I’m very pleased to report that Passive Optical Networks (PON) has the distinction of being one of the “technologies offering promise to US Department of Defense” in the recently published DoD Digital Modernization Strategy Plan for FY19-23.
The DoD’s Digital Modernization Strategy is the cornerstone for advancing our military’s IT infrastructure into the modern battlespace. It provides a roadmap for implementing the national defense strategy effort through the lens of cloud, artificial intelligence, command, control and communications and cybersecurity.
The Digital Modernization Strategy highlights technologies that promise to provide increased effectiveness, efficiency, and security for the DoD, such as:
- Passive Optical Network (PON)
- Artificial Intelligence (AI)
- Big Data Analytics
- Software Defined Networking (SDN)
- Internet of Things (IoT), Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) and 5G
- Along with Quantum Computing, Block Chain, Cryptographic Modernization, Evergreen IT approaches, DevSecOps, Hyper-Converged Infrastructure, Serverless or Event-Driven Computing and Zero Trust Security.
The Digital Modernization Strategy Plan specifically mentions the benefits of Passive Optical Networks for the DoD to include:
- Lower network operational and maintenance costs
- Lower infrastructure costs
- Large bundles of copper cable are replaced with small, single mode optical fiber cable
- PON provides increased distance between data center and desktop (>20 kilometers)
- Fiber is more secure than copper; it is harder to tap
Most importantly, DoD leadership has recognized that PON reduces the attack surface of Base Area Networks (BANs) by consolidating traditional switch/routing infrastructure to a single fabric to manage. PON also reduces managed IP address from 100s or 1000s to just a few IP addresses of the centralized PON controllers.
The desire to reduce the attack surfaces of networks was recently mentioned in talks by LTG Lori Reynolds (Deputy Commandant for Information, USMC HQ) at the USMC Enterprise Innovation Symposium and by Bill Marion (Deputy Chief, Information Dominance & Deputy CIO, USAF) at the October AFCEA NOVA industry event.
We encourage both commercial and government entities to read the recommendations of the DoD Digital Modernization Strategy Plan..
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