DOD revamping massive information architecture

Concerned about the lack of security, interoperability and savings gained from its information infrastructure, the Defense Department has launched a new enterprise network architecture, senior DOD officials told Congress this week.

The "architecture and management [of the Defense Information Infrastructure] have failed to provide the security, interoperability and economy originally envisioned," Arthur Money, DOD's chief information officer, told a joint hearing of the Procurement and Research and Development Subcommittees of the House Armed Services Committee.

Money said a recent strategic assessment of the DII "indicated the need to take a broader, enterprise approach to managing information technology."

Deputy Defense Secretary John Hamre told the joint hearing that DOD is undertaking a new enterprise strategy that changes DOD's basic approach to constructing networks. "A major effort is under way to fundamentally restructure the Defense Information Infrastructure into a defendable Global Networked Information Enterprise, [which is] a new concept of how the department will meet its information needs," Hamre said.

The new approach will fundamentally restructure DOD's Defense Information Infrastructure Common Operating Environment (DII COE). The Defense Information Systems Agency manages the DII COE, which is designed to establish a common architecture and foundation on which interoperable systems and applications can be built so that information covering everything from battlefield commands to the Pentagon's administrative paperwork can be more easily shared departmentwide and among all the services.

"We are moving forward toward a robust, multilevel DOD public-key infrastructure that can provide the required range of assurance and data integrity services as well as permitting segregation of the network into communities of interest," Hamre said.

DOD plans to roll out the Global Networked Information Enterprise initiative in several phases in the next few months, Money said, with DISA managing GNIE in conjunction with various telecommunications backbone initiatives.

"The GNIE effort is designed to...[create] a DOD-wide network management solution, comprising enterprise network policies, strategies, architectures, focused investments and network management control centers that bring order [to] the...highly fragmented DOD infrastructure environment," Money said.

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