- By Dan Verton
- Jul 24, 2000
The Intercept last week regarding the "mean time to restore" operations
for the Defense Message System drew some interest from Jerry Bennis, DMS
program manager at the Defense Information Systems Agency. The Army was
concerned about the contract's 26-hour turnaround time for DMS trouble calls
and requested that the contract be changed to reduce the time to two, four
or eight hours.
However, the Army's a little confused, according to Bennis, who said
even two, four or eight hours is too long for a mission-critical system,
calling that kind of metric "not usable...as far as fault tolerance is concerned."
The goal for the DMS program, which the Navy and Air Force have already
bought into, is to have "N+1 clustered servers" in place so that when one
server goes down, the others pick up the services and the user never sees
a problem, Bennis said. "We never found a single instance where we've had
more than one server fail at a time," he said. "What you need really is
My St. Louis mobile receive station picked up strong signals last week
that 206 out of 209 former Army Logistics Systems Support Center employees
have completed the transition from government employees to Computer Sciences
Corp. bandits. If my math is correct, then that's about 98.6 percent. Not
bad for an employment package that just a few months ago some reported
was "riddled with errors."
The Door is Always Open
The revolving door between the government and industry has for a long
time been turning in one direction — toward industry. However, the door
received a jarring kick in the opposite direction this month when NSA Director
Lt. Gen. Michael Hayden nominated Science Applications International Corp.'s
William Black Jr. to be the agency's next deputy director (see story, Page
Black had retired from the agency in 1997 and later started a new career
in the high-tech industry with SAIC. When I asked one of my intelligence-community
observers what this appointment might mean for the still-frosty Cold War-era
agency, he said he didn't have a clue, "other than that this illustrates
the fundamental truth that, sooner or later, everybody works for SAIC for
Army Gets J-6 Post
My E-ring listening post has picked up strong signals that Army Maj.
Gen. Joseph Kellogg Jr. has been given another star (making him a Lt. Gen.)
and handed the assignment of director of command, control, communications
and computer systems, J-6, at the Pentagon. Kellogg is currently serving
as the assistant deputy chief of staff for operations and plans for the
Army. I smell a new joint service communications "vision" or, better yet,
"transformation" on the way.
Low-level signals emanating from deep within the Defense Department's
information security community indicate that some longtime readers of Intercepts
considered my rundown in the July 10 issue of Special Agent Jim Christy's
team- building exercises as a "slam" against what many understand to be
a worthwhile, funded-on-a-shoestring program.
Fortunately, I've been told that Art Money, assistant secretary of Defense
for command, control, communications and intelligence, understands the light-hearted
nature of this column and the value of entertaining, team-building exercises
such as Christy's "Sneaker-net Relay."
Haven't we all found ourselves at one point or another running down
the hall with a floppy disk on our forehead?
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