The Department of Navy’s New IT Infrastructure Goes Live Today

The Department of Navy’s New IT Infrastructure Goes Live Today

9 min read


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The Department of Navy’s New IT Infrastructure Goes Live Today

The Department of the Navy (DoN) today publicly launched the first phase of its plan to implement a modern information technology infrastructure that will improve security, reliability, and efficiency throughout the department.

Initiated in November 2011, DoN Enterprise Information Systems Modernization (EISM) is scheduled to complete implementation by the end of fiscal year 2015.

“We have been working on EISM since 2007,” said Cmdr. Matthew Kaczmarek, Chief of Naval Research (CNR). It was never our intention to take this long, but we knew that we had to start big. We were going to do what it takes to get ready for the future. “

The first phase of EISM involves the deployment of a single-vendor, cloud-based application platform – the Unified Operational Environment (UOE) – across all of the Navy Department’s major business systems.

Through the UOE, Navy departments and their partners can share data seamlessly across enterprise boundaries, allowing for real-time access and analysis of critical mission information by users throughout the organization.

Additionally, the UOE will provide a secure, scalable, consistent computing environment for both mobile and desktop applications; enable integration of legacy and new applications; and allow for rapid provisioning of computing services and capacity, according to CNR.

“I am pleased that the Navy is moving forward with my vision for a unified operational data and analytics capability that enables the department to conduct operations effectively at sea, ashore and afloat around the globe,” said Rear Adm. David J. Venlet, deputy chief of naval research and head of the Office of the Director, Communications, Electronics, Cyber Propulsion and Integration.

During his remarks upon the release of the EISM program, Venlet noted that the EISM initiative provides Navy stakeholders with the opportunity to address many challenges associated with the evolution of warfare in a networked world.

“In order to compete effectively in the 21st century global marketplace, the Navy must maintain its technological advantage over potential adversaries,” he added. “With EISM, we are taking steps to ensure that we are able to continue to operate successfully in the coming decades.”

Phase two of EISM will expand the UOE to include the Navy’s Enterprise Service Management System (ESMS), which will include capabilities to manage business processes, automate workflows, and enhance communications among government entities and other third parties. Additionally, ESMS will integrate legacy applications that reside outside of the UOE.

A second phase of the project will bring together the Navy’s enterprise software solutions to create a single integrated solution capable of providing cost savings while increasing productivity.

The final EISM phase will begin in the Navy’s Fiscal Year 2014 budget request, expanding the department’s Enterprise Integrated Solution (EIS). Through EIS, the Navy will incorporate and link legacy applications and information with current, state-of-the-art enterprise systems. Phase three calls for full implementation of the EIS plan by FY 2020, bringing the entire department into a single system for improved management, collaboration, and information sharing.

Today’s launch marks the completion of a multiyear effort by the department to identify and develop requirements for its information technology strategy. In June 2011, the Secretary of Defense directed the Chief of Naval Operations to lead a comprehensive review of the Navy’s existing enterprise architecture. A wide variety of stakeholders, including industry and academia, participated in this effort.

According to CNR, the initial impetus for a Navy-wide enterprise architecture came from the department’s need to leverage digital technologies and services to advance the mission of warfighting.

The Department of Navy’s New IT Infrastructure Goes Live Today

Department of Defense (DOD) Office of the CIO-Information Technology (IT) Service Line

The Deputy Chief Information Officer (DCIO) is responsible for providing leadership and oversight of information technology services across DOD. DOD’s DCIOs direct DOD’s shared services organization in delivering the mission-critical information technology solutions and services necessary to enable and sustain our global operations. This position provides strategic guidance for the Information Technology Services Directorate, including planning, budgeting, resource management, and operational support for the DOD enterprise network. Through collaboration with the Military Departments and combatant commands, DCIO directs the deployment of critical technologies to meet DOD missions.

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The Department of Navy’s New IT Infrastructure Goes Live Today

The Department of Defense (DOD) and the Department of Navy (DON), both under the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), continue to deploy their networks using open-source software solutions across DOD, DON, and their respective components. The deployment was completed today at 10 a.m. ET. Approximately 6,500 users have transitioned to using the new network infrastructure since July 1st.

The transition is being led by the Joint Net Assessment team, which includes representatives from each military department and service as well as the National Security Agency (NSA). The goal of the transition is to replace legacy systems with modern technologies in order to improve security, reduce costs, enhance interoperability, and provide a foundation for future DoD modernization efforts.

