DISA pushes analytic power to the tip of the spear

DISA pushes analytic power to the tip of the spear

The Defense Information Systems Agency is readying an update to its Big Data Platform that could have significant impact for warfighters at the tactical edge. 

BDP is a DISA-developed distributed computing environment that supports the ingest, correlation and visualization of multiple petabytes of data from DOD Information Network (DODIN) sources.

The update, planned for August, involves improvements to DISA’s Cybersecurity Situational Awareness Analytic Cloud, which is the “set of widgets, analytics, ingest code and data structures that provides broader and more comprehensive analytics and visualization of DODIN activity than the department has ever had,” according to DISA.

David Mihelcic, DISA CTO, explained the update will allow users to define a subset of BDP data for analytic processing, write freeform queries in an SQL-type language and get results in user-friendly dashboards that can be modified by the operator.    

That way, “we’ll be able to take either commercially developed analytics or analytics…operated out in the field and run those against some or all of that data without necessarily having it interact with the purpose-built and certified core analytics,” he said at an AFCEA-sponsored breakfast June 15.  

This capability will allow analytics to be built on the fly, accelerating the deployment at the tip of the spear, he said. For the cyber analyst, these updates will speed custom analytic development from weeks and months to hours and days, Michelcic told GCN. 

Army Cyber Command initiated the development of the update, with DISA joining roughly six months ago to enhance and operationalize the capability in BDP to minimize cost and delivery time, Mihelcic said.

The Army Cyber Command said it is working with DISA on the governance process. "Right now, the Army's acquisition efforts are in the prototype phase but continued collaboration is required as the Army moves to field a program of record to specific Army forces that is interoperable and aligned to the Joint platform," an Army Cyber Command spokesman said.  

This article was changed June 28 to include comment from the Army Cyber Command.

About the Author

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

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