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CHIPS Articles: TACLANE's Role in Information Assurance

TACLANE's Role in Information Assurance
By Barbara Johnson - July-September 2002
The Department of the Navy IT Umbrella Program Voice Video and Data (ViViD) contract now offers the TACLANE "Classic" and E100 to approved DoD agencies. Secure communications is a critical element in the evolving Information Assurance infrastructure. Whether your organization needs to protect information over various networks, or needs to send sensitive data at top speed, encryption is the answer. Technology today offers many types of encryptors, one of which is the TACLANE (Tactical FASTLANE) encryptor, manufactured by General Dynamics Corporation.

The TACLANE encryptor provides the flexibility to offer various connection and throughput choices for both IP (Internet Protocol) and ATM (Asynchronous Transfer Mode) networks. The TACLANE is coalition-ready and is available in two interfaces: Classic and E100.

The flexibility of the TACLANE system in either configuration makes it the ideal choice for both Continental U.S. Navy Marine Corps Intranet (CONUS NMCI) and Outside the Continental U.S. (OCONUS) Navy Base Level Information Infrastructure (BLII) deployment. As demonstrated in the Figure 1, both the TACLANE Classic and the TACLANE-E100 can interoperate on new or existing LAN/WAN configurations.

TACLANE serves multi security-level enclaves. TACLANE can tunnel data from higher-security, cryptographically isolated enclave, across enclaves of a lower security level - or vice versa. This means you can piggyback onto an existing network, creating a secure virtual network (SVN), thereby reducing your network costs. At the same time, the security of your data is protected.

The TACLANE Classic can be operationally configured using either an ATM or IP interface allowing maximum flexibility when interfacing with both existing or newly planned network infrastructures. When configured using the ATM interface and connected to an ATM network, it can be used where mission or design considerations require secure ATM interoperability with existing FASTLANE encryptors and will provide encryption at the ATM layer with a low-latency throughput of up to 45 Mbps full duplex.

When configured using the IP interface and connected to an IP network, it can interoperate with the TACLANE-E100 and existing 10Mbps IP LAN systems and provides encryption at the IP layer, with a throughput of 7 Mbps. On the other hand, the TACLANE-E100 interface is a major step forward in the evolution and interoperability of this family of Type 1 encryptors. This interface allows the TACLANE to encrypt at a throughput of 100 Mbps, outperforming existing Type 1 IP encryptors, while retaining IP functions of the original IP-ATM capable, TACLANE "Classic" encryptor.

The TACLANE E-100 interface is suited for more advanced IP system deployments where the encryption of higher IP data rates is required. The TACLANE–E100 is available by either purchasing a new unit or by cost effectively upgrading a TACLANE already fielded. The return to factory upgrade consists of replacing the two IP/ATM network interface cards with two new E100 interface cards. Revised software for the 100Mbps Capability is loaded at the factory. Units can be converted back at a later date to IP-ATM Classic configuration at the factory if desired. Both systems are completely compatible with NMCI and BLII system designs.

Fred DuBuron of General Dynmics (Network Systems), Marian Heaney and Kelly Sewall of General Dynamics (C4 Systems) also provided input for this article.

Figure 1 shows the difference between TACLANE's two interfaces, Classic and E100.  Both can interoperate on new or existing LAN/WAN configurations.
Figure 1

Figure 1 shows the difference between TACLANE's two interfaces, Classic and E100.  Both can interoperate on new or existing LAN/WAN configurations.
Second part of Figure 1.
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