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11/29/2011
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DOD Aims To Improve Info Sharing

Defense Department plans to use semantic Web principles to improve how data is shared, analyzed, and reported across myriad systems.

Federal Data Center Consolidation Makes Progres
Federal Data Center Consolidation Makes Progress
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
The Department of Defense (DOD) aims to streamline how its millions of personnel and thousands of IT systems share information by standardizing data sharing through the use of the semantic Web.

The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), which provides IT services to the DOD, is seeking ideas for how to improve what it calls "enterprise information visibility," which refers to how easily data can be shared, analyzed, and reported across the myriad systems the DOD employs.

Because of all of its various components and the constituencies it must serve--including 1.4 million people on active duty in the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines, 750,000 civilians, and 1.1 million serving in the military reserve units--the DOD has a mammoth task to manage information across 15,000 unclassified networks and more than 7 million computers and IT devices.

[ Defense faces many challenges. Read How Defense IT Will Cope With Billions In Cuts. ]

To facilitate better information management across systems, the agency aims to create the Enterprise Information "Web" (EIW) using semantic Web technology "to provide the type of enterprise-level information visibility and access to financial, personnel, and asset data across the DOD enterprise and across domains to support war planning, policy development analysis, and decision-making," according to a request for information (RFI) about the project.

The semantic Web refers to common standards creating a framework that allows data to be easily shared and reused across an organization, moving between applications and enterprises. DISA aims to use an implementation of the semantic Web from the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA), according to the RFI.

DISA has two priorities for the EIW. The first is to provide search capable of handling "on-demand, dynamic queries" that garner results from across the enterprise. The second is to standardize existing and future data into a standard reporting language according to W3C standards and the DOD's own Business Enterprise Architecture, according to the RFI.

Requirements for the project are to support timely access to "authoritatively sourced enterprise information;" provide business intelligence based on a view of information across various DOD domains; enable both standard and ad-hoc data reporting; provide authorized users access to cross-domain information; and provide standards-based information, according to the RFI.

Sensitive customer and business data is scattered in hidden corners of your infrastructure. Find and protect it before it winds up in the wrong hands. Also in the new issue of Dark Reading: The practical side of data defense. Download the issue now. (Free registration required.)

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