Army enterprise e-mail transition in full swing

Migration tools moving about 100,000 accounts each week

The Army is well into its transition to an enterprisewide e-mail service – a massive transition aided by the Defense Information Systems Agency – and the service is moving forward with plans to collapse its disparate networks into the Network Enterprise Technology/9th Signal Command, according to the organization’s leader.

“This is a huge undertaking for our command,” said Brig. Gen. Jennifer Napper, commander of Army NETCOM/9th Signal Command.

Napper, speaking today at AFCEA Army IT Day in Vienna, Va., said that her office is measuring the e-mail transition’s success by the number of e-mail accounts moved, the flow of data and bandwidth use, and how commands report they are being helped operationally by moving to enterprise e-mail.

“Our migration tools are moving about 100,000 [accounts] per week,” Napper said.

The transition is a major task that is part of a broader Army IT network transformation known as including implementing the Global Network Enterprise Construct, which Napper said is also well underway.

“The groundwork has been laid, and it’s now time to do it,” she said of getting GNEC rolling.

Napper noted that her command is busy with other parts of GNEC, including building an Army-wide Active Directory that serves as an enterprise security boundary and authoritative source for authentication, which is a top concern as the military takes on identity management.

“We’re building for what’s next after the common access card,” Napper said.

Also a top priority: data-center consolidation, a move that is part of both GNEC plans and federal mandate. “We’re really getting after data consolidation in the next year,” she said.

Napper noted that NETCOM’s activities must fit in with a bigger, Defense Department-wide picture of collaboration and interoperability, including syncing with military cyber components, focusing on joint command and control and aligning Army efforts with those of DOD.

“We don’t operate in a static area, we don’t see our adversaries or understand who’s who,” Napper said. “We need a dynamic, active defense, and we’re still considering how to do that.”

About the Author

Amber Corrin is a staff writer covering military networks for Defense Systems.

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