October 4, 2004

"We're Going to Need Bigger Pipes"

HOW MUCH BANDWIDTH does one "transformed" military establishment need? Lots evidently according to this report from DefenseLink.

DISA experts project an eight-fold increase in bandwidth requirements between 2006 and 2015, or a jump from 20 gigabits to 160 gigabits. And normally, Raduege said, projected estimates fall short.

A gigabit refers to 1 billion bits of data, and bandwidth is the amount of data that can be transmitted in a set amount of time, usually expressed as bits per second. So to put it in perspective, in 2006, DISA experts expect to need to be able to transfer 20 billion bits of data per second.

Steps are being taken to address the need for increasing bandwidth.

"The (Global Information Grid)-Bandwidth Expansion will be the newest terrestrial component of the GIG," Raduege said. "This GIG-BE is designed to be robust enough to eliminate current and future bandwidth constraints.

"GIG-BE's advanced fiber-optic backbone and switching technology will upgrade

telecommunications links at critical Department of Defense installations, providing unprecedented bandwidth to our nation's warfighters around the globe."

The need for a bandwidth expansion stems from today's telecommunications lines not being robust enough to handle the volume of information in a timely fashion, Raduege said. This slows decision-making.

The GIG-BE program is targeting 92 sites worldwide, but will benefit DoD users throughout the GIG. It also will be tied in to the Defense Information System Network for total bandwidth connectivity, he said.

The first six locations will have initial operating capability today. Full operational capability is expected to be reached in September 2005. GIG-BE also will directly support tactical users and be operational at all of DISA's teleport locations. DISA created the teleport program to increase military bandwidth, Raduege said.

We note two things:
  • 120 gigabytes is an unholy amount of bandwidth.
  • ".... projected estimates fall short."
  • Posted by Vanderleun at October 4, 2004 11:01 AM
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    Is there a link to the original report? I'm just wondering how they're getting those figures - is it 120Gbps for the backbone bandwidth (e.g., from base to base) or is that some aggregate figure? As-is, 20Gpbs is ~ 2 OC-192 links, which is just huge.

    Posted by: Ben at October 4, 2004 8:02 PM