October 11, 2001

Navy to test the water with Open-Source software

Author: JT Smith

"The Naval Oceanographic Office (NAVOCEANO) will join forces with the Open-Source Software Institute to study the Navy's use of open-source software. During a brief ceremony yesterday, Rear Admiral Thomas Q. Donaldson, V, commander of the Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command, signed a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement
(CRADA) with the Open-Source Software Institute (OSSI), a (Mississippi-based) non-profit organization comprised of high-tech industry, government agency and academic entity representatives."Open-source is a collective term for software whose license requires its source code, or internal blue print, to be open, extensible and freely distributed. The most well known open-source program is the Linux
operating system.

The CRADA will be administered through NAVOCEANO, which is based at the Stennis Space Center on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

The cooperative program is designed to promote the exchange of information between NAVOCEANO and OSSI. ?The CRADA?s goal is to produce a technical study and report concerning NAVOCEANO?s
current use of open-source software and to offer recommendations on additional open-source software solutions that can be incorporated into the Navy?s system,? said OSSI chairman, John Weathersby.

?This is an excellent opportunity for members of the open-source community to work with representatives of the Navy,? he continued. ?One of OSSI?s main goals is to foster cooperative relationships between
industry and the Department of Defense. We have found the leadership at NAVOCEANO to be very responsive and interested in potentially enhancing their systems? capabilities through the use of open
source software.?

NAVOCEANO?s (www.navo.navy.mil) primary mission is to collect and analyze data on the world?s oceans for the Navy and other Department of Defense agencies. As host to one of the world?s largest
supercomputing centers and the world?s largest oceanographic library, NAVOCEANO gathers information by airborne, surface and subsurface platforms deployed worldwide. The information is then provided as
a wide variety of products and services to the Joint Warfighters in all mission areas.

Several of the information gathering operations rely on Linux as a mission critical application.

?After an initial review, we found significant interest in the use of open-source software, particularly Linux, within some of our departments,? said NAVOCEANO chief information officer, John Lever. ?The Linux
systems we have in place perform very well. Through the CRADA, we will have the opportunity to review our current utilization of open-source applications and see if it?s prudent to implement similar solutions in
other areas.?

Its supporters tout Linux, the open-source variance of the UNIX operating system, as a superior alternative to proprietary systems such as Microsoft?s Windows operating system. Linux is known to be
extremely scalable, reliable, secure and cost effective.

The Open-Source Software Institute

The Open-Source Software Institute is a non-profit organization comprised of industry, government and academic representatives whose mission is to promote the development and implementation of
open-source software solutions within U.S. Federal and State government agencies and academic entities. For more information on OSSI, contact: John Weathersby at 662.236.1794, jmw@visioncreek.com.

Naval Oceanographic Office

The Naval Oceanographic Office, with approximately 1000 military and civilian personnel, acquires and analyzes global ocean and littoral data to provide specialized, mission-essential products and services for
the Navy's fleet. For more information please visit http://www.navo.navy.mil.

Click Here!