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The Internet Microsoft The Military

Lockheed Snags $31 Million To Reinvent the Internet, Microsoft To Help 326

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the reinventing-the-wheel dept.
DARPA has awarded a $31 million contract to megacorp Lockheed Martin which will, with some assistance from Microsoft, attempt to reinvent the Internet and make it more military-friendly. "The main thrust of the effort will be to develop a new Military Network Protocol, which will differ from old hat such as TCP/IP in that it will offer 'improved security, dynamic bandwidth allocation, and policy-based prioritization levels at the individual and unit level.' Lockheed will be partnered with Anagran, Juniper Networks, LGS Innovations, Stanford University and — of course — Microsoft in developing the MNP. Apart from that, Lockheed's own Information Systems & Global Services-Defense tentacle will work on amazing new hardware."
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Lockheed Snags $31 Million To Reinvent the Internet, Microsoft To Help

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  • Skynet (Score:4, Funny)

    by ShopMgr (1639595) on Friday October 16, 2009 @01:01PM (#29770985)
    Well, we have to have at least one post referencing Skynet. And someone needs to post something about our new overlords...
  • by mveloso (325617) on Friday October 16, 2009 @01:01PM (#29770989)

    LMCO and Microsoft: here's your protocol (hands them a copy of the ipv6 std doc).
    US: thanks, that's great work! Here's your check.

    • Yes. Also, how did they decide the effort should cost exactly $31 million of taxpayer money?
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by PIBM (588930)
        2^5 - 1 is a nice number. Just add million afteward and you are set!
      • by gbjbaanb (229885) on Friday October 16, 2009 @01:30PM (#29771339)

        I'm just surprised, no astounded, that a large military contractor (and microsoft) will do it for such a teeny tiny amount considering how much they usually charge.

        Perhaps it is just for the IPv6 spec with the 6 crossed out and 7 in its place after all.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Like they did for Windows.

        • by netruner (588721)
          It's probably the materials difference. Custom composites, titanium and aircraft aluminum (fighter jet bodies) are expensive - so is the ruggedized computing equipment (aka avionics).

          I work for a defense contractor (not LM) - the profit margins are not the bonanza that everyone makes them out to be.

          This job is mostly labor - probably not much in the way of parts.
  • Bottom line (Score:5, Funny)

    by sakdoctor (1087155) on Friday October 16, 2009 @01:03PM (#29771003) Homepage

    How does this affect pr0n?

    • MNP knows how to stand at attention for a man in uniform.
    • by Nerdfest (867930) on Friday October 16, 2009 @01:21PM (#29771255)
      Don't ask, don't tell.
    • Re:Bottom line (Score:5, Interesting)

      by subreality (157447) on Friday October 16, 2009 @03:44PM (#29772775)

      How does this affect pr0n?

      If I were implementing it in HTB, I'd do it like this:

      prio,rate(%),burst(S,M,L): desc

      • 0,80,L: Military operations
        • 0,50,L: Realtime interactive (Controls for R/C drones and bots)
        • 1,20,M: Realtime med latency (Field Voice comms, HUD updates)
        • 2,20,S: low bandwidth (Status updates, airstrike requests, orders)
        • 3,10,S: high bandwidth (map downloads, surveillance photo distribution)
      • 1,15,S: Military administration
        • 0,40,L: Realtime (VoIP, video conferencing)
        • 1,40,M: Interactive (wiki, requisition ticket system UI)
        • 2,20,S: Noninteractive (Software updates for GPS, ticket system backend, CIFS)
      • 2,5,S: Nonmilitary
        • 0,40,L: Realtime (VoIP to family ay home, counterstrike servers, SSH)
        • 1,40,M: Interactive (youtube, porn)
        • 2,20,S: Noninteractive (SMTP, FTP, SCP)

      Everything is guaranteed the percentage (relative to peers) given; IE, the queue with SMTP will get 1% (5% * 20%) of bandwidth as a guarnateed minimum (enough to keep connections alive when other things are bursting hard, and eventually deliver email even if higher priorities never relent).

