FTS Provides The Solution: TNMA
FedTechServices announces the successful implementation of Theater Network Management Architecture (TNMA), by U.S. Central Command (USCENTCOM) and U.S. Forces-Afghanistan (USFOR-A). TNMA provides USCENTCOM and USFOR-A a state-of-the-art solution to support the fastest, most efficient network communications possible. It delivers effective enterprise network management capability that allows a single and consistent view of network status regardless of who is observing, and where or when they are.
Among its capabilities, TNMA delivers a suite of tools that enhance command and control over a new generation of unmanned military systems and improve internal security of operational networks when the inevitable intrusions occur.
TNMA was implemented successfully by USCENTCOM and USFOR-A in less than a year and is available to all of the global commands. Joint Staff has recognized the value of TNMA, designating it "best of breed" architecture. It has reduced overall costs significantly through its capabilities to work with existing equipment, especially "commercial off-the-shelf" (COTS) and "government off-the-shelf" (GOTS) components already in place.
Setting The Stage For The Next Step
The challenge to USCENTCOM's IT service is compounded by the scope of its mission, serving four branches of the military and multiple agencies in a theatre of operations that spans more than 20 countries and two wars being conducted half a world away from headquarters in Tampa.
The success of TNMA has set the stage for the next step, the adoption of TNMA 2.0, which adds new features and continues to reduce costs. In 2010, FTS designed the tactical version of TNMA - TNMA 2.0, which was procured by USFOR-A. This version is reverse compatible with TNMA and reports back to USCENTCOM, but expands upon the original TNMA capabilities. It is one of the important emerging information technologies for the coalition environment.
Information is critical on today's battlefield. A robust, agile and reliable network is as necessary as munitions to ensure warfighters have the weapons they need. New unmanned systems require optimized conduits between human brains and the devices in the field. Communication paths can become clogged with extraneous information as mundane as email or streaming video. Networks that are indifferent to the content of the packets they transport need tools such as TNMA to clear up the clutter and allow better communication for command and control.
By improving operational awareness, TNMA optimizes command and control communications, allowing faster response times and more accurate targeting.
Addressing The "Stovepipe Channels"
TNMA addresses the operational bottleneck of "extremely vertical stovepipe channels." These multiple, end-to-end channels are the legacy of networks developed independently by each of the various branches and agencies USCENTCOM supports. TNMA allows secure cross-connections and interchange at the local level rather than routing all traffic halfway around the world and back. The result is greater speed, more channel capacity and improved security.
By implementing a distributed form of architecture, TNMA brings USCENTCOM into a "netcentric" operation with assured network reliability in an agile, proactive environment. Multiple levels within the system architecture provide the ability for headquarters to see all of the resources across all theaters while allowing management and analytics at local command level -- without compromising security.
TNMA brings together common metrics and data to manage the network. Processes now are conducted in real time that once relied literally on an exchange of faxes or phone messages and often required time-consuming review of data and traffic from historical records.
Granularity Combats Cyber Intrusions
Cyber intrusions are a reality that it may not be possible to prevent. The right tools, however, allow those intrusions to be quickly identified and addressed. TNMA allows users the ability to see how network traffic is affecting other traffic, to see the broader enterprise picture.
Key to the success of TNMA is its granularity, the ability to provide managers with information deep within the networks. It can track and monitor activities in real time, giving security professionals instant access to information about possible intrusions or inappropriate activity. Rather than conducting forensic research, security professionals can be proactive and take preventative measures to minimize possible damage before problems arise.
Another major strength of TNMA is that is vendor agnostic. It reduces overall costs by taking advantage of capabilities and capacities of equipment that already is purchased, installed and operating. It meets the mandate to use COTS and GOTS technology.
"War-Tested" And Planning For The Future
TNMA is "war-tested." It takes advantage of the unique requirements of the military and was produced and developed with the warfighter in mind. From e-mail to command and control to supporting biometrics, it allows data to be transmitted and dispersed at unprecedented speed.
It provides situational awareness and mission critical services across the theater, supporting net-centric operations and a common, joint enterprise architecture.
"By distributing network access at the local level, TNMA has cut end-to-end data traffic in half or more", Allen Noble, Solutions Architect with FTS, said. Top-level access is maintained because TNMA doesn't eliminate the "stovepipes," but reduces the clutter within them.
"It gives control back to the local level, while providing better information at the highest levels. It is forward thinking; planning for the future."