DISA: Furthering Its Reach
The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) has had to juggle technologies to maintain effective service to its customers-the defense community. Both civilian and military Defense Department organizations depend on DISA for vital connectivity around the clock and around the globe. While the agency has been able to tap commercial capabilities to a greater degree, its customer demands-especially for bandwidth-have been growing faster than expected. SIGNAL Magazine's April 2009 issue takes a look at how DISA is meeting the challenge of customer service while laying the groundwork for potential future requirements. First, Information Services Inch Closer to the Edge, from Executive Editor Maryann Lawlor, examines just how the agency is adjusting to the tsunami of new information technologies and capabilities. Her expert source is none other than John J. Garing, DISA's chief information officer and director for strategic planning. Lawlor also includes a sidebar on a cloud computing service, called the Rapid Access Computing Environment, called RACE. The RACE platform also powers Forge.mil, which News Editor Rita Boland wrote about previously in February's Project Brings Open-Source Methods to Defense Realm. Boland also contributes to April's DISA focus report with Division Evolves to Keep Connections Safe for Everyone, which looks at how DISA's Field Security Operations Division struggles with the ongoing conflict of ensuring security and accessibility. Both the security players and their strategies have changed considerably, and that change may be only beginning.