      Extra bandwidth is given exclusively to higher priority bands (ie, lower prio numbers): If there are whole bunch of videoconferences going on between officers in bases about non-immediate military needs (prio 1.0), and suddenly 20 drone pilots need realtime video feeds to interactively fly a coordinated airstrike, the pilots get all the bandwidth they need, leaving the videoconferences only 6% (smart codecs will degrade gracefully; fixed bandwidth ones will just have to call back after the airstrike). Similarly, if they need to VoIP about building a bigger mess, your counterstrike game will lag. FTP gets best effort in between your porn page loads (which burst quickly with the medium-size burst; FTP gets a small burst so it's always ready to yield).

      The level of detail you get into for the queues depends on how much bandwidth you have, and how much contention there is for it. If there's high contention, more detail helps more. There are also smarter queueing disciplines than HTB, but it's the simplest to describe like this.

      Statically reserved bandwidth guarantees per-connection is better for many realtime needs. With RSVP, each drone pilot can reserve a guaranteed 5% slot for their flow, to prevent problems where there was lots of extra bandwidth, and then a lower priority suddenly needs its minimum guarantee, thus screwing up traffic that was flowing before. IE, it's better to tell the pilot from the start that there's not enough bandwidth that can be guaranteed to them, than to have them start flying and then get jitters when a bunch of troops hit push-to-talk, right as their drone was on final approach.

      So in short, porn is pretty low on the list, but not the bottom of the stack. :)

  • by Zantac69 (1331461) on Friday October 16, 2009 @01:05PM (#29771017) Journal
    ...that it will be TCP/IP with a pinch of pixie dust. Probably just changing a few extensions and reusing old code.
    • by Ethanol-fueled (1125189) on Friday October 16, 2009 @01:15PM (#29771169) Homepage Journal
      It'll never be finished anyway. They'll repeatedly extend the deadlines and the budget unsuccessfully before the project's stinking remains will be swept quietly under the rug. Then some other bunch of corporations with paid shills in congress will get a similar contract years later.
      • by maharb (1534501)

        Its part of the stimulus. Just make people work and pay them for it... doesn't matter if it does any good, they have jobs. Oh shit, dare I mention how this could help the average Slashdot member have a job.

        • by Korin43 (881732)
          Yes that's a much better plan to letting people keep their money, pay for things they want, thus giving money to people to produce those things (and creating useful jobs).
          • by maharb (1534501)

            Obviously I was trying to point out the hypocritical behavior of most Slashdot thinking (i.e. EVERYONE is out to steal your money). They hate on corporations and the free market then they hate on this sort of thing. I thought it was apparent that I was trolling Obama and that I wish we had a more free market and less government control.

            If you were just pointing that out to everyone else, thanks.

      • Very true. The DoD has been planning on implementing IPv6 "in two years" for the past decade.

      • by timeOday (582209) on Friday October 16, 2009 @02:43PM (#29772151)

        It'll never be finished anyway. They'll repeatedly extend the deadlines and the budget unsuccessfully before the project's stinking remains will be swept quietly under the rug.

        Do you feel at all hypocritical posting that on the existing Internet, which came from earlier DARPA projects of the same nature?

    • by nschubach (922175) on Friday October 16, 2009 @01:18PM (#29771209) Journal

      They'll have to leave the major version number the same so it doesn't break the Internet. They'll call it IPv7, but it will be version 6.1 to keep this compatibility.

    • xml! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Phantom of the Opera (1867) on Friday October 16, 2009 @01:26PM (#29771295) Homepage

      if only! I sense XML based packets.

      • by jd (1658)

        Nah. Actually, Microsoft discovered the X.25 specs during an archaeological dig and are thinking the full X.400 and X.500 specifications are really neat ideas.

    • by markdavis (642305)
      No, it will be TCP/IP with a pinch of Microsoft proprietary.
  • by spafbi (324017) on Friday October 16, 2009 @01:06PM (#29771037)
    ... and used to interconnect medical devices, it'd give a whole new meaning to "blue screen of death"
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by maharb (1534501)

      Did you not know that many hospitals already run windows equipment?

