Confidence in MOD IT decisions

So we have an internal MoD review with no external validation or public accountability, and we have no information regarding the yardsticks used, or indeed even what was measured. It seems however unlikely that a UN*X alternative as favoured by the old guard BAE engineers was put forward as an option, and it's doubtful whether the MoD will have given (or even been equipped to give) serious consideration to relative costs

The usual project group made of high level officers and civil servants who have attended a 1 day course on said subject.

No direct factory floor level experience present, no subject matter expert input from the field forces, just the usual project group in the middle of corporate sharks selling highly glossy media solutions that do not deliver...

Short term goals overriding long term capability and costs...

but hey! whats the drama? its not like anyone can oversee or check what these guys sign upto, so they is in the clear and a chance to move up an office taboot!!


Kit Reviewer
Windows 2000 represents the "lowest risk choice of operating system" for Royal Navy destroyer Combat Management, and "any residual risks associated with reliability [are] well understood by the contractor", Armed Forces Minister Adam Ingram told the Commons yesterday.

We all know how reliable Windows 2000 is, but if Mr Ingram says it's a damn good bit of kit my mind's put completely at rest. :roll:
Can't see it crashing at an inopportune moment then.

I stand to be corrected, but I was under the impression that the US Navy and Army used Macs for both reliability and security.
Any septics able to confirm or deny this ?
In fairness windows isn't as bad as it used to be. And it's stability goes up dramaticaly if you only use it for a few applications, especialy if there are no games involved.

Unix might be better, but windoze isn't as bad as it is cracked up to be.
Cutaway said:
I stand to be corrected, but I was under the impression that the US Navy and Army used Macs for both reliability and security.
Any septics able to confirm or deny this ?
The AGIS cruisers used to use mac's for some of it's work, but i am far from enamoured of the new OSX for the mac, i prefer XP and i grew up with macs.
As to security, it's easy, never ever ever connect your machine to the web and it'll be fine.
It is well known that despite the engineers at BAE reccomending UNIX as the most stable, secure (and lowest in cost) way to implement the new system, the guys above them chose windows 2000 as the OS as choice.

I dont have anything against windows or bill gates and microsoft, but i know that if i was to put my life in the responsibility of an OS i would rahter choose Linux or UNIX tather than anything produced by microsoft.

Not only is there the obvious problems with stability, but windows (in general) is full of holes which make it susceptible to hacking (like swiss cheese). Therefore, it could well be the case that some clever hacker could end up hijacking a HMS without even physically being on the ship,

This just reinforces the assertion that the MOD and the civil service are completely incompetent and the cause of a large number of injuries/deaths and problems for the guys on the ground

agent smith
I believe there is a more important point to be teased out here:

Windows 2000 is the OS of choice so we have to work through that hurdle.

My Point: If the MoD was to migrate to one of the "Open" systems of OS it would entail a MASSIVE retraining programme for the Royal Signals and anybody involved with Digitisation.

Impact: We would need to retrain the Support side and most importantly the "end user".

New SY Ops would have to be re-written - which will take time.

The Solution:

Don't fix what is not broken - mature it into what you need.
Why would anyone want to use a more stable OS than windoze, and if it has to be windoze, why 2000? i probably had more stability with NT than 2000, in fact sever2003 edition has run for the last year without a problem!!(i know very surprising) :wink: running a charity's 30 odd pc's
over a virtual network. and how long will Microsoft carry on with support for 2000? their past history says it only lasts for 5-6 years after release..

a good unix OS will/should run all the software required within a windows environment, is easier to recover from any software failure, and in my limited experience of it you do not need to trawl the whole of the www just to find a driver the OS likes!!.
What will happen when Microsoft stops supporting Windows 2000?

msr said:
What will happen when Microsoft stops supporting Windows 2000?

Very good point, military hardware tends to have a prolonged service life (support contracts up to 25 years) If you look at commercial software packages especially operating systems they have a very limited lifespan 3-5 years.

Any future enhancement or technical addition would require specific coding to port across these patches to the windows platform.

The ability to use future operating systems will depend on the hardware used. Also what flexability is installed into the project at an early stage? Will it allow the modular replacement of hardware as part of on ongoing upgrade cycle to ensure the ship/tank/weapon system remains fully operational and effective in 5, 10, and 20 years time not forgetting that most equipment runs past its service life date and can see up to another 20 years service until it is replaced.
msr said:
What will happen when Microsoft stops supporting Windows 2000?

The answer, of course, is that MoD will employ many external consultants specialising in obsolete systems, at a cost greater than buying a new system or buying the right system in the first place.

The US Army have one of the fastest computers in the world, called Mach 5. It consists of 1566 dual processor 1U rack-mount 64-bit Xserve Apple Mac G5s. The US$5.8 million cluster will be used to model the complex aero-thermodynamics of hypersonic flight for the U.S. Army, according to a report on MacCentral. Its speed is expected to reach 25 Teraflops/second. From the report: "We did about a year and a half of research on a variety of processors before making our decision," Dr Anthony DiRienzo, executive vice president at COLSA Corp., told MacCentral. "We did a best value competition and Apple won that competition. It was based on performance; the facility (power requirements, floor space etc.); cost; and an assessment of vendor stability. We solicited to six companies and they won. We evaluated PC-based proposals from other vendors but none came close to delivering either the price, performance or manageability of the AppleXserve G5," said DiRienzo.

And the MoD have chosen Windoze...
msr said:
What will happen when Microsoft stops supporting Windows 2000?

They stopped supporting NT4 a while ago and the MOD continued to use it. As GP3 mentioned you have a major training headache if you moved away from Windows but Windows is a security nightmare.

The operating system is not built on a secure/structed modular system, Internet Explorer is so embedded into the OS which makes it vunerable.

Just ask the IT department what they think, and do the exact opposite.
Parchment and quill support by an abbacus works for me. Has the MoD thought about asking Bill Gates to design a system for us giving specifications etc and wanting 25 years of back up I am sure as a businessman he would be more than happy.
msr said:
What will happen when Microsoft stops supporting Windows 2000?


It is dropping off support already...........Service Pack 4 for Win 2K was a long time ago (in IT terms!).

Mind you, Microshaft have been busy fcuking up Service Pack 2 for XP :lol:
Looks like it's not just the MOD who have taken Gates' shilling:

Hutton and the Department of Health however show little sign of grasping the full consequences of what they're doing. In the Commons Hutton has repeatedly painted a rosy picture of the choice-filled future that the NPfIT will bring, while the program itself is relentlessly concentrating power in the hands of a few chosen suppliers and driving choice out of the system as the network extends, culling the very suppliers that Hutton lists as "approved". The latest example, where choice now comes down to one single supplier, just takes the process to its illogical, unsatisfactory conclusion. For nine years.


Mr Happy

Speaking as a bit of a techy (but not as much as some here), my experience of all things IT is that'll cost more than you think and cause more headaches but if you want to play with all the yank kit we might need XP.

The further the MOD gets from specialised 'built it ourselves doncha know' solutions and more into the common market place the better. All the other procurement demonstrates that MOD run projects is a pile of crp. Be happy gentlemen.

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