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    May 1, 2023

    Q&A: How the DoD Can Modernize Its Networks and Optimize User Experience

    The Department of Defense (DoD) is on a mission to modernize its IT environments, radically changing the nature of its network operations (NetOps) in the department. Network availability and performance keep getting more integral to the DoD’s charter, which means downtime isn’t just troublesome, it’s a life-or-death matter.

    In this post, we’ll outline how key DoD modernization imperatives are affecting NetOps. We’ll provide insights into how NetOps teams within the DoD can optimize end-user experience, while staying laser-focused on the agency’s network transformation journey.

    What Are the DoD’s Top Network Modernization Imperatives?

    Within the DoD, teams are addressing a number of key network modernization imperatives. Here are three initiatives with the most significant implications for today’s NetOps teams:

    Zero-trust architectures

    Early in 2022, the White House released a memorandum on the Federal zero-trust architecture strategy. Further, the Defense Information Systems Agency’s (DISA) current strategic plan also articulates the criticality of aligning their efforts with a zero-trust security and software-defined network architecture model. Across the DoD, the application of zero-trust architecture approaches represents a vital way to maintain an effective security posture, strengthen operational resilience, and enhance the user experience.

    Cloud adoption

    Like many organizations today, the DoD is navigating a cloud journey. As a result, today’s DoD services rely upon internal networks and a wide range of ISP, cloud, and SaaS provider networks. For NetOps teams, the key outcome is that cloud services and networks have come to represent an increasingly vital part of the fabric of DoD operations.

    Network transformation

    Software-defined technologies like SD-WAN enable secure and cost-effective access to applications, including those running in cloud and SaaS environments. The DISA Strategic Plan outlines the importance of modernizing the Department of Defense Information Network (DoDIN) backbone. The plan specifies how using software-defined technologies and other commercial innovations can help simplify and accelerate warfighters’ ability to access mission-critical information.

    What Are the Challenges NetOps Teams Need to Overcome?

    Traditional network monitoring solutions were designed for legacy networks that ran within on-premises data centers – networks that bear little resemblance to those the DoD relies upon today. As a result, NetOps teams are encountering obstacles as they look to manage availability and performance of their modern networks, while ensuring high-quality user experiences.

    Balancing security and user experience continues to be a challenge within many agencies. As teams within the DoD implement architectures like SASE, complexity increases and can obscure the NetOps team’s visibility into the user experience. In fact, in its independent analysis, the Defense Business Board found that the DoD has struggled to generate the metrics needed to assess the end-to-end customer experience. What’s more, reports indicate 87% of traffic now traverses the internet. However, 67% of NetOps teams cite internet and cloud network paths as monitoring blind spots.

    How Do You Go About Addressing Those Challenges?

    Mandates and guidelines from the DoD CIO and DISA, along with recommendations from advisory groups such as the Defense Business Board underscore that optimizing the user experience is a key imperative. To successfully meet its key objectives and support the modern warfighter, the DoD needs advanced experience-driven NetOps capabilities.

    Experience-driven NetOps solutions enable you to gain end-to-end visibility across all networks – providing hop-by-hop visibility, from the warfighter, to the cloud, to the application, and all points in between. The solution helps you to not only understand the users’ experience, but to also gain the visibility required to optimize that experience. Delivering both active and passive monitoring capabilities, these solutions give teams real-time visibility into network and application performance and fuel improved service delivery for your mission partners. These solutions employ advanced analytics that reduce alarm noise. Experience-driven NetOps solutions help teams gain improved insights that enable timely decision making.

    How Can Experience-Driven NetOps from Broadcom Help?

    Broadcom delivers the unified, end-to-end network visibility needed to understand, manage, and optimize the performance of digital services running on traditional and modern, software-defined network architectures.

    The DoD’s adoption of zero-trust architectures has the potential to further exacerbate NetOps complexity. We help teams minimize this complexity by establishing unified visibility across all the elements in a zero-trust environment, while ensuring high-quality user experiences. Our experience-driven NetOps solution eliminates monitoring blind spots in cloud network paths by enabling teams to measure and analyze the digital experience of all users. We help establish continuous active monitoring and performance validation, no matter where you are in your network transformation journey.

    What Resources Can I Review to Learn More?

    Today, Broadcom solutions are deployed in 80% of government agencies. To learn more about how we can help your agency optimize your operations, accelerate your network transformation, and enhance the connected experience:

    Gedeon Hombrebueno

    Gedeon is focused on bringing Broadcom Software’s Experience-Driven Network Operations (NetOps) solutions to market. These solutions help customers gain network visibility everywhere, so they can boost IT efficiency, customer satisfaction, and business growth. Gedeon has extensive product marketing, product...

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