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March 28, 2005

Cisco rolls out integrated architecture to help federal agencies

San Jose, California-based Cisco Systems has introduced an integrated network architecture designed to help US federal-government agencies comply with federal mandates for Continuity of Operations, which requires individual departments and agencies to ensure that their essential functions are performed.

By CBR Staff Writer

According to the company, its new VirtualCOOP Solution and MeetingPlace Crisis Management Application enable agencies to operate fully during and following natural or intentional disasters. The architecture also helps agencies fulfill the federal government’s telework mandate.

Through virtual private network (VPN) tunnels across broadband networks, Cisco’s VirtualCOOP Solution helps to enable offsite agency personnel to remain connected via networks to data centers and their key business applications.

The Crisis Management Application aims to allow dispersed disaster-response teams to plan through emergencies and threats using dial blasts which immediately engage response teams in an integrated voice, data and video conference with participation limited to invitees.

If an agency’s attempt to address Continuity of Operations (COOP) is piecemeal, essential functions like securing the network, turning up features or provisioning Quality of Service (QoS) in quick, automated ways become very complicated or even impossible, said Bruce Klein, federal area vice president, Cisco Systems. Cisco’s COOP solution is unique in its breadth of technology that can be combined in a complete, standards-based solution with QoS, security and even VPN management integrated end to end.

Cisco’s development of its COOP architecture comes in response to the government mandate detailed in Federal Preparedness Circular 65 (FPC 65), issued June 15, 2004, which stipulated that individual departments, agencies and their sub-components must ensure that their essential functions are performed, including plans and procedures.

The company also announced its Advanced Services Network Availability Improvement Support (NAIS) team, which benchmarks existing agency processes against best practices and addresses a variety of functional areas including fault detection, configuration, performance, security and design.

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