      • by farrellj (563) * on Friday October 16, 2009 @02:56PM (#29772281) Homepage Journal

        And that is why a company I used to work for making Medical Office Management software replaced all of thier 5000+ installed desktops with a version of Linux I created for them, and dramaticaly cut their support costs. 3 Customer service types, one System Architect (Me), and two developers were easily able to support 5000+ desktops, and around 200 servers, remotely.

        Try that with Windows...and you will need many, many more people!

        ttyl
                  Farrell

      • by jd (1658)

        So that's why the death rate in hospitals per capita is twice that of the UK! I was wondering.

    • by VJ42 (860241) *

      ... and used to interconnect medical devices, it'd give a whole new meaning to "blue screen of death"

      Why stop at the Hospitals? Use it to connect the Nukes and you'll get the last either BSOD you (or the enite planet) will ever see.

  • by Tei (520358) on Friday October 16, 2009 @01:06PM (#29771045) Journal

    Microsoft, from all people? ignore all the jokes about his consumer OS. His server software is horrible bad!!. Maybe Visual Studio is a nice tool, his compiler is average, but good. Other than that, why o why? I sould not be tecnical merits, has to be something else.

    • by Itninja (937614) on Friday October 16, 2009 @01:15PM (#29771175) Homepage
      Me also think that very much long time.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 16, 2009 @01:26PM (#29771291)

      Why are you talking about Microsoft like it's alive?

      Is there something I should know?

      Hello, windows.

      • by jd (1658)

        Microsoft is a fungus, and therefore is technically alive.

    • For their ergonomic keyboards?
    • Microsoft, from all people?

      Microsoft and Lockheed Martin been partners on high-profile military projects for at least the last ten years:

      The alliance builds on existing relationships between Lockheed Martin and Microsoft on projects including the U.S. Air Force Integrated Space Command and Control (ISC2) program, a comprehensive upgrade of the North American Air Defense (NORAD) Cheyenne Mountain Complex; the integrated warfare system for the U.S. Navy's next nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, CVN 77; the Gl

    • by Eevee (535658)
      I don't know, perhaps because if you can't run it on Windows, it won't do the military any good? It doesn't matter if you like Microsoft or not; the military doesn't care. They use Windows, thus they want Microsoft buy-in, end of story.
  • by mangastudent (718064) on Friday October 16, 2009 @01:07PM (#29771059)

    This makes a lot of sense, the military has unique requirements of all sorts, from security to e.g. their inability to hook up an aircraft carrier to fiber (except while at dock) to their need to carry both operational and personal traffic (the latter to keep their people in touch with home) over necessarily constrained links.

    I like the bit about "self configuration capabilities to ... reduce the need for trained network personnel and lower overall life cycle costs for network management". While the current state of the art keeps us well employed, things could be easier. Heck, the more the systems I maintain for my parent self-configure, the happier I am.

    • by Kjella (173770)

      The more I deal with IT insanity, the more I realize it comes in infinite supply. No matter how much you make monkey work they'll just try doing 10x as advanced and/or stupid things with IT...

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by pavon (30274)

      I've used some classified DoD networks before, and they are certainly managed differently, almost more like a circuit-switched network than packet-switched. You have to apply way in advance to get bandwidth allocated on them, declaring in advance your endpoints, and then if approved you are guaranteed that bandwidth. They have to be very underutilized as a result of this, so introducing some reasonable QoS that would allow folks to use up the spare bandwidth sounds like like a much needed improvement.

      I'm no

  • by Drunken Buddhist (467947) on Friday October 16, 2009 @01:09PM (#29771087) Homepage

    And Al Gore could not be reached for comment.

  • The next step from DARPA is asking Lada to reinvent the wheel to make it more military friendly, adding automatic braking and better resilience against bullets.

    • The next step from DARPA is asking Lada to reinvent the wheel to make it more military friendly, adding automatic braking and better resilience against bullets.

      Ok, here [scientificamerican.com].

  • China (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Krneki (1192201) on Friday October 16, 2009 @01:13PM (#29771135)
    In another news, China buys 60% of Microsoft shares.

