The Defense Information Systems Agency is calling upon industry to help make it easier for allies to virtually interact.

Lt. Gen. Alan Lynn, addressing a crowd of industry partners at the annual DISA forecast to industry, explained that he sees big opportunity in the combination of software defined networking, virtual data centers and multi-national information sharing.

[Click here to download the 2018 DISA Vision and Contract Guide]

Lynn has long beat the drum on virtual networking: it eliminates several costs associated with hardware, but also allows forces to be more adaptive in the face of persistent cyber threats. Instead of having to move the network in the event of an attack or intrusion, Lynn said, SDN allows for the constant shifting of networks, spinning them up and down if need be.

Software defined networks and virtualized data centers – which are also largely software enabled – can allow any nation to plug and play in the coalition.

Typically, Lynn said, each nation wants total control of their network. With SDN, they have that opportunity. They can hold control their portion of the network and connect with this larger network made up primarily of software.

[Bold Quest assures coalition systems don’t battle, in case partner nations must]

Think of it as a universal bus that everybody connects to, Lynn said. Now anyone can connect through these virtual data centers and software defined networks, which also enables constant sharing of information given compatibility. These nations can also decide what they want to share and what they don’t want to share, Lynn added.

Mark Pomerleau is a reporter for C4ISRNET, covering information warfare and cyberspace.

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