Every time you search on Google, friend on Facebook or start a VM session on Amazon, you are using the world’s most cost-efficient and most automated data center networks—those built via white-box hardware and SDN controllers.

At Big Switch, our mission is to bring hyperscale-inspired network design to a broader audience, by removing the network as an obstacle for rapid deployment of new applications. We do this by delivering built-for-purpose products inspired by hyperscalers and the following design principles:

  1. Open Networking hardware to reduce cost
  2. Software-defined networking (SDN) to reduce complexity
  3. Modern data center design to support innovation velocity

Big Switch delivers built-for-purpose data center networking solutions designed to support the DCOI (Data Center Optimization Initiative), MGT-II Act (Modernizing Government Technology) in accordance with FITARA (Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act) guidance.

The MGT II Act states: The federal government spends $80 billion each year on IT systems and 80% of which is spent maintaining outdated, legacy systems.

Infrastructure modernization across government targets spending to enable ‘cost savings through consolidation, while sun-setting legacy data centers,’ resulting in cost savings through private cloud facilities being channeled back to the Service Delivery capability. Big Cloud Fabric delivers the ‘how to’ referenceable architecture, enabling automation that creates a glide path for migration into a rapidly provisioned private cloud environment compliant with NIST 800-53, supports the RMF (Risk Management Framework) and accelerates results identified in the MGT II Act.

RMF is the forward leaning guidance to ensure security hardening and risk mitigation. The six step RMF process (NIST-SP-800-37) provides a standard method for government agencies to evaluate their information systems.

Modern system architecture drives cost savings and future alignment and Big Switch Networks’ solutions enable adoption of scalable system design to reduce risk and support future growth.

“In the 10 months since we first introduced legislation, Americans have come to understand firsthand the importance of cybersecurity. Meanwhile, federal government data and critical infrastructure are currently compromised by outdated IT systems incapable of supporting best practices to help safeguard sensitive information. Bringing the government’s aging IT systems into the 21st century would not only shore up our cybersecurity, but also save billions of taxpayer dollars through reductions in wasteful spending for years to come. The IT investment reforms included in this legislation are an important step toward a more efficient, effective and secure government,” said U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-KS) who is co-introducing companion legislation in the Senate with Senator Tom Udall (D-NM).

Addressing cybersecurity issues for legacy IT systems is technologically challenging and inefficient within the constraints of the legacy underlying technology. Replacement of key components with modern software-defined, cloud-based solutions, enabled by Big Switch technology with inherently strong cybersecurity protection will produce simpler, more reliable system architecture. Addressing both Cloud and Cyber Security requires the delicate balance combined through both technology and technique.

The creation of the MGT II ACT working capital budgets will enable more aggressive IT upgrade schedules across independent government agencies creates the opportunity for adoption of common infrastructure components or shared services. This will result in reduced expenditure costs, reduced implementation time and operational efficiency. Standardizing on Big Switch technology in data center modernization plans will be a major element of these shared savings.

"Information technology is growing rapidly and while the United States is a world leader in this technology, our federal government's IT tools remain severely outdated," Senator Udall said. "Maintaining our old IT systems ends up costing the taxpayers billions of dollars each year. Our bipartisan legislation will curb this wasted taxpayer money by helping federal agencies retire the old systems and invest in new cloud computing and other critical technologies. This bill will ensure our government is getting better service at a better value for the American taxpayers."

Big Switch is helping to train the troops. Re-tooling old IT systems to modern Cloud infrastructure relies heavily on trained personnel equipped with the institutional knowledge of agency interactions and mission objectives, be they servicing citizens or fighting wars. Equipping government employees and veterans with necessary skill sets can be addressed through a paradigm shift of the educational methods, for example, Big Switch offers a free online self-education portal called BSN Labs as the first phase of education and training. 

 
Mike Walsh
Director, Federal Government @ Big Switch

 

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