Defense

DISA redoing content delivery

Shutterstock image: connecting individuals to one another through an access point.

The Defense Information Systems Agency is gradually changing the way it delivers Web content across the global Defense Department telecommunications network, starting with a recently awarded contract to Hewlett-Packard and Akamai.                                      

The new contract will help DISA begin to transition from the existing method of Web content delivery, known as the Global Content Delivery Service, to a system that uses a unified platform, DISA’s Terrace McCaa told FCW June 4 on the sidelines of Akamai’s Government Innovation Forum in Washington, D.C. The agency is still working out the requirements and funding for the new system, dubbed the Universal Content Delivery Service, said McCaa, DISA’s team lead for GCDS.

The new contract, which DISA announced in April, has a $469 million ceiling and will run through 2018, with an option for a three-year extension.

GCDS taps into hundreds of “specially equipped servers” to deliver Web content and applications across the department’s unclassified, classified and coalition networks, according to DISA. Meanwhile, UCDS will serve as a “unified platform that can accelerate and secure” all of the content it delivers, said Larry Underhill, Akamai’s director of custom government engineering. The new service will unite a diverse set of stakeholders within the DOD IT ecosystem that includes end users, enterprise application owners and those in charge of cyber defense, Underhill said.

The goal of UCDS, he added, is to unite two key sets of technologies into a single service offering: content delivery networks (CDN) and secure Web gateways. The gateways filter potentially harmful content, while the CDNs are a distributed set of servers meant to deliver content smoothly to users.

About the Author

Sean Lyngaas is an FCW staff writer covering defense, cybersecurity and intelligence issues. Prior to joining FCW, he was a reporter and editor at Smart Grid Today, where he covered everything from cyber vulnerabilities in the U.S. electric grid to the national energy policies of Britain and Mexico. His reporting on a range of global issues has appeared in publications such as The Atlantic, The Economist, The Washington Diplomat and The Washington Post.

Lyngaas is an active member of the National Press Club, where he served as chairman of the Young Members Committee. He earned his M.A. in international affairs from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, and his B.A. in public policy from Duke University.

Click here for previous articles by Lyngaas, or connect with him on Twitter: @snlyngaas.


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