AKO, DKO, JKO, enterprise e-mail: DOD's portals by the numbers

With DKO confirmed for closure, here's a look at some of the numbers associated with DOD's online portals

As Defense Knowledge Online faces closure next year, Army Knowledge Online appears likely to be phased out and Joint Knowledge Online's future remains uncertain, many questions surround the Defense Department’s portal systems that have been in use since the original, limited version of AKO opened for general officers in 1998.

Now, the Defense Information Systems Agency is taking over many of the functions that previously were provided by the AKO and DKO portals, including its joint enterprise e-mail venture with the Army and DISA’s new Enterprise Services Portal Branch strategy. The new effort focuses on file-sharing, providing access to other enterprise services and a storefront/marketplace for joint DOD access to widgets and mobile applications.

Related stories:

DOD to shutdown Defense Knowledge Online portal service

Army may close down AKO in favor of enterprise e-mail

Army enterprise e-mail takes 30-day hiatus

AKO: Not just e-mail but knowledge management

“Over the past five years, DOD has had portal wars. Everyone chose to have their own separate portals but still needed a single place for sharing across the services ... that’s what we envision now,” said Col. Brian Hermann, chief of the Enterprise Application Services Division, GIG Enterprise Services Program Executive Office, DISA.

“The transition for users is a primary concern, and that’s being negotiated with the Army. We’re not leaving anyone in a lurch. We’re working one-on-one to see if our solutions meet their needs, or if it’s outside of our scope,” he said.

Here’s a look at AKO, DKO, JKO and enterprise e-mail by the numbers. For the full story on DKO’s closure, click here.


AKO, DKO and JKO numbers furnished by Kenneth Frietzsche, AKO/DKO product director, PM Network Enterprise Services

AKO: 2.4 million registered NIPR users

121,000 SIPR users

16 million log-ins monthly

828,000 unique log-ins weekly

147,000 unique combat zone log-ins weekly

3 terabytes of data exchanged daily

400+ terabytes hosted

3.2 billion e-mail messages per year

Nearly 70 percent of AKO account holders use its e-mail system on a regular basis, with many using it as only business e-mail

Costs roughly $35 per user 

DKO: Approximately 250,000 registered users

19,092 total log-ins for a typical day (June 18), 11,331 unique

97,793 total log-ins for past 7 days as of June 18, 29,944 unique

437,419 total log-ins for the month of June 2011, 70,339 unique


JKO: 160,000 registered users

600,000 training course completions, average of 20,000 per month

2 million training hours delivered online

$6.7 million annual budget


Army/DISA enterprise e-mail:

87,000 Army accounts migrated to enterprise service as of June 21 (according to Army CIO/G-6 spokesperson Margaret McBride)

Currently on implementation hiatus for re-evaluation; previously roughly 1,000 accounts were being migrated per night

The following four figures are from a May 3 Federal Computer Week report:

Goal of between 900,000 and 1 millions users migrated by December 2011

Costs roughly $52 per user

Total cost for 2011 roughly $52 million

Goal of global address list with more than 3.9 million users

2012 funding uncertain pending Congressional review (per May 23 Federal Computer Week story)

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Reader comments

Thu, Apr 26, 2012 RPI Tampa, Florida

26 April 2012 " I have been wasting an inordinate amount of time trying to enroll in your SERE 100 course. This is my second email afer numerous calls, which were unanswered by your helpdesk. Please call me immediately! If you can't get this system straight in a marginally effective and intuitive manner, it should be removed from required training... ."

Fri, Sep 16, 2011 Charles

If the previous comment author is still around, here are a few questions... (note I have no side nor bias on this issue other than just as the average AKO user.) Could you clarify what the rich feature set is? I don't seem to think that we have this on the AKO or enterprise side. Also, I think the deployment comparison might be a mute issue if I understand you right. If there's an exchange server then generally we're running 99% or better on connectivity. Which means we'd have AKO. I could probably sit down and write at least twenty complaints against AKO as a tactical user. However, vs enterprise it just doesn't seem clear to me.

Thu, Aug 11, 2011

From a straight line cost comparison it looks like AKO is a "better" solution. Unfortunately it doesn't offer the same rich feature set, doesn't support disconnected users (it can't deploy), and cannot offer lower cost third-party add-ons that the Enterprise Email architecture can provide. It's like comparing a bicycle to a car. If you want cheap, buy a bicycle. If you want to carry the family, two suitcases and the dog, buy a car. The Army needs the car.

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