- By Bob Brewin
- Aug 24, 1997
DISN defectors? My CONUS-wide antenna network has started to pick up strong signals that DISA director Lt. Gen. David Kelley and the gang over at Courthouse Road face wholesale defections by the services the Defense agencies and the unified commands as a result of the one-year DISN network delay that the agency announced last week.
This delay one knowledgeable source said plays into the hostility between DISA and its customers. They view the delay as a chance to get out from under DISA's thumb.
The services and Defense agencies sources say could use this DISN disarray to push the Joint Chiefs for permission to upgrade networks they now operate outside of DISN and it also could lead to the development of interim networks until DISA gets its DISN act together. One source bets the Defense Logistics Agency will lead the pack off the DISN ship.
* Stealth ATM buy? The House Appropriations Committee pumped an extra $48 million into the Air Force Base Information Infrastructure program ostensibly for security enhancements on base networks.
The logical beneficiaries of this largesse are Electronic Data Systems Corp. with its ULANA II contract and EDS' two firewall vendors: Secure Computing Corp. which makes Sidewinder and CheckPoint Software Technologies Ltd. which makes Firewall-1.
TRW Inc. probably will do some good business under this provision too because Mack Griffin the small-computer program manager at the Air Force Standard Systems Group indicated that TRW will add firewall software as it refreshes its much-delayed contract. But what's the real purpose of this very specific congressional language? The answer to that question lies with Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.) a master of techno-pork.
Sources say Fore Systems Inc. a Warrendale Pa. company that manufactures ATM switches should pick up the bulk of the $48 million with new ATM gear serving as the biggest-ticket item of the "security enhancements" that the Air Force plans to make in networks serving more than 100 bases.
Counting the extra $48 million the total Air Force budget for base IT infrastructure equals $136.9 million which will buy a mess of gizmos and gadgets.
* Pushing PC LAN+. EDS may not have won many big contracts lately but it sure knows how to maximize the ones it owns. During a recent visit to the Navy's Atlantic Fleet headquarters in Norfolk Va. the Interceptor picked up solid intell that EDS has grabbed the majority of business to upgrade the afloat IT infrastructure in the shops that are home-ported there.
* A new DARPA focus. Marv Langston the Navy's CIO still has not made a decision about whether he wants to leave his current job to take over as director of information systems at DARPA.
I'm picking up strong signals that Langston wants assurances that if he makes the shift DARPA will let him more tightly couple the agency's research with the operational needs of the services.