Defense

Navy hits refresh button on IT inventory

Photo courtesy US NAVY

Photo credit: U.S. Navy

The Department of the Navy recently launched a revamped version of an IT registry designed to save money, offer a more comprehensive view of department systems and help officials better plan investments.

The now-defunct legacy system was simply "not sustainable for the long term," said Patrick Fitzgerald, a program manager in the Navy's Program Executive Office for Enterprise Information Systems. DON officials wanted something less costly and more secure.

The registry, known as the DON Applications and Database Management System, catalogues IT systems, applications, networks and servers. It includes Marine Corps systems and the software that runs on them.

DADMS, which has about 5,800 Navy users, feeds that information to a Defense Department-wide inventory that embodies a growing effort across the military services to better understand -- and therefore defend -- IT resources.

In that sense, the revamped DADMS could help the department submit more precise information for the cybersecurity scorecard that Defense Secretary Ash Carter reviews each month.

The legacy registry's retirement over Memorial Day weekend was the culmination of a 20-month, $3.7 million effort to carry out the upgrade. Fitzgerald said the refresh would help the department avoid $7.5 million in sustainment costs for the old system.

Feedback on the upgrade has been largely positive, said Patsy Donovan, an assistant program manager in Fitzgerald's office.

"Those who are new to the system absolutely love it because they didn't know what the legacy system looked like," Donovan said. "There's a learning curve, of course, because there's a new look and feel to the [commercial off-the-shelf] software system."

DADMS' new search capabilities are particularly popular because they "allow users to search and to slice and dice their data in ways that they were not able to do before," she added.

DOD officials are fond of saying that cybersecurity should be "baked into" a system from its inception, and DON officials hope they've done so with the refreshed DADMS. The new system is deployed inside an enterprise data center that includes security controls intrinsic to the Navy Marine Corps Intranet, Fitzgerald said.

DADMS also has a repository that registers software and subsystem components and tracks when software patches are needed, he added.

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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