2020 Government Innovation Awards
GSA eases SD-WAN adoption
The General Services Administration wants to make sure agencies understand and have ready access to a technology that will transform their networks. A software-defined wide-area network (SD-WAN) is a virtual architecture that can encompass all manner of telecommunications transport services. It also enables tighter security and can help agencies modernize their internal and external applications.
Consequently, GSA has been injecting SD-WAN capabilities into key contracting vehicles and providing guidance on how to use the technology. Most notably, the agency recently added SD-WAN services to its 15-year, $50 billion Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions (EIS) telecom contract. It was the first post-award service added to EIS.
Because the adoption of secure cloud technology is essential for using SD-WAN effectively, GSA has also been working with the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency on developing Trusted Internet Connections 3.0, which will strengthen protections for cloud-based network applications.
Additionally, GSA officials developed guides for pricing, services and implementation and a template for agencies to use when adding SD-WAN to their EIS solicitations. It issued a use case for EIS and SD-WAN and an analysis of potential savings compared with traditional networks that are based on Multiprotocol Label Switching.
The effort is bearing fruit: Officials said more than 20 agencies have included SD-WAN in their EIS solicitations to date.
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