Pacific Fleet's San Diego ATM network precedes NMCI

Pacific Fleet's San Diego ATM network precedes NMCI

By Bill Murray

GCN Staff

In a dress rehearsal of sorts for the Navy-Marine Corps Intranet, Pacific Fleet officials are connecting 7,500 PCs in 68 organizations throughout San Diego to create a base area network.

The operation is part of an upgrade of the onshore infrastructure to carry voice, video and data traffic.

The San Diego Base Area Network (SDBAN) will support asynchronous transfer mode technology with fiber connections to desktop PCs, said Lt. Flex Plexico, a Pacific Fleet spokesman in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

To fully deploy SDBAN by next month, Pacific Fleet officials need a waiver of the Defense Information Systems Agency's interpretation of an antiquated Defense policy that prevents merging network services beyond a single base, Plexico said. The waiver must come from Arthur L. Money, assistant secretary of Defense for command, control, communications and intelligence, he said.

The SDBAN program is not related to the San Diego Metropolitan Area Network (SANDMAN), a failed Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command effort to gain $10 million in funding to pilot NMCI, Plexico said.

Besides 7,500 leased Dell Computer Corp. PCs and servers that replace 18,000 systems at the 68 Pacific Fleet organizations, the SDBAN includes network fiber laid by contractor TDS Inc. of Marlton, N.J., and hardware from Fore Systems Inc. of Pittsburgh, he said.

By March, 45 percent of upgrades within buildings had been completed, and SDBAN will be ready to start in June, Plexico said. The network will make it easier for Pacific Fleet officials to deploy enterprise software products, provide better information systems security and systems reliability, and reduce training costs by providing a standard desktop PC with standard applications, he said.

'The SDBAN uses the same network operating system [Windows NT Server 4.0], office automation tools and ATM technologies found aboard' ships upgraded through the Information Technology in the 21st Century initiative, Plexico said. 'The SDBAN network provides jobs that prepare our sailors for future jobs on our shipboard IT-21 networks.'

SDBAN is a project of the San Diego Regional Information Technology Support Center. RITSC, which includes Pacific Fleet personnel and contractors, also runs an SDBAN help desk around the clock, Plexico said. RITSC officials first started working together last year on year 2000 readiness, and more recently on area infrastructure problems, he said.

Plexico said he cannot estimate SDBAN's cost because products and services for the project are being brought through many General Services Administration Information Technology Schedule contracts, as well as Defense Logistics Agency, and Fleet and Industrial Supply Center Philadelphia contracts.

Pacific Fleet officials also can lease products and services for other needs'such as their networks in Puget Sound, Wash., and Seattle'through those contracts, so it's difficult to keep track of how much goes to SDBAN, he said.

Pacific Fleet officials will have up to a year after NMCI's June award date to roll the SDBAN under NMCI, under an order from Adm. Jay L. Johnson, chief of naval operations, that NMCI is mandatory for all Navy organizations.

The work on SDBAN'standardizing, consolidating and upgrading the infrastructure''will significantly reduce the cost of NMCI implementation throughout the San Diego area,' Plexico said.

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