According to RADM Darrah, there is “limited distribution and cooperative processing of sensor data and machine aided analysis, fleets fight with [a] platform centric mindset”. Within many parts the DoN, data is stateful and often served by independent information silos. This is likely due to certain fundamental attributes of data which must be understood. Data has mass: it takes time to move it where it is needed and resources to store it. Data has value: it is a protected asset for all governments and especially within the scope of the tactical Navy. Data has temperature: it has different degrees of accessibility, viability and impact to operations at any point in time. All of these properties of data are dynamic, which makes comprehensive data management necessary. Within the DoN today, data in the tactical Navy, has evolved into incompatible data silos, which brings additional challenges, including:
• Inability to move information. Once tactical information rests in a particular data silo, it is difficult or impossible to move it to a different one.
• Difficulty managing information. Each environment has a different set of tools, policies, and procedures that make it difficult to apply consistent policies to data. This slows down decision making and the fleet must apply different techniques to manage information within each silo.
• Limited choice. New technologies and services that do not integrate with existing environments are difficult to adopt. As a result, the Navy may be limited in its technology choices, affecting abilities to exploit the capabilities of existing and new environments.
To overcome these challenges, the DoN needs a secure, seamless way to manage information across a tactical information grid, regardless of their underlying data platforms. When the grid is connected, the DoN will be able to draw from the resources of each, move information to and from any endpoint within the grid, creating data fusion and enabling rapid, integrated decision making.
Within the commercial space, a subsidiary of media and entertainment leader, Technicolor, Virdata is the cross-industry cloud service provider for the emerging “Internet of Experience.” Virdata provides businesses with cloud-based connectivity, monitoring, management, and big data analytics services for any asset, device, and/or application. Information sharing is paramount for the IoT, and Virdata has built a capability that can support billions of users. The DataFabric enabled Virdata to maintain full control of data across a blend of resources in the data center, near the cloud, and in the cloud, while increasing scalability and flexibility to support billions of users.
Data Fabric is NetApp’s vision for the future of data management, and for the DoN’s tactical grid. It can enable the DoN to respond and transform decision making because information is free to be accessed where it is needed most. With Data Fabric, the DoN can realize the full potential of the tactical grid. NetApp products, services, and partnerships can help the DoN seamlessly manage data across diverse resources, spanning the air, surface, and undersea domains. The DoN will have the flexibility to choose the right set of information resources and the freedom to change them whenever needed. NetApp will provide a Data Fabric that fuses data from tactical assets and leverages commercially available data management software to create a near real-time network of connected platforms and sensors in the Integrated Tactical Grid to the Navy.