Open Letter to U.S. Navy Leadership

“Offered with full understanding of the challenges and opportunities these issues and suggested solutions represent for the future of America, and for the U.S. Navy’s role in securing that future.”    Dr. Marv Langston – January 1st, 2010

This post provides real-world examples that help validate the potential for significant savings if the Department of Navy (DON) should decide to move aggressively toward wave 3 information technologies. With NMCI ready to contract for Phase-Out services while NGEN is Phased-In, it is important to consider the potential for saving cost while improving the Department’s IT performance.

– Although it will seem unbelievable, this analysis shows that it is possible to bring the estimated current annual $1.7B IT costs down to between $600M and $750M, and easily pay NGEN infrastructure conversion within annual operating budgets…

… making it possible to repurpose as much as $1B annually,  for other critical priorities!


We stand at a time of historical change.  The Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Gary Roughead, has begun to lead the Navy away from “platform-dominated operations” into “information-dominated operations.” He began this effort by standing up the Deputy CNO for Information Dominance (N2/N6).  This is an historic change!! Unfortunately, during this critical time, POM 12 Budget priorities are forcing sub-optimal decisions throughout the Navy and Marine Corps.  Admiral Roughead’s enlightened leadership, is supported in this area by Commander U.S.Pacific Command, Admiral Robert Willard’s, trail-breaking C2ISR work, complimented by Chief of Naval Intelligence and Deputy CNO for Information Dominance, Vice Admiral David Dorsett’s, C2ISR leadership. These efforts represents the tip of the “Information Dominance” spear which is now, unfortunately, being pushed toward minimal change by the bureaucratic POM 12 budget process.

While this yearly process grinds forward, well-meaning senior leaders, from both the information and platform domains, are making platform-dominated, incremental decisions because it is difficult to understand the speed with which wave 3 information technologies are offering higher performance at lower costs.  An eye-watering example of how wave 3 technologies could displace current IT services can be found within the estimated $1.7B (yes that is billion) annual bill Department of Navy is paying for basic IT services;  shown in Chart 1.

This large budget number supports:

  • Ashore wireline telephone services
  • Navy Marine Corps Intranet (NMCI) services;
  • Defense Information System Network (DISN) wide area network services; and,
  • Remaining ashore IT networks and services.

Taken together, this IT infrastructure provides wide area and local network access, telephone services, desktop devices (telephones, computers and personal digital assistants), email, and basic application services to approximately 450 thousand sailors, marines, and supporting personnel.  On average, these costs represent almost $3800 per year for each user. Furthermore, these numbers do not cover the cost of purchasing, licensing, developing, and sustaining other mission and business applications such as command and control, finance, human resources, logistics, etc.; all covered through separate funding lines and programs.


In a previous post, I argue that DoD is losing valuable capability and cost savings by restraining our move from wave 2 current information technologies, into the emerging wave 3 technology.  Chart 2 provides more detail.  This post provides concrete analysis of the potential cost savings possible through, faster rather than slower, wave 3 transitions.

Fundamental Components of IT Infrastructure

In the wave 2 IT paradigm $3800 is a reasonable price to pay for secure, homogenized, basic desktop telephone & computing services.  However, to investigate the potential costs for equivalent or better services using wave 3 technologies it is useful to break the $1.7B cost down into primary functional components of wide area network, wired telephone, base-level network, and desktop services as shown in the Chart 3.  These four primary functions represent the DON’s $3,800 cost of Telephone and IT services per user per year.

DISN wide area network costs are spread across the DoD Components and, therefore, DON is not authorized to opt out of this service.  If we remove the DISN wide area bill, approximately $250M ($550 per user per year), we are left with $1.45B to cover the cost of wired telephone, base-level network, and desktop services across the DON.  Because the split out is not significant to this analysis, we could assume as a thought exercise that wired telephone services will be absorbed into base-level network, and desktop services.  This leaves the wired telephone, base-level network, and desktop services, as opportunity areas for wave 3 technologies.  Fortunately, these three areas represent over 85% of the DON’s yearly IT cost.

