The Cyber Asset Reduction and Security (CARS) mission kicked off early summer with publication of the CARS Operations Order (OPORD) by Naval Network Warfare Command. CARS is a Navywide initiative under NETWARCOM's direction to reduce the Navy's IT secret and below footprint for shore-based networks by at least 51 percent by September 2010.
In doing so, the task force and CARS mission partners will be helping to move the Navy toward standardized and more cost-efficient IT operations, while more effectively protecting the Navy's business and warfighting information. Consolidations, reductions, along with full knowledge of Navy IT assets and what we spend on them, will also help prepare the Navy for what will come after the NMCI contract runs out in September 2010.
The CARS Network Integrity Task Force is working initiatives that benefit the entire Navy enterprise, and they are being implemented as a true Navy team effort. Mission partners include all major Navy commands, acquisition program management offices and elements of the CNO staff.
For example, steps are being taken to move the Navy's portion of the Defense Messaging System (DMS) off its legacy system; helping make One-Net operational by laying groundwork to move users off their aging overseas legacy systems in Guam; working with the acquisition community to buy and field an automated IT asset management tool for afloat and ashore networks; and initiating an effort to field a software tool that will automate much of what is now a very labor-intensive process for documenting security certification and accreditation for Navy IT systems.
To accomplish this mission, the task force has coordinated with the Navy's fleet, training, personnel and systems commands to identify all the systems and applications that need to move from legacy to enterprise networks. Each bit of work to be done is called a case, and it is estimated there are between 600 to 800 total cases to work through. The task force is now creating a technical plan of action to tackle the first 150 cases.
CARS case managers and engineering and security subject matter experts will work with each of the system owners to execute the migration plan and then terminate those legacy systems no longer needed. Before and after operating costs are also being tracked to measure net savings to the Navy. The task force is also working on a plan for consolidating data centers, or large aggregates of servers, currently estimated to be between 60 to 70, into secure locations of 10 to 12.
This will allow the Navy to save money by eliminating a great deal of duplication of effort, and it will also improve the Navy's ability to provide more effective data backups, making the Navy's key information more resilient in response to natural disasters or attack.
To date, the task force has identified two locations for initial data center consolidation: Millington, Tenn., and Patuxent River, Md. Additional data consolidation is anticipated in Norfolk, Va., and San Diego, Calif. CARS is also exploring options for expanded use of existing Defense Information Systems Agency data centers.
When an IT asset has been identified for consolidation, it falls into one of three categories: (1) Identified for integration and the owner cooperates fully; (2) The owner doesn't want the asset in the enterprise. Negotiation follows between CARS and the system owner to ensure mutual understanding of technical and operational issues. However, CARS has the ultimate decision on disposition of the asset; and (3) The asset does not belong in the enterprise.
For example, the asset may possibly be used for scientific research or test and evaluation, these functions cannot be supported in the NMCI or One-Net enterprise networks. Assets identified to remain outside of the Navy's enterprise networks (NMCI, ISNS, One-Net) by CARS must have a legitimate reason and are granted an "excepted network" status. This means they have authorization to continue operating outside the enterprise.
"If the asset does not fit the criteria for excepted network status, but the owner still desires for it to remain outside the enterprise, we're not going to allow that to happen," said Phil Hammond, a member of the CARS Engineering and Solutions Determination Division. "The choice is to transition to the enterprise network, justify being excepted or have the network terminated."
By December 2007, CARS and partner organizations will meet or exceed the CNO's goal to achieve a net 35 percent reduction of Navy networks, compared to the number of networks in the Navy in January 2006.
In all, CARS is planning to reduce the Navy's network count from more than 1,100 to less than 150 by September 2010, while simultaneously improving the Navy's ability to protect our vital business and warfighting information from being accessed or modified by potential adversaries.
Edited from NETWARCOM's InFoDomain magazine, Fall 2007