Leidos is using what it calls an “algorithmic approach” to modernize Navy and Marine Corps networks, as the company looks to roll out more cloud-based services to locations worldwide.
Leidos last August took on “end-to-end IT operations” for the Navy and Marine Corps Intranet (NMCI) and the OCONUS Naval Enterprise Network (ONE-Net), as well as support for the Marine Corps Enterprise Network. In 2020, Leidos won the $7.7 billion Navy Next Generation Network Recompete – Service Management, Integration and Transport contract, also known as NGEN-R SMIT.
Eric Moore, vice president and SMIT delivery manager at Leidos, said the company is looking to bring a “qualitative, analytical” approach to modernize a network that spans some 650,000 users and 1,500 locations.
“We go out to all the stakeholders with the Navy and seek their input on what they value — not what they want, but what they value,” Moore said during Federal News Network’s second annual DoD Cloud Exchange. “And then we take that value dimension that they’ve offered to us, and we take all of the possible transformative initiatives, we actually run it through an algorithm and determine which of those candidate initiatives will deliver the best value to the broadest range of stakeholders that the enterprise is meant to support.”
The approach removes any human bias and focuses on what services will provide the best value, he said. The process helps inform annual planning, with the process getting “recycled” every six months, Moore said.
“So it’s not static. It’s very agile as priorities change. As things in the world cause value equations to differ, we can change the transformation roadmap for the Navy,” he said.
Helping Navy move to the cloud
One of the big focuses has been helping the service move mission and enterprise workloads to cloud environments, Moore said. That includes the Navy’s shift to a single Microsoft Office 365 collaboration and productivity environment.
The move to cloud platforms allows for faster technology updates and upgrades and also makes it easier for the Navy to deploy enterprise tools to more remote environments, Moore said.
“So you start to think about how do we get these enterprise capabilities closer to the tactical edge? So that when we’ve got decisions that need to be made in a remote or [denied, degraded, intermittent and latent] environment, we have the ability to provide those capabilities and resources that the enterprise provides in those situations,” Moore said. “We really want to be able to see how can we push the power and value of the enterprise as close to the fight, as close to the edge, as possible?”
An emphasis under the contract is improving the performance of Navy and Marine Corps networks, so they can take full advantage of cloud services. A major data point, Moore said, is how many network hops it takes for users to access various computing services.
“It’s really about changing the core architecture of the Navy’s network, so that the access points into that broader cloud infrastructure are co-located in the right place and with the right technology stack to allow traffic to flow,” Moore said. “How do we change the number of network hops that it takes, either when we move the application or when we flatten the network, and make it more efficient for users across the country and across the world who are using this network to get to those services?”
To listen to and watch all the sessions from the 2022 Federal News Network DoD Cloud Exchange, go to the event page.