Acknowledging the need for a flexible and scalable solution for the rapid deployment of services and applications, the project selected the Cisco Networking Academy Program and its Cisco Nexus 7000 Series switches and routers. These devices are designed for DoD mission-critical environments, including information assurance, command and control, tactical communications, and intelligence/surveillance. In addition, they are capable of supporting the expansion of enterprise data centers, cloud computing, and virtualization.

The initial phase of the deployment consists of approximately 4,000 users moving to the new infrastructure. Future phases will extend the reach of the network infrastructure by adding additional capacity. Once complete, these enhancements will allow the network to accommodate over 100,000 users and 2 million voice calls per day.

To ensure a positive user experience and minimize disruptions, the project partners worked closely with the Joint Net Assessment team to implement a staged rollout. Users were notified via email and direct messaging about the upcoming changes and were provided time to plan and prepare for the transition.

The phased implementation approach offers several advantages. First, it provides the opportunity to identify issues early and resolve them before the full rollout. Second, it helps organizations become familiar with the products prior to going live. Third, it minimizes risks associated with changes that may affect operations during the transition period.

According to Mark Dinsmore, Chief Information Officer for the Department of Defense, “Cisco is a trusted partner who provides technology and services that enable our warfighters to fight and win.” He added, “We look forward to working with Cisco to build out our joint enterprise networks.”

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The Department of Navy’s New IT Infrastructure Goes Live Today


By now, you’ve probably heard about the Department of Defense’s (DOD) plan to modernize its network infrastructure to stay ahead of today’s threat landscape. As part of this effort, they have been working on a major overhaul of their enterprise information technology (IT) architecture, known as the Joint Enterprise Network Architecture (JENA). JENA is designed to improve DOD’s ability to operate effectively and efficiently while supporting the department’s mission.

The JENA rollout is expected to begin later this year, with full implementation planned for fiscal year 2015. In addition, DOD plans to roll out two other projects in the near future:

A project to upgrade existing voice-over-Internet protocol (VoIP) equipment

A project to replace legacy hardware and software systems throughout the department

This article provides an overview of the JENA initiative and discusses how this initiative will affect U.S. government agencies’ information management practices, policies, procedures, and standards.

What is JENA?

In order to understand what JENA represents, we need to first discuss the current organization of the DOD’s information infrastructure and the problems facing the department as it seeks to become more agile and flexible. The DOD currently operates several networks, including secure Internet Protocol Routers (IPR), Ethernet, Wide Area Networks (WANs), and Voice over IP (VoIP). These networks are interconnected using hubs, switches, routers, gateways, and bridges. Within each of these networks are servers and workstations that run applications and store data.

Currently, many of the department’s networks are organized around various geographic boundaries, including theater command centers, combatant commands, unified commands, and national headquarters. Each of these networks contains a unique set of servers and applications based on the area’s security requirements and mission needs. However, this organization is not scalable. While individual networks may function well under certain conditions, they cannot scale to meet changing demands.

To ensure that critical business processes continue operating even if the department is unable to access some of its networks, DOD uses redundant servers across different locations. Unfortunately, these servers are often not optimized for the specific tasks at hand. For example, they are often inefficiently configured with unnecessary functionality that wastes valuable computing power and increases operational costs.

As a result, the department continues to struggle with scalability issues. According to DOD officials, these issues have caused the department to lose time, money, and personnel due to failed operations and downtime. Moreover, DOD’s networks lack interoperability and integration capabilities. Current networks do not easily allow users to move between networks, share information, and collaborate with colleagues from different organizations.

These limitations create significant risks to DOD’s ability to conduct day-to-day operations safely and securely. They also make DOD less able to adapt to changing threats and opportunities. Thus, DOD is looking to transform the department’s IT environment to one that is more agile, adaptive, and operationally resilient—capable of scaling to meet changing demand and evolving threats.

Introducing JENA

According to DOD’s Chief Information Officer (CIO) Michael Krepon, JENA is designed to solve these challenges and provide a framework upon which to build an integrated, flexible, and secure network architecture. JENA was developed in partnership with industry experts who have extensive experience managing complex, mission-critical networks. DOD’s CIO, Mr. Krepon, says that JENA will help the department achieve greater agility while ensuring that mission-critical operations can continue even if the department loses connectivity to some portions of its networks.

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