IT 6.90 Optimized Data Environment for NetCentric Operations (ODEN)
Optimized Data Environment for NetCentric Operations (ODEN) offers improvements to data transfer
capabilities with data compression and encryption technologies to Department of Defense (DoD) and
Coalition Net-centric Operations by transmitting digital imaging and data files (i.e. geospatial imagery,
large data files, etc.) over a network or peer-to-peer. ODEN provides scalability and the ability to meet
growing network and bandwidth requirements, specifically useful in areas with minimal bandwidth.
ODEN implements a Dynamic Transfer Syntax (DTS), which is extremely fast and claims 100 percent
lossless file transfer while increasing network throughput capabilities by 200 to 2000 percent. ODEN also
offers a unique image comparison capability allowing the transfer of updated images from previously sent
images, while only using the bandwidth required to transmit the differences in the two files.
SYSTEM ENGINEERING AND INTEGRATION
For CWID, ODEN software was installed on common office workstations. As part of the installation, IP
addresses were required for all workstations participating in data transfers. ODEN software consists of
two components: Core Compression Software and Command Scripts (similar to UNIX command lines).
ODEN Core Compression Software is comprised of multiple algorithms to determine least bandwidth
method to transfer data. The following are the types of arguments specified in the ODEN command
instructions: Source Folder, Destination Folder, Compression Level (-1 to 9), File Locks Ignored (Y or
N), Failure Recovery, Bandwidth Limit, and File Selection (Entire Directories, Entire Sub-directories,
List of Files, List of File Exclusions, and Singular Files). ODEN Software is initiated in batch-mode with
either multiple command lines or a simple command line call. Without a Graphical User Interface (GUI),
the user operated the software within this command line context unless shortcuts and folders were created
to simplify the use of ODEN. Using Port 1022 (an experimental port), ODEN transmitted large files
without absorbing vast amounts of bandwidth as long as the appropriate data transfer rate was selected.
ODEN is transport layer software with the ability take up all the available network bandwidth and
requires the software to be “throttled.” ODEN operation requires the sampling of available bandwidth and
adjusting command line arguments to ensure bandwidth utilized by ODEN software does not disrupt
network traffic. In an operational environment, running the software within a command line context, a
non-technical warfighter may erroneously enter the wrong parameters for operation and subject the
network to a “denial of service.” ODEN transferred multiple data formats (text, images, maps, and video
files), moved progressively larger data files, demonstrated image comparison capability (limiting data
transport on modified images), transferred files across a cryptographic network, and operated in a
satellite-simulated environment. ODEN, a technology from Central Command (CENTCOM), was
proposed to fulfill a CENTCOM capability gap. Given CENTCOM objectives, CWID compared transfer
rates from ODEN against current DoD file transfer standards (File Transfer Protocol (FTP) and File
Transfer Protocol Secure (FTPS)) to provide CENTCOM a thorough CWID review. FileZilla, a free,
open source data compression and file transfer software for Windows, was used to support FTP and FTPS
data transfer comparisons against the ODEN software.
--SPAWAR, San Diego, CA: To support ODEN observations and analyses, logs were established by the
site network engineer using a Juniper router to capture file transfer duration from the point of port
opening to port closure. On the Coalition Task Force (CTF) network, file transfers only occurred between
San Diego and Dahlgren. In one case, a file was corrupted during transfer from Dahlgren with no
indication of a failed transfer. A retransmission of the same file was successful. In a comparison test, FTP
transfer rates frequently performed faster than ODEN on compressed file formats.
On the Homeland Security/Homeland Defense (HS/HD) domain, a variety of data types and sizes were
successfully transferred between Dahlgren and USNORTHCOM. ODEN frequently performed faster than
FTP or FTPS when sending uncompressed files. During image comparison tests, ODEN performed
extremely well when sending only the changes to an image. A Satellite Simulator (SATSIM) was
installed at SPAWAR, San Diego and received data from USNORTHCOM. The SATSIM data transfer
test occurred at the conclusion of CWID. Six files were sent from USNORTHCOM to SPAWAR, San
Diego via the SATSIM. At some point after hours there was a glitch in the network and two transfer
attempts failed. A third attempt was successfully completed during the early hours of the next morning,
demonstrating ODEN re-established communications and data transmission following recovery from a
network or system outage.
--NSWC, Dahlgren, VA: ODEN software was installed on standard workstations on both the HLS and
CTF domains. Following the installation of ODEN software, folders were created and placed on the
desktop for incoming and outgoing file transfers. During CWID execution, ODEN transferred multiple
data formats (text, images, maps, video, etc) which sent progressively larger data files over the HLS
domain to other sites. ODEN demonstrated an image comparison capability by limiting data transport on
modified images. On the cryptographic domain, CTF, large files were exchanged between Dahlgren and
SPAWAR using both ODEN software and FTP protocol. Data was collected for later contrast and
comparison analysis between ODEN data, FTP and FTPS data.
