Network Working Group                                          D. Latham
Request for Comments: 1039                                           DoD
Obsoletes RFC-945                                           January 1988
       A DoD Statement on Open Systems Interconnection Protocols
Status of this Memo
   This RFC reproduces a memorandum issued on 2-JUL-87 from the
   Assistant Secretary of Defense for Command, Control, Communications,
   and Intelligence (ASDC31) to the Director of the Defense
   Communications Agency (DCA).  This memo is distributed for
   information only.  Distribution of this memo is unlimited.
   There has been recent rapid progress in the specification and
   implementation of computer protocols based on the International
   Organization for Standardization model for Open Systems
   Interconnection (OSI).  The Government OSI Profile (GOSIP), dated 22
   April 1987, contains sufficient information to specify adequately and
   acquire interoperable vendor implementations of OSI message handling
   and file transfer capabilities.  Therefore, the policy on
   standardization of host-to-host protocols for data communications,
   promulgated by USDR&E memo of 23 March 1982, is modified as follows.
   The OSI message handling and file transfer protocols, together with
   their underlying protocols as defined in GOSIP, are adopted as
   experimental co-standards to the DoD protocols which provide similar
   services (MIL-STDs 1777, 1778, 1780, and 1781).  These OSI protocols
   may be specified in addition to, in lieu of, or as an optional
   alternative to DoD protocols, in cases where the current DoD protocol
   applicability statements apply.  They are designated as experimental
   because of the limited operational experience currently available
   with the OSI protocols and the limited operational, testing, and
   security environment currently defined in GOSIP.  Services and
   agencies choosing to implement OSI protocols at this time should
   carefully evaluate these factors and be prepared to deal with the
   complications which may accompany the introduction of new technology.
   It is intended to adopt the OSI protocols as a full co-standard with
   the DoD protocols when GOSIP is formally approved as a Federal
   Information Processing Standard.  Two years thereafter, the OSI
   protocols would become the sole mandatory interoperable protocol
   suite; however, a capability for interoperation with DoD protocols
   would be provided for the expected life of systems supporting the DoD
   In order to extend the OSI protocol capabilities and provide
Latham                                                          [Page 1]

RFC 1039 A DoD Statement on OSIP January 1988 interoperability between the DoD and OSI protocols as rapidly as possible, the following actions are requested: a. The Director, Defense Communications Agency, as the DoD Executive Agent for Data Communications Protocol Standards, should: * Publish by November 1987 the DoD-OSI Interoperability and Transition Plan. The plan should provide for interoperation of the DoD and OSI protocols at the application level. A capability for experimental interoperability of DoD and OSI message handling and file transfer capabilities should be provided by March 1988, and a limit operational capability by January 1989. * Join the Corporation for Open Systems (COS) as the Department of Defense representative. COS is a non-profit consortium formed to deal with testing and other operational issues relating to OSI protocols. At the request of the Office of Management and Budget, the Services and other defense agencies should not join COS directly, but may participate as the agents of DCA on appropriate COS committees. * Coordinate Service and agency participation, in accordance with existing directives, in groups developing OSI standards, specifications and operating and management procedures. These groups include the Government OSI User's Group, the National Bureau of Standards OSI Implementor's Workshop, the Corporation for Open Systems, the Manufacturing and Automation Protocol (MAP) and Technical and Office Protocol (TOP) user's groups, the American National Standards Institute X3S3 and X3T5 committees, and the NATO Tri-Service Group on Communications and Electronic Equipment, Sub-Group 9 (Data Processing and Distribution). b. The Director, National Security Agency should assure that the efforts of the ongoing Secure Data Network Systems program can be used to provide the security extensions defined as future work items in GOSIP. c. The Services and defense agencies should share the results and experience of early implementations under the experimental coexistence policy by actively participating in the groups indicated above, under DCA coordination. This experience should be particularly valuable in assuring that military requirements can be satisfied by the developing OSI standards, specifications, and procedures. This guidance provides for the interim steps necessary to continue progress toward implementation of OSI standards. As the technology Latham [Page 2]
RFC 1039 A DoD Statement on OSIP January 1988 matures and DoD gains additional experience, the final implementation details will be provided in a DoD Directive. References [1] Dinneen, Memorandum of Dec 78, IEN-152. [2] Dinneen, Memorandum of Apr 80, IEN-152. [3] DeLauer, Memorandum of Mar 82, IEN-207. [4] Latham, Memorandum of Apr 85, RFC-945. Latham [Page 3]

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