Ruckus: Get Wired for Success!

You’ve just bought a brand new sports car, one that can do zero to 60 in under four seconds and you are excited to try it out. But all you have to drive it on is a gnarly, rutted, steep and rocky dirt road. Good luck taking advantage of all that horsepower.

That’s the analogy Department of Health and Services CIO Beth Killoran used to describe the current challenge facing federal IT modernization initiatives. New technology, from cloud computing and mobility to big data and the Internet of Things, are promising increases in efficiency and the ability to increase mission success, but federal agencies are still lacking the basic infrastructure investment to make full use of it. The old infrastructure put in place just wasn’t designed to handle today’s IT environment.

Indeed, the Report to the President on Federal IT Modernization underscores that network modernization is one of the most important pillars of IT modernization. For federal agencies, that means ensuring networks are secure, can scale to agency demands, are easy to use and require minimal maintenance.

Often that means upgrades to wireless access points. It also means upgrades to the wired network as well, because, yes, wired still matters.

Wired Isn’t Dead

Increasingly, users are connected to networks via exclusively wireless means, whether from mobile phones, tablets and laptops. Yet, while fewer devices will be relying on a direct wired connection to the network, they are still out there: desktops, VoIP devices, even many IoT devices and network-connected operational technology. All of these devices remain central to agency missions and crucial to end-user satisfaction.

Wireless affords increased mobility, which enables increased efficiency and worker satisfaction. But behind every strong wireless deployment, there must exist an equally strong, wired network as well. It is the part that connects your wireless end-points to the your datacenter and the outside world and many devices will continue to connect directly to it for some time. This means that as part of your network modernization strategy, wired has to remain an important part of the mix.

The Benefits of Ruckus ICX Switches

In federal government buildings with thousands of active users and high density, networks must be able to scale to the increasing per capita bandwidth demand. Often that means squeezing more throughput into smaller spaces.

The Ruckus ICX line of campus switches gives federal missions networking capabilities that can grow to agency scale without hassle with their small form factors and high throughput. They are small, low profile and easily stack as network demands increase.

Most importantly, ICX switches allow agencies to manage their wired and wireless infrastructure using the same management tools, minimizing software complexity and spending overhead.

Wireless Networks Are the Future. But So Are Wired.

Wireless is undoubtedly the future of IT for federal agencies, but the very convenience and ease at which wireless devices connect to the network is a threat if the wired infrastructure that supports it does not also keep pace.

With new waves of IT modernization sweeping across federal agencies, agencies need to ensure their wireless and wired infrastructure are keeping pace. Otherwise, what’s the point of that nice car?

For more information on Ruckus ICX Switches and how they allow federal agencies to scale their networks, please visit

Brian Wright
Brian Wright

Director of Systems Engineering, Federal

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