Base-Level Network Infrastructure Savings

With 4.3 billion wireless subscribers today, on the way to 6 billion by 2013, the global wireless industry is serving over 130 million new subscribers per quarter. Given these realities it is easy to see why enormous wave 3-technology growth is being applied in this area.  An excellent example is the work being done by a small start-up company named Flow Mobile,  Led by Silicon Valley start up expert, Sree Tangella, and Telco industry expert Dr. Yick Chan, Flow Mobile is currently building a state-of-the-art wireless infrastructure in North Dakota.  Flow Mobile’s goal is to provide high bandwidth fixed telephone, mobile phone, plus fixed and mobile Internet services to both rural and city users for a single fixed price.  Because rural high bandwidth services are not available or relegated to slower expensive satellite services, this wave 3 technology represents a break through in multiple dimensions.  Flow Mobile is a commercial equivalent to the wired telephone and base-level network infrastructure in Chart 3.

Using the Flow Mobile cost per user and cost per area numbers being demonstrated in North Dakota, DON could install equivalent base-level network wireless infrastructure services for $100 per user.  This cost represents just 7% of the current $1,500 per user per year base-level network infrastructure cost.  But this is not the full story! The $100 per user is the cost to acquire, install, and maintain this infrastructure for the first year.  Follow year maintenance costs are only 10% of this cost, which equates to less than 1% of the current base-level network infrastructure costs per user per year.

But this is still not the complete story! A secure wireless base infrastructure provides two additional solutions to current DON challenges.

  1. Using a secure wireless infrastructure eliminates the need to re-acquire the fixed base wired infrastructure currently owned and operated by the NMCI contract provider.
  2. A wireless infrastructure inherently offers connectivity to ships afloat as they return to shore and during dockside sustainment activities.

Let us assume for a minute that we use Flow Mobile or equivalent wave 3 technologies to provide a secure wireless base-level network infrastructure, at the rate of $100 per user for build out and $10 per user per year for sustainment, across all DON bases.  These rates would equate to base-level network infrastructure services for $45M in the installation year, and $4.5M per year thereafter!  Let’s take a minute to let this sink in. I am suggesting that using wave 3 wireless technologies, DON could replace the Base-Level Network infrastructure across both Navy and Marine Corps for $45M, and operate it for $4.5M annually.  Against the current yearly $675M yearly base-level network sustainment cost, DON could easily absorb the $45M cost to build-out wireless base-level network costs, freeing-up $630M to be applied to other priorities the first year.  In addition, each following year will free up $670M to be applied to other priorities.  Chart 4 shows the potential NGEN Costs for the installation year of wireless Telephone and Base-Level Networks.

Desktop Services Infrastructure Savings

So we see that wave 3 wireless technologies offer cost and performance advantages for the wired telephone and base-level network infrastructure, but what about the desktop services?

Here there are also concrete examples to consider.  Washington DC’s government offices are in the process of rolling-out Google Apps and Google data services to 38,000 employees for an approximate cost of $50 per user per year (…/Fighting_Government_Waste_One_Google_App_At_a_Time_).  Similarly Los Angeles County Government is finalizing a contract with Computer Sciences Corporation for a Google Apps implementation for 30,000 users at approximately $120 per user per year (  Google is currently obtaining full FISMA (Federal Information Security Act) certification for Google Apps ( › … › Federal News Radio), and is in the process of completing a dedicated Government Google Cloud to be available in 2010 (  Google Apps represents a full suite of offline/online email, calendar, office applications, plus the server farms from which they host these applications and associated stored user data.  Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command is current operating an unclassified pilot using Google Apps and a dedicated Google cloud to support International Naval cooperation for Pirate Operations.

Assuming desktop applications and data storage services are covered through the use of Google Apps or the equivalent, we are left with 3-year replacement-cycle costs for desktop telephone, computers, laptops, and PDA devices.  If we assume desktop computers at the going price of $500, laptop computers at $1000, and PDAs at $300, we could provide desktop devices, on average, for approximately $150 per user per year.  This assumes a 50-50 mix of desktop/laptop computers and PDA usage across 25% of the 450,000 users. If giving up Microsoft Office in favor or Open Office and Google Apps is viewed as too hard early on, significant savings are still achievable. Assuming the cost of MS Office is approximately $170 per user per year (this should be closer to $50), that cost could be included as desired.  If we add up these numbers we see that the Desktop Services area could be obtained for $270 without MS Office (shown in Chart 4) or $440 with MS Office per user per year.  Chart 5 shows the break out of each service area with and without Microsoft Office.  Here we see that potential annual savings of one billion dollars is possible.  These savings represent annual per user costs between $1,200 to $1,600, down from my current estimate of $3,800 for an 80% to 85% savings.

Am I the Only Crazy Wave 3 Missionary?

