DISA collaboration tool doubling its capacity

The enterprise collaboration tool known as Defense Connect Online is about to double in capacity as users seek less expensive ways to conduct meetings and training in austere budget times, the Defense Information Systems Agency said Feb. 8.

DCO is the Pentagon's enterprise tool designed to facilitate collaboration by allowing users to communicate and share information through the use of audio-video Web conferencing, instant messaging, and low-bandwidth text chat. DCO is a service provided to all DOD partners and is available through both the Sensitive but Unclassified IP Data Service (formerly known as NIPRNet) and the Secret IP Data Service (formerly known as SIPRNet).

DCO has recently experienced a spike in growth and now boasts more than 800,000 registered users, DISA said. The growth was accelerated by the departmentwide effort to cut travel and conference expenses. As a result, more DOD users are using DCO to conduct online meetings and training.

Due to the rapid increase in demand, DCO’s unclassified capacity requirements significantly increased beyond projections, which resulted in some instances of poor system performance and denial of service during peak usage times, DISA said.

DISA is working to accommodate the increased demand. In the near term, capacity will double by Feb. 15 to permit twice as many simultaneous users, DISA said. In the long term, DISA is enacting measures that will expedite future expansion of the service by incrementally adding capacity as demand dictates.

"DCO, one our largest enterprise services, has emerged as a critical cost savings tool during a heightened period of budget constraints and travel restrictions," said John Hale, DISA’s chief of enterprise applications.

Since 2007, DCO has facilitated millions of Web-conferencing meeting minutes, connecting its partners via desktops and mobile devices around the world, Hale said. While the capacity limitation has been difficult, the popularity of the tool is evident in its usage statistics, he said.


About the Author

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

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