was it in place?

The last category of cabling is 6A, which offers high performance for businesses and supports speeds of 10 gigabits per second. However, the latest OM5 broadband multimode fiber optic efficiently meets the growing bandwidth needs of data centers. Agencies require a reliable, high-performance cabling infrastructure that continues to meet future demands.

Facilitate data center infrastructure

Federal managers must maintain a high level of accessibility while providing rapid responses to increasing changes in operations, applications, and demands. Regardless of whether an agency has transitioned to the cloud-native path for network modernization, many systems, applications, and equipment are still on premises.

Will the infrastructure be able to connect critical applications, storage, and network assets in the data center? In case the answer is no, agencies should integrate platforms that make it easy to add routers, servers, switches, and storage solutions, while also addressing cooling airflow issues, cabling density, and reducing rack space.

Take a holistic approach

TMF provides agencies the opportunity to make significant modifications to the network infrastructure. It is imperative that agencies take a holistic approach rather than expanding small aspects of the network. Federal managers must take a full look at where the network is in the present and where they want it in the near and distant future. By leveraging next-generation contracts, agencies can make that happen.

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