As extraordinary as these potential savings look, the Navy Research Advisory Committee’s July 2009 Report on Future Naval Use of COTS Networking Infrastructure, provides a rich discussion on wave 3 technologies, which I commend it to your attention.  Copies of this report can be obtained through Office of Naval Research at

This report finds that cloud-computing technologies are potentially transformational for Navy, despite the challenges of adequate bandwidth to Naval ships.  Chart 6 provides a comparison of the Bechtel corporation current costs compared to “best -in-class” wave 3 costs.  As shown within the red oval, cost reductions of 25 – 200 fold are possible, depending upon the function.  These large savings multipliers are far greater than the 80-85% savings demonstrated in this analysis.

Recommendations for Consideration

Given the small sample size behind these “back-of-the-envelope” estimates, what might senior DON leaders do with this information?  My suggestions would the following:

  1. Examine closely any NMCI Phase-Out Contract strategy that would include buying back existing base-level network infrastructure (including fiber cabling, servers, data centers, and desktop/laptop machines).  By-back costs tie-up resources that could be deployed toward an efficient wireless base-level infrastructure. Requires immediate attention!!
  2. Enter into an NMCI Phase-Out contract at current or reduced seat costs rates with the option to remove seat costs on a per seat basis as the new wireless NGEN replacement capability becomes operational.  Requires immediate attention!!
  3. Relieve the NMCI Phase-Out Contractor from the burden of removing existing unused base-level infrastructure in return for leaving behind existing server and desktop computing equipment as the NGEN replacement capability is deployed.  Requires immediate attention!!
  4. Stand-up an independent tiger-team to review these ideas, visit, as needed, wave 3 implementation activities, and recommend the appropriate DON telephone and IT service budgets for POM 12.  Requires immediate attention!!
  5. Based upon tiger-team findings, conduct a near-term pilot effort to validate capability and per user per year costs for deploying a wireless Base-Level Network Infrastructure as described above.
  6. Based upon tiger-team findings, conduct a near-term Desktop Services Infrastructure pilot effort to validate capability/suitability and per user per year costs as described above.
  7. Based upon pilot efforts, create an NGEN Phase-In program to obtain the savings as rapidly as possible.  Because these savings could be large, the Phase-In program would become self-funding as soon as the first increment of NMCI and associated network programs were turned off.  Because this is new technology, extra care must be taken to validate operational capability prior to removing NMCI seats.

I was Wrong!

In January 2008, I briefed a group of senior leaders chaired by Vice Admiral Mark Edwards (then DCNO for Network and Communication Systems, N6) on preliminary findings from an earlier NGEN Review sponsored by Dr. Gary Federici, DASN C4I & Space.  This briefing asserted the potential for 50% “total cost of ownership” saving for DON telephone and IT services.  I stated verbally my professional opinion that DON could reduce the associated telephone and IT services cost by $500M per year.  At the time, I did not have concrete examples to help validate this assertion.  The analysis contained in this short paper convinces me that I was wrong.  The potential savings are much higher than I had assumed two years ago.  It also helps me understand how fast wave 3 technology is moving forward!

…unfortunately these same wave 3 technologies are also available to our adversaries!!

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16 Responses to Open Letter to U.S. Navy Leadership

  1. jim says:


    Good piece of work. Is anyone listening?

    Keep up the good work.


  2. Chris Ward says:

    These numbers are staggering and attention getting, and probably not an exaggeration! It also gives DoD the additional ability to expand and contract quickly (via hosted services and Wave III technologies); that’s something that is really hard to do right now, and EXPENSIVE! I guess it will all come down to TRUST. I have observed DoD will pay a considerable premium (in costs and functionality) to maintain control. Giving up control is very hard for them to do, no matter how much sense it makes!

  3. Marv, the costs of the Navy Information Dominance Infrastructure includes more than the $1.7B noted in your blog.

    1. The Navy IT Infrastructure includes not only NMCI/NGEN, but also all of the intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, information warfare, electronic warfare, information technology (ashore and afloat), communications, networks, space, oceanography and meteorology. That is the scope that VADM Dorsett has set out to integrate. I estimate that the IT cost of the infrastructure is about >$4.5B and more than that if you include the costs of the military and civilian payrolls.

    2. The $550M for DISN is a negotiated allocation, not actual cost. DISN is subsidized. Its technology is limited since it does not reach into the wired and wireless baseline infrastructure. It is faulty because its architecture is not based on “edge computing” (such as Akamai and Google). The current DISN design should not be used as a base for calculating cost reductions.

