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CHIPS Articles: DISA’s Global Video Services enhances collaboration throughout DoD

DISA’s Global Video Services enhances collaboration throughout DoD
By Jim Verchio, DISA Strategic Communication and Public Affairs - May 7, 2019
As the Department of Defense’s trusted provider to connect and protect the warfighter in cyberspace, DISA’s highly skilled workforce strives to ensure the combat support agency empowers Department of Defense Information Network (DoDIN) users across all warfighting domains.

Global Video Services (GVS) — a capability that offers face-to-face meetings from the desktop — is one of many capabilities in the agency’s portfolio.

“We’re constantly looking for ways to enhance communication and collaboration with our mission partners,” said DISA’s GVS Program Manager Jessica Martin. “That means we’re constantly looking at how we’re aligned with industry with regard to real-time communication, and we’re excited to keep moving more toward mobile solutions.”

The internet protocol (IP)-based video teleconferencing (VTC) service provides a full suite of on-demand, high-quality, assured video conference capabilities for users to interact visually within the Non-Secure IP Router Network (NIPRNet) and the Secret IP Router Network (SIPRNet) environments.

“With real-time collaboration and reliable communications, GVS enhances the warfighters' command and control coordination efforts to ensure maximum force deployment on and off the battlefield,” Martin said. “GVS provides a cost-effective and reliable immediate communication solution supporting the warfighter globally, and also provides essential communication needs in an easily accessible format.”

There is no charge for using the desktop client. GVS is a DISN reimbursable program, which means DISA and the services share the cost of the program based on the total quantity of VTC equipment each service has connected to GVS. The services pay a percentage based on their total number of room registrations. Current rates are published in DISA’s 2019 Rate Book (PDF download, Common Access Card required).

GVS replaced the legacy Defense Information Systems Network (DISN) Video Service Nov. 30, 2014, and features an array of advances, to include:

  • Can support up to 1,000 concurrent desktop users on both NIPRNet and SIPRNet and a number of facilitator-controlled conference rooms — dependent on endpoint connection speed and quality.
  • Offers connections at a broad range of speeds, which provides a high-quality video experience in bandwidth-constrained, tactical environments and ensures tactical users always maintain at least the audio connection, even if the data rate drops or fluctuates.
  • Provides interoperability between client application and legacy VTC room equipment.
  • Has the ability to connect, bridge, and switch video conferences with VTC endpoints.
  • Offers lower total cost of ownership compared to traditional video conferencing solutions by collapsing customer-owned and operated video networks.
  • Desktop & IP endpoint customers can initiate and join conferences via ad hoc capability. To support facilitator VTC scheduling deconfliction, a scheduling capability is available on the GVS web application.
  • Provides greater, facilitator-controlled, continuous presence so participants can simultaneously see all other online participants.

As the agency works to keep pace with changing technology, planners are already imagining how GVS will continue its evolution.

“We’re always looking toward the future,” said Martin. “GVS is currently providing full high-definition quality video globally over both NIPRNet and SIPRNet connections to users' desktops and legacy endpoints. A web real-time communication (webRTC) solution is currently being scoped. That will be available to both desktop and mobile users.”

Getting the hookup

The GVS web application provides users with the capabilities to register endpoints, initiate reservation-less VTCs, schedule future VTCs, and receive reports summarizing GVS usage.

To use GVS-Unclassified (GVS-U) services, users must first complete an account registration.

To use GVS-Classified (GVS-C) services, users must first complete an account registration at https://globalvideoservices.csd.disa.smil.mil/gvs-web.

Mission partners may request service by contacting the DISN Customer Contact Center at the following numbers:

  • Toll free — 844-347-2457.
  • Commercial — 614-692-0032.
  • DSN — 312-850-0032.

Training, announcements, outreach briefs, conference room transition plans, and other customer support information regarding GVS is located on the GVS Defense Enterprise Portal Service webpage.

ISDN support ends for GVS

In a memo signed April 17, DISA’s Executive Deputy Director Anthony Montemarano said as of Sept. 30, 2018, GVS is no longer supporting Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) transport.

According to the memo, in preparation for the sunset of this capability, the agency issued DISA Advisory Message (DAM) 19-0026 in January, stating the GVS Program Office has identified all GVS sites currently using ISDN, and the team will reach out to those sites to provide transition support.

The memo also reports DISA does not currently anticipate any change to fiscal year 2020 billing methodology or significant cost changes because of this transition.

“The replacement IP-based conferencing like NIPRNet, SIPRNet, and web client access is the current industry standard, and improves the security, reliability, and quality of our mission partner's teleconferencing experience,” said Mission Partner Engagement Office Team Lead, Anthony Alessi. “NIPRNet and SIPRNet GVS are critical DoD command, control and collaboration tools. Additionally, since they are provided at the DoD or DISA level, vice at the organizational level, there are very large economies of scale savings for our mission partners. In addition, they are available to and across the entire DoD, vice individual DoD organizations.”

For questions related to sunset support during the transition, contact the program management office at 301-225-5330, or DSN 312-375.

For assistance with technical transition and registration questions, contact the GVS Tier III Service Desk at 301-225-2529, or DSN 312-375.

For assistance with GVS or any of DISA’s offerings, mission partners can contact the Mission Partner Engagement Office.

DISA delivers hundreds of IT support and service capabilities to its mission partners. From enterprise security architectures and smart computing options to GVS and other leading edge IT opportunities, DISA remains committed to its role as the DoD’s premier IT provider.

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