Military mines for golden technology

The Defense Department will cash in two "golden nuggets" that emerged from

the intense competition at the Joint Warrior Interoperability Demonstration

(JWID) July 10 to 28.

Two technologies have been put on the fast track for purchase and fielding,

U.S. military officials announced Sept. 26. That's a rare achievement because

in past years, the chosen technologies received little more than free publicity

with no guarantee of purchase.

The golden nuggets from this year's JWID are Raytheon Co.'s SilentRunner

and BMC Software Inc.'s Reliability, Performance and Situational Awareness

of C4ISR (command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance

and reconnaissance).

JWID is designed to introduce new and evolving commercial off-the-shelf

information technologies that solve C4ISR interoperability issues. JWID

operates on a $10 million budget donated by the individual services, the

joint staff and the Defense Information Systems Agency. Money remaining

after the demonstration is used to procure and field the nuggets at the

unified command level.

"This is only the second time we will actually purchase the golden nuggets,"

said Col. James Dowis, director of the JWID joint program office. "This

particular year, after we looked at all the technologies, these were the

only two that came out on top."

Raytheon's SilentRunner is described in JWID documents as a network

discovery, visualization and analysis software application that passively

collects information flowing across a network. It displays network structure

information in a vertical map format so that the information can be used

to defend against computer network attacks or tampering.

The BMC technology enables enterprise network monitoring and warns if

critical functions are in danger, ensuring that mission-critical application

services are available nonstop and that essential data is recoverable.

The early warning that a specific function might fail allows network administrators

to be proactive in trouble-shooting.

"This is a great tool. It means we are able to make sure networks are

operational around the clock and don't go down on us," Dowis said.

One BMC official said the "golden nug-get" tag gives the company recognition

it might otherwise not have.

"It is a great opportunity for BMC to get recognition in the area of

application service assurance — an area that's tough to get recognition

in," said Phil Dixon, federal account manager for BMC. "It's an area that

is becoming increasingly important, but it's not necessarily a sexy part

of systems management."

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