Navy decreases hardware footprint of mobile command centers
- By Kris Osborn
- Mar 09, 2017
The Navy is accelerating efforts to acquire small, mobile command and control centers around the world as part of a broader effort to consolidate IT networks and streamline operations.
The service is now modernizing its Deployable Joint Command and Control (DJ2C) technology to reduce the hardware footprint and increase software-defined storage.
The project combines traditional computing and storage resources into a single source, according to officials from Nutanix, a Silicon Valley firm contracted by the Navy for the project. Nutanix is a subcontractor to Crown Point Systems on the deal. Thus far, the Navy has acquired more than 30 of the upgraded systems.
“The Nutanix platform integrates server, storage, virtualization and networking into a single appliance, eliminating the requirements for expensive and inefficient three-tiered data center architectures,” said Chris Howard, who is the Vice President of Federal for Nutanix.
Described by developers as “data centers in a box,” the new DJ2C apparatus is roughly one-fourth the size of the legacy system it is replacing, which creates additional cooling advantages as well, Howard added.
The program is part of a larger Navy effort to consolidate data centers worldwide, reduce the hardware burden and connect U.S. with overseas IT systems.
Current Continental United States, or CONUS, domestic data systems are separated from overseas data systems closer to a shore-based operational environment. The Navy Marine Corps Intranet, or NMCI and the OCONUS Navy Enterprise Network (ONE-NET) will transform from separate environments to a globally integrated network, a Navy statement said.
The integration of NMCI and ONE-Net will bring standardization of network command-and-control and the way network services are delivered globally to Navy shore locations, service officials explained.
“We believe we can expand to OCONUS to be able to improve the services and standardize the services. This requires a lot of engagement with OCONUS commanders. We will drive increased speed, capability and security with less cost over time and get more user bandwidth,” Capt. Michael Abreu, program manager for the Naval Enterprise Networks program office, told reporters.
The DJ2C modernization effort also enables an enterprise cloud approach designed to bring the benefits of cloud technology without sacrificing the security and control of on-premises infrastructure.
This is entirely consistent with the Navy’s accelerated movement to the cloud as part of a move to decrease the hardware components to data centers, IT networks and global command-and-control systems. The hope, Navy and industry developers explain, is to execute this in a way that increases -- or better facilitates -- cyber security.
“Cyber security offers a whole wealth of other things to look at, intrusion detection systems and intrusion protections rights, so that’s a whole another layer in the software stack from an infrastructure perspective,” Howard said.
The five-year, firm-fixed-price Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity contract has a total overall maximum value of $28.8 million available to the Crown Point Systems team; this team also includes leading technology integrator World Wide Technology, if all orders are exercised. To date, Nutanix has received orders from Crown Point Systems for approximately $3.5 million as part of the contract.
Kris Osborn is a former editor of Defense Systems.