Why the military needs a dynamic network infrastructure

Dynamic networks can facilitate real-time data processing at the edge, minimize latency, scale to meet changing needs and autonomously reduce the cybersecurity attack surface.

Skirmishes are won and lost because of dynamic and accurate decision-making based on near real-time access to critical information. That information can come from a satellite, battlefield sensor or other edge device. Through artificial intelligence and machine learning, information becomes insights, providing troops with a strategic advantage over adversaries. However, warfighters will only gain a true advantage if the network infrastructure used to relay these insights is software defined, dynamic and secure.

A dynamic network can do multiple things well, resulting in a more informed and prepared military. It can facilitate real-time data processing at the edge while simultaneously supporting deeper analysis at the core, all while minimizing latency and bottlenecks. It can autonomously reduce the attack surface and minimize risk. It can also respond to limited or reduced communications environments and be ready to burst the data when connectivity is restored or re-established.

Let’s take a look at how a software-defined, dynamic network in theater can lead to faster and more secure communications and information gathering for the U.S. military.

What is a dynamic network?

To understand the capabilities and benefits of a dynamic network, it helps to define what it is. A dynamic network is software defined and has the flexibility to change and adjust based on different needs and circumstances. It can not only support cloud-scale operations on the back end, but it empowers edge and core compute capabilities to provide critical real-time intelligence. Along with API-driven software-defined networking, policies and orchestration enable dynamic networks to respond to real-time events and conditions as well as the changing needs of the applications and workloads they support. In the future, machine learning and AI will automate the policies and drive ever more efficient and timely dynamism in the networks and the services they provide.

For example, in a combat situation, warfighters may be receiving information from edge sensors telling them of enemy troops ahead. Sending that intelligence requires a significant amount of compressed data to be transmitted very quickly and securely. That requires a dynamic network capable of bringing the necessary compute and storage resources to the edge, facilitating an immediate response to a real-time event.

Another example is temporal data analysis at the edge. In this instance, critical data can be analyzed at each edge device. Using the power of these combined devices, warfighters can receive a more accurate picture of whatever is happening across their field of operations. Initial inferencing takes place at the edge, providing immediate feedback, while additional data is sent back to a core data center for cross-sensor analysis. A dynamic network delivers the inferencing models and compute resources virtually to different core or edge compute nodes to allow warfighters to respond in real time with the correct intelligence.

How does a dynamic network support data security and mitigate threats?

It is critical the military reduce any potential cybersecurity attack surfaces. As cyberattacks from enemy nation states grow in sophistication, the network must be nimble enough to detect and respond to anomalies before they become problems.

For example, sensors on and around the network may pick up anomalous signals and events that could be precursors of a cyberattack. Armed with this information, the network can spin up additional sensors to track these anomalies and, in tandem, throttle network services and introduce additional controls and gates as necessary. In short, with a dynamic network, the network configuration can change and respond to meet warfighters’ current state of threat or risk level.

Having a network that can automatically adjust services in response to attacks that are in process is also important. In a DDoS attack, for example, a network powered by machine learning can “learn” to automatically configure itself to move to a new IP address that is not being targeted or spin up new resources to handle increased loads. The network infrastructure itself can automatically change to successfully respond to the attack, all without the need for human intervention.

What’s next for dynamic networks and battlefield edge processing?

Field operations often take place in constrained environments -- remote locations that provide troops with very little network capacity. This can be challenging given the number of sensors and the volume of data collected in modern military operations. The network must be able to anticipate the capacity necessary for each of those sensors to perform effectively and minimize latency.

In this case, pre-provisioning for each sensor becomes incredibly important. AI requires constantly shifting infrastructure capabilities to meet demand for inferencing and processing as it occurs. One set of sensors may start tracking an object, then the tracking gets passed off to the next set of sensors as the object continues to move. The ability to anticipate which set of sensors will need what amount of capacity at any given time will prove to be a game changer that will lead to even faster and more accurate information gathering.

Military networks are not quite there yet, but they likely will be within the next few years. Dynamic networks will power this future transformation, just as they will power the kinetic battlefield of tomorrow.

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.