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The Navy is increasingly dependent on networks and associated net-centric operations to conduct military missions, so a vital goal is to establish and maintain dependable networks for ship and multiship (e.g., strike group) networks. In this volume, the authors develop a framework for measuring network dependability that is focused on users' perceptions of whether individual network services are available, as opposed to hardware-focused measurements of whether individual pieces of equipment are functioning. The authors used this framework to modify a tool for modeling network availability that was originally developed by Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command; the modified tool allows the user to perform sensitivity analysis that captures the degree to which individual network components affect overall mission operational availability. The authors walk the reader through some exemplar analyses, then conclude with recommendations on how the Navy might facilitate future network dependability assessments, provide more meaningful results to network engineers, and, ultimately, enhance the dependability of networks across the fleet.

The research described in this report was prepared for the United States Navy. The research was conducted in the RAND RAND National Defense Research Institute, a federally funded research and development center sponsored by the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff, the Unified Combatant Commands, the Department of the Navy, the Marine Corps, the defense agencies, and the defense Intelligence Community.

This report is part of the RAND monograph series. RAND monographs present major research findings that address the challenges facing the public and private sectors. All RAND monographs undergo rigorous peer review to ensure high standards for research quality and objectivity.

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