Planned FY 2018 DISA Technology Investments - Part 4 Big Data

Published: July 12, 2017

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Part four of a four part analysis of DISA’s planned FY 2018 investments in big data, cloud, and cyber security.

This week’s post provides part four in my running overview of the Procurement and Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation (RDT&E) dollars that the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) intends to invest in various technology projects in fiscal Year 2018. This week’s post takes a look at projected spending on big data-related technology. Those interested should also check out recent companion posts on cyber security, cloud computing, and DISA’s technology overview.

As a reminder, Deltek conducted this analysis of DISA’s FY 2018 Procurement and RDT&E budget documentation using keywords and terms related to big data, including analytics, modeling, machine learning, and high performance computing, among others. Limitations in the available data did not always allow Deltek to isolate big data programs, so the numbers here also reflect projected spending on programs that have big data elements as a significant part of a larger effort.

FY 2016-2018 Overview

Expanding on the data presented in part one of this blog series, the chart below provides an overview of the combined Procurement and RDT&E spending that DISA is requesting for programs with a big data-related requirement in FY 2018.

DISA expects its big data-related Procurement funding will decline -50% from FY 2017 to FY 2018, while it’s big data-related RDT&E funding will grow +5.9%. Procurement funding makes up only 10.3% of the $118M that DISA projects it will spend on big data-related requirements in FY 2018. The falling number of Procurement dollars that DISA will dedicates to big data reflects a maturation of earlier investments to steady state maintenance, requiring less new investment.

Program Details

Moving to the program details, the table below lists all of the DISA programs with a big data-related requirement identified by Deltek.

At $11.2M in projected FY 2018 Procurement funding, and $27M in combined FY 2017-2018 funding, support for the Joint Regional Security Stacks (JRSS) is DISA’s number one priority. FY 2017 big data-related Procurement priorities for the JRSS in FY 2017 include incorporating analytics data and correlation capabilities at JRSS location by acquiring new hardware and software capabilities as part of regular technical refresh cycles. The Procurement priorities for FY 2018 are the same, with the overall goal of implementing “Joint Management Systems (JMS) Cyber Situational Awareness Analytic Cloud (CSAAC) analytic capabilities at 6 JRSS locations in FY 2017 and 6 additional JRSS locations in FY 2018.”

Concerning RDT&E priorities, the C4I Interoperability program will receive the highest funding of $59M in FY 2018. This investment will “reduce risk and identify/analyze trends by employing new technology and methodology to conduct data analysis in [DISA’s Test and Evaluation] operational environment.”

The Defense Info Infrastructure Engineering and Integration effort comes in second in FY 2018 with $22M in requested funding. The big data-related portion of this total focuses on the $9.2M requested for the Modeling and Simulation project. This project “provides architecture, systems engineering and end-to-end (E2E) analytical functions” for DISA and its customers. In FY 2018, the M&S project will:

  • Develop modeling and simulation tools to analyze planned changes to the DISN optical and IP core network, data centers, internet and commercial cloud computing gateways, and network security solutions.
  • Develop capabilities for analysis of software defined networking.
  • Perform test and evaluation of DISN Internet Access Point security solutions with government and contracted labor support.
  • Research technologies and solutions that can be transitioned to operations and will demonstrate feasibility through solutions analysis and proof-of-concept development and test.
  • Perform product and solution assessments using developed modeling tools to provide technical solutions for IT capabilities to ensure compatibility and interoperability with the DISN, data centers, and JIE solution architectures.
  • Develop application performance monitoring framework to support reliable operation of enterprise services and applications.

Lastly, the Minimum Essential Emergency Communications Network (MEECN) has requested $10.3M for FY 2018. The MEECN “supports the Nuclear Command, Control, and Communications (NC3) Systems Engineer to the Joint Staff and Executive Leadership.” The big data-related investment includes $3.7M to “support the development of National Leadership Command Capability (NLCC) Modeling and Simulation.”

Summing up, DISA’s spending on big data falls into two major categories: developing capabilities to enhance the Department of Defense’s cyber posture, and modeling and simulation related to DISA’s testing and evaluation responsibilities. In general, DISA’s spending on big data-related technology will be roughly flat from FY 2017 to 2018. Nevertheless, it will remain north of $100M per year, providing business opportunity for vendors supporting related efforts at the agency.