DLA moves EMall to DISA servers

Application provider Partnet helped with transition to .mil address

The Defense Logistics Agency has moved its procurement system, called EMall, to a computer center run by the Defense Information Systems Agency.

The move was brought about due to a mandate that all public-facing Defense Department servers have a .mil address, according to Todd VanderVeen, director of federal commerce systems for Partnet, which helped DLA relocate the servers to a DISA Defense Enterprise Computing Center (DECC). Partnet developed the e-commerce and search software used by EMall.

At present, the federal-focused e-commerce site EMall serves more than 40,000 regular military and federal users with a catalog of 50 million items. Annual sales can total up to $800 million.

“This transition was necessary to secure the continued integrity and interoperability of the DOD EMall system,” said Sheila Rayburn, DOD EMall Program Manager, in a statement. “It ensures that both DOD and civilian agencies can continue to effectively procure the products necessary to fulfill their mission-critical requirements.”

The production system is online, though various other components, such as the development infrastructure, still need to be finalized, VanderVeen said.

The move involved a number of challenges, VanderVeen said. EMall, which is based on a Java Enterprise Edition framework, goes through periodic upgrade to add new features, and the move was coordinated with one of these upgrades. With the move, a newer version of the operating system, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, was installed. The servers and applications were also certified under the 8510.1-M DOD Information Technology Security Certification and Accreditation Process.

DLA took the opportunity to upgrade EMall's sign-on system so DOD Common Access Cards could be used to conduct transactions. DLA has also embarked on getting the transaction system to conform to the Payment Card Industry's set of standards for security for electronic commerce.

With the new arrangement with DISA, the DLA gets final approval with matters pertaining to the applications while DISA is now in charge of the servers and supporting hardware. DISA has been offering other defense agencies computer processing in a hosted provider arrangement.

About the Author

Joab Jackson is the senior technology editor for Government Computer News.

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