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GIG Convergence Master Plan Describes DISA’s Technical Strategy for Providing Services

On Aug. 28, the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) released its Global Information Grid (GIG) Convergence Master Plan (GCMP). The GCMP describes DISA's technical strategy for providing services to the warfighter.

This technical strategy describes a process by which operational requirements and their associated information technology capabilities are organized into service offerings. Emerging technologies and DISA's technology roadmap are used to shape and influence the packaging of these service offerings and the development of technical solutions that are used to implement them.

The GCMP is a living document, which will expand over time to include the best practices from across the Department of Defense. The next version of the plan will include the Joint Information Environment (JIE) architectures. Those architectures will define the underlying infrastructure that other DoD components depend on to provide their own services.

The GCMP is divided into two volumes. The first volume is strategically focused and is unclassified so that it can be widely distributed. It describes the overall structure of GIG development, which is based on the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) cloud computing paradigm. The second volume is intended for a more restricted audience and contains the DISA technical baseline, which consists of three supporting documents for each service offering:

  • Service Offering Description (SOD), which documents the service offering at a high level and includes an operational concept (OV-1) drawing that illustrates the concept and addresses the major use cases, an explanation of the capabilities provided by the service offering, a high-level functional architecture, a description of the business model, and service-level objectives.
  • Technical Architecture Description (TAD), which describes the technical solution associated with a service offering and documents the functional architecture. The TAD includes a summary of requirements, structural diagrams, behavioral diagrams, and some brief explanations to provide context. Additionally, interfaces to other services are enumerated.
  • Engineering Design Specification (EDS), which documents the detailed design that will be used to implement the functional architecture. The EDS clarifies the details of the design. It includes a summary of design decisions, including how the solution will scale, will address data protection or security requirements, and will meet service-level objectives. It also specifies physical topology, hardware and software elements, and how they are to be configured.

Whereas the service offering description is conceptual in nature and addresses the business model, the other documents are technical in nature in that they are intended to describe how things work under-the-hood. Many of the artifacts presented in those documents will be in Systems Modeling Language (SysML) because this description technique is much more precise than the routinely used PowerPoint or Visio types of drawings. DISA has trained approximately 80 people already in the use of SysML modeling and continues to provide training on the subject.

Download the GCMP.



Posted September 6, 2012