Army network modernization

Army network modernization drives security, bandwidth improvements

As the Army and the Defense Department as a whole modernizes its networks to improve security and bandwidth, migrating to cloud architectures could kill both birds with one stone, according to some Army officials.

Bandwidth must improve before the Army can reap the advantages a cloud-enabled network environment can offer, namely “having resources in a central location and great scale,” Chief Warrant Officer Derrick Edwards said during a panel discussion June 15. 

Following the panel at the Brocade Federal Forum, Edwards told GCN he’s interested in technologies that can help improve bandwidth from an energy-efficiency, cost-efficiency and manpower-efficiency standpoint.  Regarding specific technologies, Edwards offered “open standards-type technologies” that give the Army more vendor options for network connectivity, security or web content filtering.

Additionally, the Army wants to improve not only network operations but cybersecurity within the network, Edwards said.  The DOD-wide decree to move to Windows 10 has been billed as a security-building measure as well.  “We can see some goodness in the Windows 10 migration,” Edwards said, adding that from the Army’s perspective, the best techniques for migration are wide scalable programs of record.  

The Army is also content with commercial cloud solutions, according to Maj. Gen. Garrett Yee, the Army's lead for network modernization.  “One of the areas that we’ve focused on more lately is seeing what we can get as a service versus owning it,” he said at the Federal Forum.  Tech refreshes, licensing and procurement process are all problems associated with owning services, Yee said.  “If we buy as a service --  from a vendor, a collection of vendors, partnership -- as they upgrade what they’re doing and they advance what they are doing, we potentially see the benefit of that as well,” he said.

About the Author

Mark Pomerleau is a former editorial fellow with GCN and Defense Systems.

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