    3. The idea of using the FlowMobile concept as a prototype for the future base-level infrastructure for the Navy is technologically not acceptable on the ground of security, capacity, fallback, reliability and service levels. FlowMobile is barely breaking into Bismarck, Dickinson, New Town, ND and Glenpool, OK.

    4. Google Apps are not the model for the future of Navy systems. Google is a Public Cloud with fixed, constrained and limited options of what it does. For security reasons Navy’s requirements can be accommodated only on a secure, redundant and high performance Private Cloud.

    5. I agree with your recommendations that we abandon the economics of Microsoft-centric desktop design and save money. My only difference is that my savings projections are higher. The Information Dominance Corps, with the inclusion of military and civilian personnel pay costs, will have a budget of >$15B. Saving only $1B is insufficient to support the rapidly rising needs for new capabilities.

    Hope this is helpful, Paul

    • Marv Langston says:


      Thanks for the thoughtful response. In trying to understand your points I can only assume that you believe there are more than $1B in savings available to Navy if it moves into wave 3 technologies. That would align with previous recommendations you have made to Navy leaders. On the specific points you are making I would comment as follows.
      Point 1 – I agree that the total bill is larger than the $1.7B number I use for this discussion and I agree that it would be to Navy’s advantage to treat the entire C2ISR plus support infrastructure as an integrated whole. In previous recommendations I have suggested that the network transport infrastructure be more tightly integrated with the DISN and treated as a mission critical transport infrastructure.
      Point 2 – I agree about your points on the DISN but in my analysis I took it off of the table because it requires a larger DoD decision process and in the short term Navy will be required to pay it’s share of the DISN costs.
      Point 3 – Flow mobile is an example of the potential savings for base-level infrastructure should Navy venture into wireless technology, a subject that has been discussed before. Clearly this technology would not be used, in any form, without pilot efforts to validate an ability to create a resilient and secure infrastructure.
      Point 4 – A cloud application system such as Google is a good model for consideration of future Navy capability. Google itself is building a separate and validated government cloud and is also open to supporting DoD or Navy specific clouds in designated Navy owned data centers. But Google is not the only company working this new technologies. Microsoft and others are doing the same. I continue to believe that micro-cloud apps represent a technology direction that should be considered for future Navy infrastructure.
      Point 5 – We both agree that better use of these newer wave 3 technologies offer the potential for significant savings without sacrificing security and resiliency. What is important is for that activity to begin.

  4. Rex Buddenberg says:


    First, part the Red Sea. Most of your numbers are about communications (internet). But then you slip into Google Apps — which is about applications that run over the internet, not about the internet. This is a very common trap but ends up distorting accounting discussions because you use apple language to describe oranges. We need to distinguish between communications internetworks and information systems.

    Second, you need to get open-ended. The Chart 4 numbers only address a part of the Navy’s comms infrastructure. As a point example, there’s nothing there that reaches to ships or aircraft. Chart 4 also distorts the discussion by including ‘Desktop Services’ (sounds a lot like applications to me) in a chart that is otherwise comms. It’s not possible to bound either the apps list or the size of the network (Paul’s point is that IT is a lot more than the restricted list you have here). Both were fatal mistakes in NMCI.

    One portion (which you show is the bulk of it) should be ‘Extend the internet’. To that invariant part of the predicate, you can add several prepositional phrases: to ___, for ___, with ___. These can match programs. But the extend the internet part should indeed be invariant. What should NOT get into any of these programs is applications — the internet is application agnostic and the plumbing programs (e.g. BLII) should be too.

    The second part is provision of applications. The constraints to an otherwise open ended list are fairly short:
    – all end systems (the boxes that house the apps) should have ethernet ports on them (in the shore infrastructure this sounds a bit ridiculous, but the rule should apply to a shipborne or airborne radar too).
    – no end system should emit unprotected data; corollary, no end system should accept unprotected data. ‘protect’ _always_ means digital signature for authenticity and sometimes means encryption for confidentiality. The lowest common denominator here is that all end systems should implement secure e-mail (SMTP/S/MIME).
    – we need to extend the existing PKI to less-than-animate objects like radars. Not just CAC in hip pocket.
    – End systems that send data that transits over radio-WANs somewhere (should be just about everything in the Navy) should be able to set the Differential Services Code Point. It’s the equivalent of the Z/O/P/R precedence indicators in JANAP 128 message date time groups. That tells routers what the urgency of the traffic is so they can shuffle queues accordingly (routers routinely implement diff-serv so we don’t need to yell here). If the DSCP is not set, the traffic is treated as routine — straight FIFO.
    – end systems should implement SNMP agents so they can be fault-monitored (either locally or remotely). SNMP does a lot of things but fault monitoring is the one that counts.

