AF plans rapid ramp-up of DMS client deployment

MONTGOMERY, Ala.— The Air Force has completed the installation of more than half of its Defense Message System's unclassified infrastructure and expects a quick ramp up in the number of desktops equipped with client software based on Microsoft Corp.'s Exchange.

Speaking last week at the Air Force Information Technology Conference, Lt. Col. Marian Quinn, the DMS program manager for the Air Force Standard Systems Group (SSG), said the service has installed the sensitive but unclassified DMS infrastructure at 52 out of 92 Air Force sites.

Installation completed in or after August will run Version 2.0 of the DMS software, she said. Lockheed Martin Corp., the prime DMS contractor, will retrofit sites that had completed the installation earlier.

Quinn said the service also has completed installation of the secret version of DMS at 12 out of the planned 92 sites and expects completion by April 1999.

DMS is scheduled to replace the aging Automatic Digital Network message system at the end of 1999.

Although SSG plans to install a parallel secret and unclassified DMS infrastructure throughout the Air Force, Quinn said, "It does not make sense to provide a server at every base" for the top-secret version of the system. The Air Force has fewer than "a thousand [top-secret] users...who send about four messages a day," and SSG will host the highly classified version of DMS at an SSG facility here on "dual superservers," Quinn said. Users with top-secret clearance would then dial into the SSG superservers to send and receive messages.

SSG also plans to install separate top-secret DMS servers in Hawaii and Germany to provide service to users in the Pacific and European theaters, Quinn said.

Because the Air Force plans to use the DMS Exchange software for signed and/or encrypted messages as well as regular e-mail, Quinn said the service has added 64M of RAM to the standard DMS server, increasing the total RAM to 128M to handle the load imposed by the anticipated additional users and traffic.

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