Special Report

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Agencies today face the need to handle rapidly evolving technologies, IT consolidation and the rising expectations of an increasingly mobile user base — none of which fits easily into the traditional way IT and communications have been managed. Whether they like it or not, agencies will have to re-examine and likely reconstruct their IT infrastructures.
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The traditional definition of IT infrastructure puts the emphasis on the network and what’s needed to keep data flowing through it to the end user. As virtualization, cloud computing and mobile communications increasingly set the pace in IT, that definition will need to change to embrace the entire IT ecosystem.
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Virtualization and cloud computing are already changing how agencies do business. They’ll also be major drivers for future infrastructure development, but there are things that agencies need to do before they can confidently embrace these technologies.
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The advanced infrastructure will not be built around the desktop PC but will instead be based on access to data, anywhere and at any time. That will elevate identity management, certainly an important part of IT security today, to a central role in how future infrastructures will be constructed.
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The Defense Department’s Global Information Grid has one purpose, which is to get data and information to warfighters as quickly and completely as possible. With the current, heterogeneous mess of networks, that has become increasingly difficult. The new Joint Information Environment will guide the construction of a future IT infrastructure based on standards and simplicity that will deliver information seamlessly from the core to the edge.
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