Early Adopter Initiative:
A Bridge to CANES
The Application Integration Early
Adopter (EA) Initiative began in
2005 as the Navy decided to go
toward a common computing environment (CCE) in which applications are installed as software —
running “virtual” machines — on a
common hardware baseline. The EA
program is paving the way for an
overarching follow-on program to
install an open-architecture common computing environment on
the Navy’s warships.
KEN BLUM PHOTOGRAPHY
Under the umbrella of Lockheed
Martin’s AN/UYQ- 70 tactical display
indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity program, the EA initiative, installed on the Integrated Shipboard
Network System (ISNS), is the first
step in moving the Navy toward the
Consolidated Afloat Networks and
Enterprise Services (CANES). The
network-centric common computing environment is designed to a single set of hardware to support more
than 700 software applications.
Lockheed Martin MS2 was selected in 2007 to provide the equipment for the EA initiative. EA systems were installed on three ships
of the USS Abraham Lincoln carrier
strike group in August 2009 and
taken to sea in January.
Dan Phelan is the former Lockheed
Martin Q- 70 ISNS program manager
and the current Technology Collaboration Center-West program manager for Lockheed Martin MS2’s
Undersea Systems unit.
The goal of the Early Adopter program is to prove that existing stovepiped networks could be integrated into the ISNS, build on that as a
common computing network — with a common hardware baseline — that
delivered business services and some tactical applications, and support the
move toward consolidating with other legacy networks. The legacy networks
include command and control, intelligence, parts support, food service planning and other supply systems, medical planning systems and the like.
The Navy came up with the EA idea by looking at the way commercial
companies moved toward a common information technology [environ-
ment] 10-15 years ago, [and] said, ‘Why can’t we adopt this technology,
move it onboard ships and achieve the same economies that commercial
At one time, the idea was running your own computer on your desk.
Now, you take your laptop anywhere or go into an enterprise wireless net-
work and access information wherever you go.
The Common Computing Environment, made up of high-density blade
servers, occupies a single rack that has enough processing elements to
replace three or four legacy racks. To install an application, a Sailor shows
up with a CD, rather than another rack of electronic equipment, and loads
it into the CCE. Network-attached storage has replaced tape drives for
backup, saving time for Sailors and improving volume, reliability and
access to stored data for backup.
The other big game-changer is virtualization technology, VMware, that
allows the eight-blade processors and runs a couple dozen virtual
machines within the CCE.
Often, the installation cost of a rack is more than the acquisition costs. So
if you only have to install 10 racks to replace the 15-20 legacy racks that previously provided those services, you’re actually saving millions of dollars.
You’re saving a lot of time for the ship while it’s in overhaul. The Navy saved
between $4 million and $5 million with the installation of EA on the
ships of the USS Abraham Lincoln carrier strike group.
SEAPOWER / SEPTEMBER 2010