clients / case studies / dod
U.S. Army Netcom/9th Signal Command
To find an experienced technology partner to help develop the Army's Area Processing Centers (APCs) and Regional Hub Nodes (RHNs)
The implementation of a set of regional APCs and RHNs will provide a more standard set of services to all Army users. They will provide significant capability to deploying Warfighters, while adding the benefit of overall lower licensing and operations costs.
IntroductionVital to U.S. military defense, NETCOM’s primary responsibility is to ensure the Army’s Warfighters are supported by communications network and processing servers in every echelon of military operations, from the foxhole to the White House.
U.S. Army Commanders are increasingly leveraging network-centric warfare, a concept that increases combat power by linking sensors, decision-makers, and shooters to achieve shared awareness and increased speed of command and control.
To maximize network-centric warfare, an enormous challenge facing Army information technology (IT) leadership has been the transformation from geographically-based IT services to consolidated enterprise services at regional locations. This is a top priority for Army IT leadership, including the Army’s CIO.
The Army CIO/G6 and NETCOM determined that a move from locally operated servers to consolidated service centers known as Area Processing Centers (“APCs”) and Regional Hub Nodes (RHNs) was necessary to reduce operational cost, improve network defense and provide consistent services in a net-centric environment. The APCs and RHNs were needed to support geographically dispersed tactical networks, which may be deployed to support Warfighters anytime, anywhere in the world.
Ephibian was called upon to help NETCOM achieve the Army goals of IT consolidation and regionalization.
What did we do?
- Worked with the Army to develop the architecture of the Army’s Area Processing Centers (APCs) and RHNs to consolidate the Army’s network, processing and data capabilities and common user IT services (web, storage, email, asynchronous collaboration)
- Created an APC Proof of Concept that was robust enough to handle the backup, recovery and continuity of operations procedures
- Successfully implemented the Proof of Concept
- Validated the Proof of Concept by establishing two Army APCs within the continental United States and migrating processing from three Army bases to the new architecture
- Further validated the concept through exercises which demonstrated migrating IT support from a tactical unit in the continental U.S., up and through RHNs and APCs during the unit’s deployment, and back to their tactical network when they arrived at their theater destination ---- and reversing the process when they left the theater to return home.
- Design and equipment had to be extremely secure and meet all Army, DoD and U.S. Government regulations and guidelines for automated IT systems
How did we do it?
- Generated technical requirements and engineering design documents including the Initial Capabilities Document, two Capability Production Documents (CPDs) (one for the unclassified network, and the other for a classified network), the Concept of Operations and the Network Operations Design Plan
- To prove the concept, we aided with:
- the creation of Lists of Materials (LOMs)
- the evaluation criteria
- the configuration specifications
- the security accreditation preparation, and
- the development of a service catalog and cost model to support the complete list of APC and RHN services available.
What was the result?
- The Army is moving to a set of consolidated, regional processing centers which positions them to be more carefully and thoroughly secured and defended
- The implementation of a set of regional APCs and RHNs will provide a more standard set of services to all Army users, with the benefit of overall lower licensing and operations costs
- Ephibian is not only focusing upon extending the solution army-wide, but is also proactively expanding features and capabilities within the project to better support the Warfighters under both in-garrison and deployed conditions.
- The Army now has a demonstrated capability for IT processing to continue while units are deployed from the United States to theaters of operation
- Deployed units have an ability to work with the same applications and data in theater as they use in garrison, and those applications and data are more readily available to them when they arrive in theater
- The regional APCs and RHNs hold promise to reduce the IT footprint that tactical units will require when deploying into theaters of operation