    • Marv Langston says:

      All good points as usual. I agree that the real discussion is much larger than I have presented and perhaps your larger discussion would have prevented some of the Navy push back on these ideas. I also like the idea of separating the problem space into 1) infrastructure; and 2) applications. What is very difficult to get senior decision makers to understand is that significant advantages from wave 3 technologies requires significant investment in infrastructure. This is a hard pill for anyone to swallow because we techies have been asking for funding resources to upgrade infrastructure capabilities for decades. So to a senior leader what is different this time around. And that is a good question!
      So I was attempting to put a smaller piece of the problem set into an example that could be worked. The larger piece, broken apart as you suggest would certainly have merit.

  5. Al Heisig says:

    Insightful and compelling. There are also significant Warfighting advantages as well as eye-watering cost avoidance issues related to infrastructure costs and basic application costs. As you have defined in Wave Three information technology, software is decoupled from hardware. This simple statement has profound implications.
    1. Applications creation comes out of darkness of myth and mystery and becomes an “everyman” activity. Applications can be created to solve problems much farther forward in the Strategic –> Operational –> Tactical chain with a concomitant decrease in time late and increase in relevance. The US Army is currently working with thought leaders to incorporate the concept of “soldier written apps” for our future Army. Our warfighters have grown up in the era of “apps on demand” to solve all types of issues. Apple didn’t write over 100,000 applications on the iPhone. Ordinary people did, and they are still doing it. Detractors will throw down a “standardization” gauntlet. Standardization will be achieved by controlling the interfaces to the wireless network. One actually creates a large “beta” laboratory that produces results that matter. Getting small apps to solve specific problems eliminates the arduous current software acquisition process with all of its inherent inefficiencies and time delays due to enormous chains of checks and balances. These have historically only produced results that are time late by one or two evolutions in the types of war we are fighting.
    2. Wireless backbones are changing the way we view our contributions to our endeavors. By putting computing power into wireless handheld devices, we are unshackling our heretofore perceived dependencies upon fixed infrastructures in ways that have wonderful effects on mobile warriors engaging on land, sea, air and space. They are now removing significant geographical and infrastructure constraints from their operational constraints. This has marvelous effects on the entire operational cycle, (and incidentally, removes vulnerabilities associated with routine patterns associated with adhering to those constraints.) We don’t fight from desktops, yet that is how we view much of our world, coming to our desktop/office/meeting place to do our work and everything else is tangential.
    3. Infrastructure becomes infrastructure again, and is accountable as such, rather than being “lumped in” to an amalgam of costs which become large budgetary targets with unclear benefits. At present, Information Technology means so many things to so many people that accountability is difficult to define. Tactical systems are fielded with an accompanying balls and chains of networks, storage and processing capabilities, environmental control systems, energy demands unique to their needs and displays and interfaces designed uniquely to the parameters of design engineers focused on their perception of the issues. By clearly articulating infrastructure and establishing controls on interfaces, we enable lower cost solutions for elements that “handle ones and zeros” without highly diverse supporting infrastructures. Wave Three breaks old thought process and concentrates on the results, not the mechanisms to get those results.

    The NGEN situation is a chance to revisit how we acquire and define IT, interoperability and where the future lies.
    Thanks again for your insights.
    Al Heisig

    • Marv Langston says:

      I couldn’t agree more. This is an important area where some valuable R&D could be used to validate the security, capability, and cost avoidances. Thanks, marv

    • Marv Langston says:

      Al, ver well stated in each of your examples. Pushing applications closer to the user because we can build them quickly upon the rich infrastructure of the future is what it is all about. iPhone apps are just a commercial example of what we need to do. But as we currently allow ourselves to provide budget to thousands of program offices able to continue down a path of data that isn’t shared and infrastructure that is unique, we disempower our war fighters for unintended bureaucratic reasons. I love your statement, “Applications creation comes out of darkness of myth and mystery and becomes an ‘everyman” activity’,” because it so precisely represents the power of what we are recommending. Thanks

  6. Jon Marcy says:


    Your paper is the first I have seen that includes the subject of wireline telephony as a cost consideration. I’m curious on how you came up with the dollar amount of $100M in your Chart 1? PMW-790 has created a business case that demonstrates a possible savings of over $180M a year by simply migrating current PBX systems to IP trunking over the DISN. This would allow for the displacement of over 1000 T-1’s being used today to connect to FTS-2001 and DSN. With the introduction of AS-SIP by DISA, as specified in the UCR2008 document, IP trunking can be accomplished while sustaining the ability to deliver MLPP services to the warfighter. We are seeing the USAF, USMC and Army moving quickly to a similiar architecture with their telephony systems, as the savings over traditional TDM solutions is substantial.

