Navy ship LANs to run Gigabit Ethernet
- By Bill Murray
- Nov 16, 2000
To ease administration and speed data, the Navy has decided to use Gigabit
Ethernet to run the second generation of modernized Navy shipboard networks.
Rear Adm. John Gauss, commander of the Space and Naval Warfare Systems
Command, approved the new shipboard design last month after a six-month
review, according to Scott Randall, program director for naval networks
and information assurance at Spawar.
Randall spoke Wednesday at the Navy Connecting Technology conference
in San Diego. The Navy has been using both Ethernet and Asynchronous Transfer
Mode on its local-area networks and found they're too hard to maintain together,
Randall said. Using Gigabit Ethernet simplifies LAN administration, he said.
Gigabit Ethernet also offers the benefit of greater speed, supporting
data transfer rates of 1,000 megabits/second. Ethernet supports rates up
to 100 megabits/sec, and ATM can support 25 to 622 megabits/sec.
And Gigabit Ethernet enables network administrators to set policies
so that high-priority users and applications take precedence when there's
a bandwidth crunch.
The Navy is implementing Gigabit Ethernet on ashore networks through
its Navy Marine Corps Intranet contract with Electronic Data Systems Corp.,
Randall said. Navy officials are considering using NMCI or another contract
to purchase equipment for their program, "Information Technology for the
21st Century," and they may also lease systems. "The refresh rates on ships
are nowhere near what NMCI provides," Randall said.
Using similar systems under both programs should reduce training costs,
he said. Furthermore, he said that installing Gigabit Ethernet aboard about
300 ships will cost no more than what the Navy has been paying to install
ATM and Ethernet networks under its IT-21 program.
In addition to "back-fitting" IT-21 ATM and Ethernet LANs with Gigabit
Ethernet and installing new networks, the Navy also is consolidating its
shipboard Microsoft Corp. Windows NT 4.0 and Unix servers, Randall said.