DISA beefing up info grid

Officials at the Defense Information Systems Agency plan to buy more equipment next month for the Defense Department's global information network, which will provide on-

demand information to warfighters, policymakers and support personnel.

DISA officials hope to buy digital cross-connect equipment from Sprint and Sycamore Networks Inc.; IP routers from Juniper Networks Inc.; multiservice provisioning platform technology from Cisco Systems Inc. and Qwest Communications International Inc.; and optical transport system equipment from Ciena Corp.

Last December, the Office of the Secretary of Defense authorized DISA to buy

30 percent of the equipment for the Global Information Grid-Bandwidth Expansion program. GIG-BE will connect about 90 sites worldwide with fiber-optic cables and a computer system that will allow warfighters and analysts to quickly access, receive and send data and intelligence.

During the past five months, officials at DOD's Joint Interoperability Test Command conducted certification, interoperability and security testing of the hardware installed at the program's first six sites, said Anthony Montemarano, DISA's GIG-BE program director.

Successful testing of the equipment will let DISA buy another 30 percent of the hardware in early June, Montemarano said. Officials will conduct more tests in September, which will allow the agency to purchase the remaining hardware later this year, he added.

"It's test a little, buy a little, test a little, buy a little," Montemarano said. "This is a strategy we feel is very prudent and effective."

Agency officials initially received criticism for seeking large information technology companies to supply GIG-BE equipment. However, Sycamore, a small developer of optical switches that is based in Chelmsford, Mass., supplies a key component for the program, Montemarano said.

"We're very proud of that," he said. "And they have a real classy box."

In April, command officials finished testing Sycamore's SN 16000 and SN 3000 intelligent optical switching platforms and SILVX network management system.

"Sycamore's switches continue to set the performance standard for advanced networking capabilities including port-by-port support for diverse protection options, advanced control plane standards and a wide range of service interfaces," said Kevin Oye, the company's vice president of systems and technology.

The GIG-BE equipment work also boosted Sycamore's third-quarter fiscal 2004 revenue. The company posted revenue of $14.7 million, compared to $10.6 million last year, according to a company statement.

"Sycamore's third-quarter financial results reflect initial purchases of our optical switches for the GIG-BE project," said Daniel Smith, the company's president and chief executive officer.

Montemarano carefully chose his words to describe why Juniper Networks beat out Cisco for the hotly contested GIG-BE IP router work. "Juniper provided the best value solution for the GIG-BE program requirement," he said.

Value consists of cost and performance, Montemarano said. He would not say DISA officials chose Juniper over Cisco because the former builds a better IP router.

"Value consists of meeting or exceeding program requirements, viability of the company and cost," said Dubhe Beinhorn, senior vice president of Juniper Federal Systems, based in Herndon, Va.

When asked if the company underbid its IP router costs to get the GIG-BE work, Beinhorn said, "Juniper does not enter into deals that do not serve the financial interests of the company or its stockholders."

The company posted a first-quarter 2004 revenue of $224.1 million, compared to $157.2 million for the same period last year, according to a company statement. The report did not attribute the 43 percent revenue increase to GIG-BE equipment work.

The military will start using GIG-BE at six to 10 sites in October. DISA officials call the introduction "Octoberfest."

The Fed 100

Save the date for 28th annual Federal 100 Awards Gala.


  • computer network

    How Einstein changes the way government does business

    The Department of Commerce is revising its confidentiality agreement for statistical data survey respondents to reflect the fact that the Department of Homeland Security could see some of that data if it is captured by the Einstein system.

  • Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. Army photo by Monica King. Jan. 26, 2017.

    Mattis mulls consolidation in IT, cyber

    In a Feb. 17 memo, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told senior leadership to establish teams to look for duplication across the armed services in business operations, including in IT and cybersecurity.

  • Image from Shutterstock.com

    DHS vague on rules for election aid, say states

    State election officials had more questions than answers after a Department of Homeland Security presentation on the designation of election systems as critical U.S. infrastructure.

  • Org Chart Stock Art - Shutterstock

    How the hiring freeze targets millennials

    The government desperately needs younger talent to replace an aging workforce, and experts say that a freeze on hiring doesn't help.

  • Shutterstock image: healthcare digital interface.

    VA moves ahead with homegrown scheduling IT

    The Department of Veterans Affairs will test an internally developed scheduling module at primary care sites nationwide to see if it's ready to service the entire agency.

  • Shutterstock images (honglouwawa & 0beron): Bitcoin image overlay replaced with a dollar sign on a hardware circuit.

    MGT Act poised for a comeback

    After missing in the last Congress, drafters of a bill to encourage cloud adoption are looking for a new plan.

Reader comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

More from 1105 Public Sector Media Group