DCIS Cube Architecting Initiative

The DCIS Cube Architecture is the result of collaboration between NCI Agency and commercial ICT industry, the DCIS Cube Architecting Initiative. The DCIS Cube Architecture describes a deployable software-defined and virtualized infrastructure as a service (IaaS) that can function under military conditions.

DCIS Cube Architecting Initiative Participants

At NITEC’17, held on 24-26 April 2017, in Ottawa, Canada, the NATO Communications and Information Agency (NCI Agency) presented its vision for a modernized Deployable Communications and Information System (DCIS) and invited industry to partner up in building an architecting team, to collaboratively develop an architecture for a modern DCIS and to build a set of prototypes proving the technical feasibility of the resulting architecture. Following NCI Agency’s invitation at NITEC’17 many companies responded to collaboratively develop the DCIS Cube Architecture with the NCI Agency.

Participants: Antillion, AWS, Atos, CGI, Cisco, Cloudify, Dell EMC, HPE, Intel, Microsoft, NCI Agency, NetApp, VMware Contributions of individual participants

Summary

NATO plans to modernize its Deployable Communications and Information System (DCIS) to better meet the challenges imposed by today’s security environment. The NATO Communications and Information Agency (NCI Agency) envisions for NATO a DCIS that is more agile, that is less complex and at a lower total cost of ownership (TCO), than NATO owns today.

NATO’s existing DCIS, often referred to as the Dragonfly, consists of a myriad of complex yet powerful interlinked hardware and software components. The Dragonfly has suited NATO’s requirements so far. However, NCI Agency believes that by now the technical implementation of NATO’s DCIS should be improved to better suit the needs and challenges imposed by today’s security environment.

In order to make use of industry’s expertise, NCI Agency tried a new way of working and reached out to the commercial ICT industry to collaboratively architect a modern DCIS. The resulting DCIS architecture is named “DCIS Cube”. The DCIS Cube Architecture is state-of-the-art yet proven commercial industry best practice. The DCIS Cube Architecture applies a software defined and virtualized Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) approach and aims to enable graceful evolution of deployable systems. One of the important aspects of the DCIS Cube is the layered architecture that decouples hardware and function.

DCIS Cube Architecture Deliverables

The DCIS Cube Architecting Initiative produced the following deliverables:

The results of the DCIS Cube Architecting Initiative was briefed at NITEC'18, held on 22-24 May 2018, in Berlin, Germany.

Continue to the DCIS Cube Architecting Initiative whitepaper