Modernizing Federal Networks by Looking to History

What can federal agencies in the 21st century learn from a ship dating from the Korean War, now a museum? Surprisingly, a lot. Federal agencies today are at the crossroads of unprecedented technology convergence. Cloud computing, big data and the Internet of Things are creating new ways of ingesting, processing and understanding data, while increased mobile use is making workforces more agile, efficient and capable. Taking advantage of these new technologies has been a goal of federal agencies for years, but realizing that goal has been a challenge. They rely increasingly on robust wireless network connectivity, but the physical limitations of older federal buildings often inhibits wireless signals from being effective. After all, many federal buildings were designed and built before even the earliest days of computing. Enter the USS Midway Museum In many ways, federal agencies face the same challenges as the IT teams that supported the museum’s modernization efforts. As the most visited maritime museum on the globe, (hosting 1.2 million visitors annually), deploying a wireless network to support modern digital experiences was crucial to keeping the museum in line with modern museum trends. However, with a flight deck covered by three-and-a-half inches of steel and thick bulkheads hindering signals inside the ship, it was also an extremely challenging location for wireless networking. Far too often, the wireless experiences of museum staff and visitors were disappointing due, in large part, to shortcomings of the museum’s legacy wireless vendor. Bringing the Ruckus Fortunately the USS Midway Museum didn’t have to stick with their legacy vendor for too long. The museum switched to Ruckus and quickly saw improvements in signal coverage, reliability, and both visitor and staff satisfaction. Our unique on-boarding technology makes it easier for visitors to connect, while also providing detailed back-end information for analytics purposes. History Lessons for Federal Agencies Federal agencies facing similarly challenging physical environments when deploying wireless technologies can benefit from this example. Old buildings, sometimes with thick concrete walls, like metal bulkheads, pose a physical barrier to connectivity for the legacy vendors currently in place. Furthermore, these vendors don’t provide a streamlined way for users to connect devices to the network that is painless for both the user and IT manager. Ruckus solves all of these challenges, providing an end-to-end wireless solution that can help federal agencies take advantage of mobility and IoT today with minimal hassle to IT teams. Our technology scales with user needs so agencies will never face a situation where their wireless network is unable to cope again. Museums are too often thought of as static monuments to bygone eras. But if you look closely, you’ll see they can also connect us to the future.  

About the Author


Jimmie Adkins

VP, Federal