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CHIPS Articles: DISA director discusses evolving DoD’s information infrastructure

DISA director discusses evolving DoD’s information infrastructure
By DISA News - May 8, 2017
Army Lt. Gen. Alan Lynn, Defense Information Systems Agency director and commander of Joint Force Headquarters — Department of Defense Information Networks (JFHQ-DoDIN), served as the morning keynote speaker for the 16th Annual C4ISRNET Conference in Arlington, Virginia, on May 3.

Lynn opened his remarks by stating that he is dual-hatted as the director of DISA and commander of JFHQ-DoDIN. He followed with an aircraft analogy about the distinct roles of DISA and JFHQ-DODIN.

“We have people from all walks of life inside this big machine that we call DISA and JFHQ-DODIN,” said Lynn.

According to Lynn, he gives direction and commands — in conjunction with U.S. Cyber Command, which is the higher headquarters for JFHQ-DoDIN — to the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and agencies on how to fight and maneuver in cyberspace to make sure all are synchronized across the playing field.

“On the DISA side of the house, we do the build function,” said Lynn. “We are building the cyber domain. It is very much like building an aircraft. It is building the cyber domain with every piece of equipment you can imagine. That side of the house reports to the DoD chief information officer.”

He went on to explain that JFHQ-DoDIN is comprised of the cyber experts who defend the cyber domain and the department’s networks.

“They [JFHQ-DoDIN] are the defense guys. They fly the plane. They are the pilots,” said Lynn. “Inside what DISA builds, [JFHQ-DoDIN] flies within the domain looking for anomalies, looking for the bad guys. They take the fight to the enemy so they cannot get across the line.”

He explained that DISA and JFHQ-DoDIN serve all of the military services, combatant commands, DOD agencies and field activities, and national level leaders.

“We keep all of the systems alive,” said Lynn. “We support the warfighter, and that is upper most in our mind.”

The agency supports enterprise applications, 11 computing centers, 16 teleports, 17,000 circuits, and three million users on more than four million devices.

As DISA looks at evolving the infrastructure, there are a number of initiatives that are under consideration.

“We are trying to cut wire networks and legacy networks out of the DoDIN,” said Lynn. “It is an additional expense and technology is past it. We are trying to come to the 21st century. We cannot afford to keep having more and more older systems.”

The future is a dynamic, secure, and scalable infrastructure with multiprotocol label switching that provides end-to end joint management; regional, perimeter and endpoint layered security; redundancy; cloud services with built-in security; secure mobility; virtual data centers; software defined networks; and assured identity.

“DISA is the DoD integration expert,” he said.

Lynn concluded his presentation with an overview of how industry can help the agency with transport, mature assured identity technology, innovation, and big data analytics.

“We are looking for things that bring value to the warfighter,” said Lynn.

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