--USNORTHCOM, Colorado Springs, CO: ODEN software was installed at USNORTHCOM, requiring
additional time to set up unique scripts and shortcuts for data transfers to the following sites: USEUCOM,
SPAWAR, San Diego and Dahlgren. The ODEN workstations were specifically configured for users to
easily select folder for output cache, click on a daemon for file to be transmitted, drag the file(s) to the
send folder queue, click send icon for file transmission, and monitor send folder for successful
transmission. The command line implementation of ODEN does not prevent execution of ODEN data
transfers without parameters that limit the use of excessive bandwidth. Operating ODEN improperly
creates the incursion of packet collisions and induces the risk for a “denial of service.” During CWID,
ODEN software successfully transferred multiple files and directories to each site. The software
transferred multiple data formats (including: text, images, maps, and video files) using various levels of
compression and bandwidth rates. Data transfers were compared between ODEN and the freeware
product FileZilla using the FTPS protocol. The results between the two data transfer products using FTPS
were mixed. FileZilla performed better for most of the data transfers with compressed files; whereas,
ODEN proved better for uncompressed data files and the retransmission of modified image files. During
the SATSIM demonstration, the ODEN connectivity between SPAWAR and USNORTHCOM was
erroneously severed. The ODEN software automatically and successfully re-established communications
and completed the data transfers following recovery from the network outage. Overall, USNORTHCOM
warfighters found the tool very simple and easy to use with support from the trial personnel; whereas,
engineers reviewing the testing remained objective, given the comparison of the results to the freeware
--USEUCOM, Stuttgart, Germany: During CWID at USEUCOM, ODEN software transferred data with
USNORTHCOM and Dahlgren using multiple data formats (text, images, maps, and video files). The
ODEN software evaluation was limited to checking for user operations and file access. Since the system
was set up with pre-configured execution shortcuts, the system was found to be easy to use, but since the
bandwidth utilization was already pre-programmed in the scripts, there was no control of the data transfer
after initiating the program. The review of the ODEN software at USEUCOM required a check of
configuration and user authorization parameters, prior to successful operation. Once a configuration
modification was made, successful data transfers occurred. In one case, a received file from Dahlgren was
corrupted during transfer. A retransmission of the same file was successful, and ODEN operated without
ODEN successfully demonstrated a universal software package for advanced communications
performance by providing lossless data transfers with data compression. ODEN demonstrated significant
time savings when transmitting uncompressed files and modified image files, which require only the
bandwidth to send the differences between two similar image files. From a data transfer perspective,
ODEN faired well when compared to FTP and FTPS data transfers of uncompressed data files, but not as
well with compressed data files. Since ODEN has the ability take up all the available network bandwidth
and required the software to be “throttled,” ODEN technology, as demonstrated, would be better suited to
personnel with system administration experience. The development of supporting Concept of Operations
(CONOPS) and Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) documentation would define the processes required
for determining the network available bandwidth during any given time period. Proper procedures would
enable warfighters to initiate the software with parameters consistent, but not in excess, of the available
bandwidth. Given the “denial of service” risk, CWID roleplayers recommended the development of an
operational GUI with error protection routines and the addition of respective user documentation to
address the issues related to throttling data transmissions.
ODEN activities performed within the confines of CWID were meant to provide a cursory review of
ODEN technology for CENTCOM. If the capability of ODEN fulfills immediate and urgent requirements
of CENTCOM or any other command, service or agency, then CWID can recommend cautiously
proceeding forward with ODEN, with strong consideration for requiring a GUI, CONOPS, SOP, and a
rigid security review prior to implementation. However, if time is not a critical factor in acquiring ODEN
technology, then CWID recommends a methodical and thorough technical analysis of ODEN in a
controlled test environment.
--ODEN provides an innovative software solution for compressing and transmitting large data files.
--ODEN provides lossless transmission of large data files, imagery, and video files allowing control of
bandwidth utilization during transfer.
--ODEN garners bandwidth savings of modified files by exclusively transmitting the differences between
previously sent imagery files.
SYSTEM DESIGN DIAGRAM
Dynamic Transfer Syntax
(CTF or HS/HD)
List CWID Objectives
the system supports
Allied and coalition partners
and other bandwidth
disadvantaged users often find
themselves on the frontlines,
increasing risks without a
robust, joint and combined,
interoperable and multilingual information sharing
capabilities are necessary to
improve information and
Describe, in outline form, the data products and
processes the system used to satisfy these
Provide the ability to send large files without
absorbing vast amounts of bandwidth.
Enable data transfers using a variety of data file
formats typical in a DoD environment.
Operate in an encrypted wide area network.
Demonstrate the ability to operate in bandwidth
constrained environments such as satellite links.
List the unique system capabilities that this system demonstrated to support the objectives which are
1. Transmits lossless file transfers of large data, imagery, and video files without absorbing vast
amounts of bandwidth.
2. Garners additional bandwidth savings of modified files by exclusively transmitting the
characteristics of the changed area only.
3. Provides the capability to scale data transfer operations for satellite communications and low
bandwidth data links.
SYSTEM CONFIGURATION REQUIREMENTS
COMPONENT NAME: ODEN Workstation
One port for
One port for
Port 1022 as
Professional, 133 MHz
SITES: SPAWAR, San Diego,, CA, NSWC, Dahlgren, VA USNORTHCOM, Colorado Springs, CO,
USEUCOM, Stuttgart, Germany
AVAILABLE SYSTEM DOCUMENTATION
Standard Operating Procedures available for use
during CWID Execution?
Operational Requirements Document (ORD) exists
for this system?
Interface Design Specification (IDS) Document exists
for this system?
Integrated Logistics Support Plan (ILSP) exists for
Concept of Operations exists for this system?