Air Force security architecture is on its way to completion, but facing budget issues

The Air Force District of Washington is eyeing the fourth and final phase of adopting a single security architecture for its non-secure networks.

The project’s secure network side is playing catch up and is still in the first phase of its roll out, Kevin Bonanno, deputy director of the 744th Communications Squadron for the Air Force District of Washington (AFDW), said during an interview with Federal News Radio. The slower roll out is because of...

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The Air Force District of Washington is eyeing the fourth and final phase of adopting a single security architecture for its non-secure networks.

The project’s secure network side is playing catch up and is still in the first phase of its roll out, Kevin Bonanno, deputy director of the 744th Communications Squadron for the Air Force District of Washington (AFDW), said during an interview with Federal News Radio. The slower roll out is because of funding issues.

AFDW is hoping to meet the end of phase three for both networks by the end of 2017, added Bill Schulz, chief technology officer and chief of IT acquisition for the 844th Communications Squadron.

Dubbed the Secure Computing Environment (SCE), the architecture reduces AFDW’s hardware footprint and increases support capacity to the command.

Bonanno said the average customer won’t notice a huge difference in their everyday experience. Customers will see less email outages and faster access to resources along with the capacity increases.

“We built the Secure Computing Environment with redundancy and survivability in mind,” Schulz said. “Everything that went into the environment had to increase speed, capacity or reliability or it didn’t go in there. The environment as we built it includes a disaster recovery site, where everything is replicated so if we lose something on the production side, the [replicated] side will pick up the load. The customer will never realize there is an outage. What the customers are really going to see with this is a marked increase in speed, increase in capacity and a great increase in reliability.”

The data center holding the redundant material will be located on Joint Base Andrews, Maryland.

For phase three on the non-secure network side AFDW is in the process of upgrading memory capabilities. Phase four will give the command the ability to address the power, speed and compute capability through software.

“If you’re familiar with Amazon Web Services or Microsoft Azure for example, we won’t necessarily give customers the ability to create servers on the fly and add storage capabilities on the fly, but it will be very similar to that environment and we’ll walk our customers through it,” Bonanno said.

The reason the secure network has not caught up to its non-secure counterpart is AFDW has some budgeting challenges, Bonanno said. He added AFDW is currently working on its network accreditation and is in the process of speeding up the secure network side.

“The funding challenges are just getting the funding to do the upgrades,” Schulz said. “So far we’ve been very, very successful. But as you know money is getting tighter across the enterprise.”

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