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February 13, 2013

Defense Connect Online System Demands a Better Architecture to Handle Increasing User Traffic

By David Gitonga
TMCnet Contributing Writer

Since the start of the economic crunch, through it and out of it, management teams throughout the world have invested in solutions in order to run f day to day business operations much more efficiently. With technological advancements backing up the adoption of smarter systems, the use of IT solutions to cut down on costs is increasingly becoming a weapon of choice.

However, the implementation of such solutions is still limited by a number of unforeseen problems that continually push designers back to the drawing board. For instance, the Defense Department online meeting and collaboration ended up being overwhelmed by a surge of usage due to the cancellation of face-to-face meetings.

Running the Defense Connect Online (DCO) service is the task of Defense Information Systems Agency (News - Alert) (DISA). Though DISA accepts the fact that the traffic surge caught it unaware, officials have promised that the service will be up and running in full capacity by next week.

Up and running might not be enough though. Currently, connections made through the DCO system by the 800,000 registered users, a number that has increased by over 30 percent. To avoid system overload, DISA will have to look for ways to handle this and the looming traffic boom since federal employees have no option but to look for alternative ways to conduct meetings after the sudden travel allowance cutbacks.

DISA manages the system in conjunction with Carahsoft, which is the preferred provider of IT solutions to federal, state and local government agencies. According to Mark Millis, Carahsoft’s project manager, the organization is working towards putting into place a new architecture that can easily quench the increased need for the service.

The proposed solution will depend on the dynamicity of commercially-hosted cloud environments with federal government IT security standards. However, before DISA endorses the suggestion, the systems will have to make do with the increased hardware (servers, cables and switches) added to existing data centers with plans for more hardware expansion in place.

Though teleconferencing is a practical substitution for face-to-face meetings, there are a number of huddles to clear before its full implementation especially for firms that have to maintain the credibility of each byte of data transmitted. These travel allowance cutbacks have placed DISA in a tight spot that demands for a quick and permanent solution.

Edited by Jamie Epstein


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