Monday, March 28, 2005

Cisco Addresses Federal Continuity of Operations (COOP) Requirements

Cisco Systems introduced an integrated network architecture designed to help U.S. federal-government agencies comply with federal mandates for Continuity of Operations (COOP), which requires agencies to operate fully during and following natural or intentional disasters.

Cisco's VirtualCOOP Solution and MeetingPlace Crisis Management Application uses VPN tunnels across broadband networks to enable offsite agency personnel to remain connected to data centers and their key business applications. These key personnel, thus, are assisted in retaining access to voice, e-mail and video communications and business applications, while management retains secure, centralized control. Cisco's Crisis Management Application allows dispersed disaster-response teams to plan through emergencies and threats. A "dial blast" goes out (up to three numbers each are dialed for predetermined individuals), immediately engaging response teams in an integrated voice, data and video conference with participation limited to invitees.

Cisco said it began development of its COOP architecture specifically in response to the government mandate detailed in Federal Preparedness Circular 65 (FPC 65). Cisco's COOP architecture provides resilience at four interdependent layers:

  • Network -- through component-, device-, solution- and system-level redundancy, as well as high-availability networking technologies and best practices in network design and operations;

  • Application -- through business-ready data center solutions, application- and content-delivery services, storage networking and data replication;

  • Communications -- through distributed, central office-based gateways and distributed call centers for IP Communications with integrated messaging, Intermediate Session Routing (ISR) services and crisis management; and

  • Workforce -- through wired and wireless integration, "office-in-a-box" capabilities and telework solutions.


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