    As with any potential for savings, an investment is required up front to transition from legacy technology to a new converged IP technology; and as usual Navy leadership is pushing back on the request for investment money in POM12 that is required to install the infrstructure which in turn would allow for the savings to be realized. Penny wise and pound foolish… and very frustrating.

    • Marv Langston says:

      Jon, great points. You are offering an example, like mine, where a small up front expenditure provides the financial engine for all future changes. The nice thing about the IT world is that it is the only world where tomorrow’s commodity costs will be less then today’s costs. We all can see the improved computer devices that perform better and 25% of the cost of just a few years ago. That situation is what makes doing the right thing in IT so easy as long as we don’t over constrain our budget processes to prevent such projects from becoming self funding. My example of cost was derived from what is being done by the Company Flow Mobile providing wireless IT services in North Dakota. Thanks for the comments.

  7. Kurt Rothenhaus says:

    Another great post. To pile on to your argument we are really not doing a terrific job of delivering capability to the business end of the Navy. For want of a decent switch, router or server we consistently come up short in delivering consistent reliable IT services afloat – even on our capital ships. To many Flags/CO’s struggle with limited availability of services and I’m not just talking about bandwidth. Three foundation services: RF Path, Network and application. We have done a better job on RF path, but Network and Application still need work. Basic enterprise capabilities (mail, web-services) remain unreliable despite a fair investment.

    • Marv Langston says:

      Kurt, the nice thing about having a smart person like yourself operating in the fleet, is that unlike most of them, you know how much better it could be if we were more wisely applying our resources, to include both smart people and funding. Thanks.

  8. Paul Carff says:

    Great work articulating the problem AND solutions.
    One additional area that I believe needs to be addressed to enable Wave 3 is that of continuing to use the “big” contractors to ostensibly “minimize risk”. In today’s world – they are the risk. Too slow to look “outside the box”, too slow to innovate, and the epitome of bureaucratic. They just cannot keep up.
    Really appreciate what you are doing – I think change is really coming!

  9. Jason Brooks says:

    Dr. Langston,
    Thank you for posting this information, you make a very compelling argument for cloud computing.
    Sold on the idea as I read, I began to wonder about the Navy’s ability to accomplish such a drastically divergent implementation.
    I could be very wrong, but I feel the Operalization and Professionalization of the Navy’s IT business is severely lacking. The biggest indication is the near complete abdication to the contactor. I wonder, is the Navy capable of driving this type of change? Is the people infrastructure available and capable of making this happen? Convincing the leadership may be the first step, but can the Navy’s professional/Uniformed IT force drive this change rather than simply abdicate to yet another different contractor?
    If this IT Professional Infrastructure is not in place, my assumption is whatever the solution, it will fail to meet expectations in both cost and capability.
    Additionally, the DoD as a whole is not ready to evaluate a cloud service, the DIACAP process is geared towards as you say Wave 2 technology. We have to consider how to properly evaluate the level of assurance provided by wave 3 technology. I should add, we should be able to do this rapidly. GSA is gearing up FEDRAMP to provide Authorizations to commercial cloud providers, but they are using Wave 2 evaluation methods. I just don’t think it’s going to be good or fast enough.

    • Marv Langston says:

      Jason, you make very good points that relates to the quality of the acquisition workforce in general. The use of smart organizations like Mitre, Lincoln Labs, Applied Physics Lab, plus the DoD systems centers and laboratories are supposed to be the source of good technical understanding and management support. Part of the issue is how far all of our organizations have moved toward being politically correct to sustain funding rather than helping our program managers find the best technical path. As we learn more about allowing commercial cloud vendors to support DoD needs such as could be the case with an unclassified Google Apps deployment, we will learn more about how to move forward. My suggestions have been more about starting these trial processes rather than wringing our hands over loss of funding and increasing information overload challenges. Thanks for commenting.

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