Networks

October 1, 2012
By Robert K. Ackerman

New common goals open doors for more efficient approaches to information sharing.

Technological and cultural barriers are falling away as intelligence community organizations strive to establish a collaborative environment for sharing vital information. This thrust may be a case of an urgent need overcoming traditional obstacles as onetime rival groups embrace cooperation with the goal of building a synergistic information realm.

September 12, 2012
By Robert K. Ackerman

The defense information technology realm is exploding with innovation—so much so, the organizations tasked with ensuring effective information systems run the risk of losing control of both the process and its capabilities. The Defense Information Systems Agency has issued a new strategic plan that outlines its approach to ensuring advanced technology implementation without reining in innovation.

 

July 2012
By Robert K. Ackerman, SIGNAL Magazine

When the U.S. Joint Forces Command was disestablished nearly a year ago, transitioning its network proved more complicated than just flipping a switch—or even what was anticipated in various scenarios. Experts found that the nature of the command’s disestablishment brought to light significant incompatibilities in Defense Department networks.

June 2012
By Robert K. Ackerman, SIGNAL Magazine

Prospective bidders for the U.S. Navy’s Next Generation Enterprise Network are facing several balancing acts as they weigh multiple criteria to vie for the multibillion-dollar contract. Issues such as technology refresh, service integration and savings sharing loom large in what ultimately will be the Navy’s primary information network.

March 2010
By Rita Boland, SIGNAL Magazine

The Defense Information Systems Agency is improving military networks by increasing the situational awareness of their statuses. The process enables people with permission to evaluate where a problem exists anywhere on a network, so they can reduce the time and resources necessary to fix it. Personnel also will be able to route their data better by understanding where failures occur and how to work around them.

Tuesday, January 02, 2010
By Maryann Lawlor

While the dust has been kicking up around U.S. Defense Department social networking policies, the Defense Information Systems Agency has been actively pursuing one option that could address many challenges commercial sites pose. Hundreds of military and government personnel have been test-driving DEFStar, a commercially developed colleague network that resembles Facebook. From this pilot program, the agency hopes to find the middle ground between classified-only collaboration and the Wild West environment of the World Wide Web.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009
By Maryann Lawlor

Four top-level federal organizations are taking a cue from the journalism handbook by focusing on the “who, what, when and where” to improve information sharing. Without developing new standards, this collaborative effort has created a federal information exchange specification and implementation profile that enables agencies to harvest the basics, regardless of where the data resides. Once fully embraced, this methodology, which still is in its infancy, holds great promise for addressing many of the information-sharing flaws identified by the 9/11 Commission and other assessments of the shortfalls in communications prior to the 2001 terrorist attacks.

July 2007
By Henry S. Kenyon

The U.S. Army is developing a network-centric system to connect and manage its air defense systems. The capability will provide commanders with a dynamic, real-time picture of the battlespace through shared data feeding into the network. Dynamic software will permit warfighters to establish defenses quickly by selecting available weapons batteries and sensors across a theater of operations and linking them into a combat mission.

February 2007
By Allan D. Kissam

U.S. Marines providing on-site command, control, communications, computers and intelligence support have a new tool—a tactical network in a box—that allows them to learn to use the most recent software in a virtual environment.

August 2006
By Rita Boland

Military and humanitarian relief personnel now can reach out from the field more easily with a product that combines voice and data communications capabilities in a single box. The approximately 65-pound kit is field portable, ruggedized and self-cooling. It uses open architecture standards and can be applied to hastily formed networks, military operations, disaster response and medical relief efforts.

May 2006
By Rita Boland

Technology is enabling base commanders and command post personnel to send out alerts in emergency situations more quickly. The new warning systems, being installed on several U.S. military bases, use the base network to reach every communications device connected to the network while tying in more traditional alert components such as public address systems and telephony.

January 2006
By Dr. Cullen Jennings

The military is finding that voice over Internet protocol is an effective technology for secure collaboration and information sharing on converged networks-those that combine voice, video and data. Defense organizations are migrating from the isolated, point-to-point communications models of the past toward a more agile, networked and collaborative environment. At the same time, they are replacing their proprietary communications solutions with more interoperable systems based on open standards.

May 1999
By Michael A. Robinson

The Internet's promise of providing low-cost electronic commerce and information exchange in reality is bringing a whole new set of obstacles to corporations that are embracing these seemingly broad opportunities. These obstacles, apart from conventional logistics snags, involve rising costs, corporate intrigue and mushrooming marketing budgets.

May 1999
By Maryann Lawlor

The network urban landscape is under construction. And while T-1 lines and Ethernet may deliver the power, they are also becoming the lines of communication between cyberbuildings that host fully equipped accommodations for meetings, classes and seminars.

May 1999
By Michelle L. Hankins

Now that information service providers are rushing to provide global high-speed connectivity, differences of opinion have emerged about which type of protocol will best link diverse users. The potential for a dramatic shift in network methodology and the inability to predict what the future communications protocol of choice will be have left developers in a quandary.

May 1999
By Michelle L. Hankins

Many of the complex and often tediously precise tasks for computer and telecommunications planners and administrators can now be delegated to automation software designed to graphically represent architectures. The software eliminates many of the network maintenance frustrations by presenting information in a basic diagram with embedded data accessible in multiple levels beneath the illustrations.

December 1999
By Michelle L. Hankins

The U.S. government is focusing on contingency planning to deal with potential malfunctions that could threaten operations at the onset of 2000. Agencies have been tasked with developing business continuity and contingency plans, many of which were tested this fall for year 2000 durability. Even organizations that are believed to be 100 percent compliant are establishing procedures to ensure that their core business procedures are not halted unexpectedly. This includes creating backup plans and determining key decision makers in the event of an operation shutdown.

September 2001
By P. Michael Hoffman and Veronica Deschambault

Networking technology currently under development will allow users to monitor and operate sensors from a single, central, distant location. In tactical scenarios, this capability will reduce the need to send soldiers into the field to check or activate sensors. The system features an optional radio communication module that enables it to operate much like a wide area network, and ease of installation and portability make it a candidate for use in military training exercises.

September 2001
By Henry S. Kenyon

Internet access may soon be as close as the nearest electrical outlet. New power-line networking technology allows voice, data and video signals to travel through standard electrical lines, turning building or campus electrical grids into ready-made communications pathways. Connected by devices similar to modems that are plugged into wall sockets, computers and smart appliances can be linked together or to existing fiber optic lines without extensive installation costs.

August 2003
By Henry S. Kenyon

U.S. Army communications facilities in Okinawa, Japan, are using an automated alarm management system to monitor legacy equipment that is not interoperable. Consisting of an easily installed remote unit and management software, the system permits administrators to control multiple proprietary devices from a single on-screen interface.

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