Web portal, other initiatives lie ahead

The Navy-Marine Corps Intranet program office is considering several initiatives this year, including a portal that would give users access to the network over the Internet and research into Navywide application hosting at secure data centers.

Capt. Chris Christopher, NMCI's deputy director for future operations, communications and business initiatives, said the service wants to test the portal in a simulated environment once lead contractor EDS Corp. cuts over 85 percent of the nearly 400,000 Navy and Marine Corps computer seats.

EDS has taken control of roughly 160,000 computer seats, most of them for Navy users, Christopher said, and expects to reach 85 percent by year's end.

'We're actually out building a virtual NMCI, a simulated environment that will mirror the actual network so that we have a high degree of fidelity to the real NMCI environment,' Christopher said. Giving users virtual access to the network is a better option than going to extraordinary lengths to establish direct connections in some places, he added.

The program office may release a request for information or a request for proposals for work on the project later this year.

Centralized app hosting

'We're taking the same approach to app hosting that we took to NMCI'that is, instead of everyone owning and operating their own stuff, we're going to put all of our apps in secure NMCI data centers and have them run there,' Christopher said.

In conducting inventories for the cutover to NMCI, the Navy has found that it runs far more servers than officials thought. 'Anywhere from twice as many as we thought we had to 10 times more,' he said.

The service has faced similar problems with the number of legacy applications on its networks, which once totaled about 100,000 and now are down to between 10,000 and 12,000. Christopher said he expects to have 'a few thousand' when the process is complete.

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