Navy portal keeps ship files up to date

Navy portal keeps ship files up to date

The Navy early next year will expand a pilot portal to dispatch real-time files to its fleets at sea. Offshore officers now rely on months-long delivery of CDs to get personnel, inventory or other updates from their home bases. The Distance Support portal transmits data through Microsoft SharePoint Portal Server over low-bandwidth satellite connections.

The portal server will use Mobile Intranet software from iOra of San Rafael, Calif., to compress data up to 100 times for faster transmission. When a base is ready to send files to a ship, iOra's compression software checks a database of previous versions of those files already on the ship's servers. If there is a match, the software sends only the updated portions over the satellite link, reducing the required bandwidth aboard ship.

'Something that took an hour to send before will take less than a minute,' said Paddy Falls, chief executive officer of iOra, whose worldwide headquarters are in Basingstoke, U.K.

The Navy has been piloting the technology for about six months in a Crane, Ind., laboratory, Falls said. He wouldn't reveal the contract value but said prices for the portal software normally start about $7,500 per license.

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