DISA's Global Information Grid master plan outlines strategy for service delivery

The Defense Information Systems Agency on Aug. 28 published a master plan for the Global Information Grid (GIG) that sets forth a technical strategy for furnishing interconnected communications services to warfighters.

The technical strategy embodied in the GIG Convergence Master Plan (GCMP) outlines a process by which operational requirements and their related IT capabilities are organized into service offerings, DISA said in a Sept. 6 news release. DISA took into consideration emerging technologies and used its technology roadmap to organize the service offerings and develop technical solutions that will enable them to be carried out, the agency said.

DISA considers GCMP as a living document, and it intends to expand it in the future to include best practices generated throughout the Defense Department. The next version of the plan will include the Joint Information Environment architectures, and those architectures will define the underlying infrastructure that other DOD  components rely on to deliver their own services, DISA said.

DISA has divided the GCMP into two volumes. Volume one has a strategic focus, and it is unclassified for general distribution. Volume two is tailored for a restricted audience and contains DISA's technical baseline, which consists of three supporting documents for each service offering. The three supporting documents are:

  • Service Offering Description (SOD). This document addresses the service offering at a high level. It includes an operational concept (OV-1) drawing that illustrates the concept and addresses the major use cases, an explanation of the capabilities provided by the service offering, a high-level functional architecture, a description of the business model and service-level objectives.
  • Technical Architecture Description (TAD). This document describes the technical solution associated with a service offering and documents the functional architecture. The TAD includes a summary of requirements, structural diagrams, behavioral diagrams and brief explanations to provide context. In addition, the document describes various interfaces to other services.
  • Engineering Design Specification (EDS). This document sets forth the detailed design that will be used to implement the functional architecture. The EDS clarifies the details of the design. It includes a summary of design decisions, including how the solution will scale, how it will address data protection or security requirements and how it will meet service-level objectives. It also specifies physical topology, hardware and software elements, and how they are to be configured.

DISA intends the service offering description to be conceptual in nature. As for the other documents, they are technical in nature and describe how things work in specific detail, DISA said. Many of the items presented in the technical documents are in Systems Modeling Language (SysML),  because that description technique is much more precise than the routinely used PowerPoint or Visio types of drawings. DISA has trained about 80 people to use of SysML modeling and plans to train more in the future.

The master plan is available here.

About the Author

William Welsh is a freelance writer covering IT and defense technology.

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