    How the hell can you trust a corporation to handle the military security? No really, who the fuck had this brilliant idea?
    • Re:China (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Fallen Kell (165468) on Friday October 16, 2009 @01:39PM (#29771459)

      How the hell can you trust a corporation to handle the military security? No really, who the fuck had this brilliant idea?

      Do you have any idea of how the US military works at all? The military itself makes very few products. Just about everything from the bullets fired, the guns that fire them, the planes that carry the guns, the engines that power the planes, the radar that guides aims the guns, etc., etc., etc., was all designed and built by a "corporation", which simply met a spec that the military asked for. The military basically says, I need a plane that can go at least mach 2, can carry X number of pounds of air to ground or air to air weapons, has X% stealth capability, has a range of X miles, can land on a aircraft carrier, etc., etc... and costs about X dollars. Multiple designs are submitted by different companies that think they can meet or exceed spec, and the military then selects one or two to build a prototype and then selects one of those prototypes and then it has another contract bid to actually manufacturer the winning design.

      ALL those things are being designed and built by a corporation that handles the military security. Even services for network design, and standard security policy and practices are usually designed and maintained by a corporation! Get a clue man.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by PeeShootr (949875)
      How clueless are you? Do you think that Soldiers write all the software for the military? Do you think that they build all of the ships and planes? It's called the military INDUSTRIAL complex for fucks sake.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by kevinNCSU (1531307)

      How the hell can you trust a corporation to handle the military security? No really, who the fuck had this brilliant idea?

      Just about every American Legislature, Commander-in-Chief, Personnel Investigator, and military officer in the history of our nation?

      I mean seriously, where do you think our military equipment is built and researched? There's not a factory somewhere with a bunch of army privates putting m-16's together. The vast majority of our military technology and equipment is produced and researched by private corporations. That's because the brightest minds get drawn in by the highest paycheck, and that's not us

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 16, 2009 @01:13PM (#29771137)

    ... and I can tell you that this sounds like a disaster in the making. LM is so top-heavy with bureaucracy and process-bloat that the company might as well be a mini-Pentagon itself (not so mini, either, now that I think about it). Nothing happens quickly at Lock-Mart, and the things that do happen cost a bloody blue fortune.

    If nothing else, they'd better hire in some outside IT guys. If this work gets anywhere near the corporate IT bozos, the military can look forward to a future of XP Pro with daily forced updates, and new hardware every five years or so (which again, is not terribly far away from the way the armed forces IT already works)...

    • And all the tech support will be handled by someone in Bangalore who has never seen the system and who just scraped 5.0 on IELTS.

    • by Bigbutt (65939)

      Their job process really blows though. Unless you know someone or are part of some contract changeover (from SAIC to Lockheed-Martin for example), I don't see how you could get a job.

      I've had my resume in their HR database for 10 years now, making updates as I change duties and jobs. I've worked in IT at Johns Hopkins APL, NASA, IBM, and now at a smaller but very interesting telecom type company and never had a single query from Lockheed-Martin.

      [John]

  • by Obfuscant (592200) on Friday October 16, 2009 @01:17PM (#29771191)
    Hi, I see you're trying to use the Minternet. Would you like some hints on how to increase the priority of your traffic to Flash Override.

    You an also improve the throughput of your attached USB device by plugging it into a USB2 port, which is what you would have done if this computer actually had USB2 ports on it, but it doesn't, and I'm not going to tell you how to shut these annoying messages off.

  • Misleading (Score:5, Informative)

    by kevin_conaway (585204) on Friday October 16, 2009 @01:17PM (#29771195) Homepage

    From reading the actual BAA [fbo.gov], it sounds like this is not an effort to replace IP networks but to supplement them with additional protocols. In fact, the requirements explicitly state that MNP must carry legacy IPv4 and IPv6 traffic.

    • by Linux_ho (205887)
      Totally misleading. When I saw that "reinventing the internet" phrase, for a minute there I thought they were gonna start changing my tubes around.
  • by ivan_w (1115485) on Friday October 16, 2009 @01:20PM (#29771239) Homepage

    Hey.. MS has a good track record when it comes to implementing a new ubiquitous network right ?

