How SD-WAN can power federal digital transformation

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.

Modernization through SD-WAN

General Services Administration

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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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