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North American Network Operators Group

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Re: $400 million network upgrade for the Pentagon

  • From: Sean Donelan
  • Date: Tue Aug 13 12:40:08 2002

On Mon, 12 Aug 2002, Brad Knowles wrote:
> >  Building a surviable network in such a small area, relatively speaking the
> >  Pentagon is small, is a much harder problem than diversity on a regional
> >  or even national network.
> 	Keep in mind that it was DARPA that funded the original research
> on what we now call the Internet.  There are plenty of clueless
> morons in the building (the one with four sides and a spare), but
> there are also some exceptionally sharp people.

Its not a matter of having smart people.  Distance offers protection
against many risks.  The closer you put two critical systems to each
other (e.g. in the same building) the higher the risk a single
catastrophe (or system engineer) will impact both of them.  Of course
there are limits to diversity, earth is a single point of failure for
the foreseeable future.

> 	Perhaps true for the unclassified systems.  But then they're not
> really that critical to the real day-to-day operations.  Moreover,
> where the plane struck is not the side where the majority of this
> kind of networking is done.

I have no idea how many or where the cable entrance facilities are
located or how major cables are routed through the Pentagon.  Demarcs are
sometimes located in the darndest places a long way away from where you
might do your work.  It might even make sense to put an alternate
building entrance facility not on the side where the majority of the
networking was done.

In any case, classification level is orthogonal to quality.

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