    Remember MSN (the thing that was suppose to kill the internet.. So much better than TCP/IP that Win 95 didn't have a TCP/IP stack to start with) ?

    I'm wondering (ok.. not *really* wondering) why they went to those guys to do that..

    --Ivan

  • Or does $31 million sound like petty cash for Lockheed Martin and Microsoft to invent a superior, military grade communications protocol?

    • Considering the rates that companies like Lockheed charge, it'll burn through the $31M in no time. My guess is that what they'll do is take IPv6 and see if they can make it cooler for the military instead of reinventing the wheel.

      • by nschubach (922175)

        They bid for $31 million. When the project money is almost exhausted, they'll come back asking for more to finish.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by convolvatron (176505)

      sure, in comparison to the piles of money previously given to large contractors to flail around pretending to solve the unique mission critical requirements of the military, its nothing!

  • Of course! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by s-whs (959229)

    > Lockheed will be partnered with [snip]
    > and - of course - Microsoft
    > in developing the MNP

    What's "of course" about this?

    Really, this is no different from managers, company directors etc. who achieve nothing, or even drive companies bankrupt, yet still manage to obtain the next job to fuck up.

    What the hell is up with these people?

    Oh btw, any story on slashdot that somehow mentions Microsoft should automatically be assigned a non-removable tag: f*ckmicrosoft.

    And finally: What's with the (extremely

  • Yeah Right (Score:4, Funny)

    by Tablizer (95088) on Friday October 16, 2009 @01:34PM (#29771387) Journal

    Asking Microsoft to help with security is like asking Jessica Simpson for advice on staying out of the spotlight.
         

  • don't worry (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jipn4 (1367823) on Friday October 16, 2009 @01:53PM (#29771597)

    The taxpayer will pay for it, it will look great on paper but be overly complicated ($31m buys a lot of unnecessary engineering), Microsoft and Lockheed will patent it, they'll market the hell out of it, and they'll create a slow and buggy Windows implementation with Microsoft-proprietary "enhancements" that make it non-interoperable.

    Then industry is going to settle on something different because the standard is patent-encumbered, too complicated, and doesn't work right anyway.

  • With Microsoft's help?

    ROTFLMAO!

    I guess it'll be based on their new protocol code-named "Oxymoron".

  • You can bet they can't resist the urge to patent everything they touch -- both Microsoft and Lockheed. And while they may or may not be allowable at the moment, there's nothing to say they couldn't renegotiate to enable charging patent rights in lieu of direct payment. You know, sort of how George Lucas did with Star Wars and marketing rights?

  • by dotwaffle (610149) <slashdot@walst e r . o rg> on Friday October 16, 2009 @02:21PM (#29771891) Homepage

    'improved security,'

    Like IPSec? Don't fix the network layer, that's pointless. Fix the application layer - run it through TLS or similar if you must.

    'dynamic bandwidth allocation,'

    Like RSVP on an MPLS circuit? Or like DiffServ?

    'policy-based prioritization levels at the individual and unit level.'"

    Like CoS?

    Seriously, all this has been thought of before - and we ended up with CLNA, IS-IS and networks so complicated it never took off - instead, IP took off because it was easy to use and easy to route.

    If we're going to change IPv4 for anything, it should be IPv6 - it's easy to understand, easy to read, easy to process and best of all - ready to use *now*. Many ISPs already have it, and there's a crapload of Usenet traffic/BitTorrent that already goes via v6.

  • "...which will differ from old hat such as TCP/IP in that it will offer 'improved security, dynamic bandwidth allocation, and policy-based prioritization levels at the individual and unit level."

    So, in other words, someone will spend over $30 million to finally implement IPv6?

    Bravo, gentlemen, bravo.

  • by Mipsalawishus (674206) on Friday October 16, 2009 @02:26PM (#29771951)
    Will not use it until at least SP1 is released.
  • ...the Military has determined in it's infinite wisdom that the dedicated and encrypted NIPRnet and SIPRnet networks already in place have been instantly deemed "mil-crap"(tech jargon), and since the taxpayers are paying for it, justification came down swiftly and thus summarized(layman's terms) as "what the hell, why not, it's only money, right?"

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