US DoD announces shared IT architecture plans
The US Air Force, Army and Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) have agreed new architecture-sharing and modernisation changes that will increase bandwidth and network security, and will dramatically reduce future spending requirements to the tune of $1 billion.
The partnership is an important milestone in the Department of Defense’s (DoD’s) Joint Information Environment (JIE) programme.
According to the DoD, force structure changes in the US Army resulted in excess information technology capacity; while simultaneously, the US Air Force was seeking to modernise its IT architecture to meet the requirements of the future JIE.
By partnering and taking advantage of the army’s upgrade to faster multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) routers and regional security stacks, the air force has been able to identify about $1.2 billion in cost avoidance. The DoD said that the army expects to reduce its IT budget by $785 million between fiscal years 2015 and 2019 by consolidating hundreds of network security stacks into 15 joint regional security stacks (JRSS), which the air force will also use.
Richard Breakiron, network capacity domain manager for the army’s chief information office, said: ‘More and more, we’re saying that some of the service-delivery capability can be managed at the enterprise level, greatly improving efficiency, effectiveness and security. But to perform these enterprise functions off of the local installation, the IT backbone must be much more robust, because users are relying on it for much more service capability.’
MPLS routers are an industry-standard technology for speeding and managing network traffic flow. The upgraded routers will increase the backbone bandwidth to 100 gigabytes per second.
Mike Krieger, the army’s deputy chief information officer, said: ‘Regional security stacks are designed to improve command and control and situational awareness and are essential to enabling a single security architecture in the JIE. The move will tremendously increase the network security posture and reduce costs.’
According to the DoD, the army and DISA plan to implement the joint MPLS transport cloud and JRSS consolidation in fiscal years 2013 and 2014 to support operations in Southwest Asia and the continental US.
The air force and the army will have access to data from JRSS that are owned and operated by DISA as a joint capability. Army and air force cyber components will continue to execute cyber defence on their networks.
Lt. Gen. Susan S. Lawrence, the army’s chief information officer, said: ‘As we modernise the DOD network, the army is committed to a joint solution that helps achieve the joint information environment.’
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