4.2.4 Findings

Based on the discussion of tactical networks above and in Appendix E, the committee arrived at two findings. First the committee found that tactical networks can advantageously conform to the NCII architecture, including the use of IP as a universal bearer. Segmentation, however, will help guarantee quality of service and information integrity.

The advantages of adopting commercial networking protocols include economy in deployment and upgrade and the robustness that results from their use by millions of information systems exchanging many forms of information. However, in this connection the committee also found that the use of standard protocols in tactical information networks creates technological challenges not now faced by other user communities. Meeting these challenges will require defense R&D in wireless networks that addresses such factors as network self-organization in highly variable and degraded environments.

4.3 ARCHITECTURAL GUIDANCE AND DEVELOPMENT PROCESSES

Architecture is defined as “… the structure or components, their relationships, and the principles and guidelines governing their design and evolution over time.”11 The NCII concept, as set forth in Section 4.1, is a high-level concept. An architecture providing general guidance for the NCII developers is necessary to implement this concept. It must be developed to ensure that the required functionality is incorporated, the appropriate systemwide properties realized, and the necessary interconnections enabled.

Development of an NCII architecture is an extensive undertaking, well beyond the scope of this report. The focus here is to assess how the current architectural guidance and development processes in the Department of Defense and the Department of the Navy relate to developing an NCII architecture. There are five organizations that develop architectures or architectural guidance relevant to the NCII: the OASD (C3I), the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), the Department of the Navy Chief Information Officer (CIO) and the recently established Chief Engineer (CHENG), and the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR). The roles of these organizations and their architectural products are discussed in Section 4.3.1, and the key issues in relating the products and processes of these organizations to an NCII architecture are discussed in Section 4.3.2. Section 4.3.1 is rather lengthy because much background material must be provided. Readers who are familiar with the architec-

11  

Department of Defense. 1999. Joint Technical Architecture, Version 3.0, Appendix F: Glossary. Washington, D.C., November 15. Available online at <http://www-jta.itsi.disa.mil/jta/jtav3final-19991115/jta30_15nov99.pdf>.



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