NMCI rolling out, ready for testing

NMCI rolling out, ready for testing

LAS VEGAS'The Navy last week switched the first 650 computers from its existing network to the Navy-Marine Corps Intranet.

Rick Rosenburg, NMCI overseer for contractor EDS Corp., said 400 of the seats comprise a group to be tested for security and standards adherence as required by Defense Department brass [GCN, Sept. 17, Page 12]. All of the initial seats are in the Naval Air Facility, Washington.

The Navy also has nearly completed an inventory of all applications running throughout the department'and discovered tens of thousands of them, said Capt. Chris Christopher, deputy program executive officer for IT and director of NMCI service. Rosenburg and Christopher spoke at the Comdex trade show here last week.

Now the department must decide which applications to trash and which to certify for DOD standards compliance before letting them migrate to the NMCI environment.

An MS-DOS version of the once-popular WordStar word processor, every version of Microsoft Word ever published and games such as Goofy Golf and Doom were among the applications unearthed and reported to his office, Christopher said,

'People have the notion we solved this in Y2K, but we didn't. We just slapped the rock back down,' he said. 'The same things came scuttling out from under the rock.'

All those apps create training, security and system performance headaches, he said.

Meanwhile, Rosenburg said, cutover to NMCI will start this week for 3,500 seats at the Naval Air Station in Lemoore, Calif., and for 1,000 seats at the Patuxent River Naval Air Station in Maryland.

Switchover slowed

EDS, under its eight-year contract with the Navy, has assumed responsibility for operating 46,000 seats. But switching them to the NMCI network has been slowed by DOD worries over the new systems' compatibility with its own systems.

Besides replacing the Navy's network plumbing, EDS also will replace all desktop computers for NMCI.

Rosenburg said testing of the 400 seats will be completed by February.

Although expressing satisfaction with the way the NMCI cutovers have gone technically, Rosenburg said: 'Politically, it could be going better. Too many organizations with no skin in the game are providing oversight' of NMCI, he said.

Not that the switch was flawless. Rosenburg said that although users didn't notice any effects, EDS did encounter trouble with the configuration of a software distribution module that slowed the rate of cutover to between 30 and 50 seats per day, instead of the expected hundreds per day. He said the problem has been corrected.

Christopher said no decision has been made on how to deploy NMCI to Reserve components'units that are playing larger roles now that the Navy is heavily engaged in the war in Afghanistan. Even though the problem can be solved technically, he said, the solutions proposed so far are too expensive.

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