This whitepaper sets out Isode's strategy for HF Radio. It summarizes the importance of HF Radio, why HF has implications from Antenna to Application and how this is addressed by Isode's "Everything above the Modem" strategy and partner approach to providing a complete solution. The paper looks at Isode's product set for HF, with particular focus on innovative capabilities, research and Isode led standardization. As well as current Isode product functions, it gives a Road Map for future products and capabilities.
On this page you'll find summaries of all of the whitepapers published by Isode. Click on the headings below to bring up whitepapers relevant to your area of interest or use the search form below for a more detailed search. Seperate search forms are available for a search of the entire site or a search specific to Documentation.
Radio and Satellite networks often have constrained bandwidth, high latency and difficult operational characteristics. HF Radio, which is the primary alternative to Satellite for Beyond Line of Sight (BLOS) communication has particularly awkward characteristics. This paper looks at the problems of deploying XMPP over such networks and shows how XMPP can be effectively deployed in such environments. It describes standards that have been developed to support constrained operation and how these are supported in Isode’s M-Link product.
STANAG 5066 is a NATO Standard providing a link level service for HF Radio, the latest version is Edition 3 of December 2010. The S5066-APP series of documents sets out protocol specifications that operate over STANAG 5066 and communicate with STANAG 5066 servers using the SIS protocol. These protocols provide value add to the core STANAG 5066 service.
NATO plans to move BRASS (Broadcast and Ship to Shore) HF services to the new BRE1TA (BRASS Enhancement One Technical Architecture) which was initially set out in 2008. There have been important technical developments since the BRE1TA vision was set out, in particular the work on Wideband HF (WBHF). There is also increased technical understanding and experience with some of the technologies associated with BRE1TA. This white paper gives a higher level summary of what is going on, with the aim of providing an explanation to those interested in BLOS (Beyond Line of Sight) communication, but who do not have detailed understanding of HF technologies. The paper looks at BRASS capabilities and sets out what can be achieved beyond core BRASS with technologies that can be purchased today.
Turnaround time in STANAG 5066 systems is generally measured in seconds or tens of seconds. This significantly impacts performance and makes it impossible to optimize for both throughput and latency. This paper examines why operational turnaround is slow and shows how it can be reduced to 150-200 milliseconds.
Token Ring and TDMA (Time Division Multiple Access) are the primary choices for enabling multiple nodes to share an HF link with high utilization. Token Ring has been standardized as Annex L of STANAG 5066, and there is a placeholder in Annex M for TDMA. This paper analyses the relative merits of TDMA and Token Ring. It concludes that Token Ring is the better approach for HF, and that current NATO standardization effort should be directed towards improving Token Ring operation rather than adding a new TDMA standard.
HF Radio provides Beyond Line Of Sight (BLOS) communications and is a critical communications link, particularly for military applications. Traditional HF applications have operated closely with the HF networks, including point to point communications and broadcast, in particular Naval BRASS (Broadcast and Ship to Shore). HF is a difficult communications medium, radio propagation is unpredictable and unreliable, speeds can be as low as 75bps and latency is high. New technologies, and in particular Wideband HF (WBHF) have potential to improve HF communication, opening up new possibilities for HF use by a range of applications. Modern applications are IP based, and it is highly desirable to use these applications without modification for communication over HF Radio. This whitepaper sets out an architecture to achieve this.
NATO is putting in place a Program of Work to update STANAG 5066, this whitepaper sets out Isode’s thinking on what the plan should be. Much of this is referencing and collecting previous material into a single location. The goal is to help develop a good plan for STANAG 5066. The items described in the core of this document are made as strong recommendations for changes that are seen as straightforward and low risk. Isode believes that change to the Crypto Interface and TDMA should also be considered. These topics are considered in two appendices.
STANAG 5066 is a NATO Standard providing a link level service for HF Radio, the latest version is Edition 3 of December 2010. There are a number of issues with the current specification, particularly in relation to its use with the new Wideband HF (WBHF) specifications. NATO is aware of the need to update STANAG 5066 and has expressed intention to do so. The S5066-EP document series is intended to address the open issues prior to an official update and provides a set of extensions that can be used in conjunction with STANAG 5066 edition 3. The intent is that vendors and those procuring systems can reference these specifications, prior to this capability being available to NATO.
Standard XMPP uses fully meshed federation for communication between servers. This whitepaper looks at scenarios where fully meshed communication has significant drawbacks, sets out an alternative XMPP Trunking architecture and shows how the peering control capability provided by M-Link can provide this.
Draft and Release is a process of handling formal military communication using a mix of paper and online communication. This paper sets out an approach to online handling of the same communication. It looks at issues with the approaches taken so far to do this, and proposes a new approach and proposed standardization. It then looks at how some of this is implemented in Isode’s Harrier military messaging client described in [Harrier: Military Messaging on Android Devices].
This whitepaper looks at the approach taken to supporting multi-master replication in the Isode M-Vault directory server product. The paper looks at how ACID (Atomicity, Consistency, Isolation, Durability) database requirements are addressed by the approach taken, and sets the approach in the context of other techniques used in distributed directories.
BRASS (Broadcast and Ship to Shore) is an approach used by Navies, particularly in NATO countries, to communicate between Ships and Shore using HF Radio. This whitepaper gives an overview of BRASS and then describes the Isode strategy and solution for this area. It looks at how Isode’s products can support the protocols and interoperability for currently deployed BRASS systems and move them forward to state of the art capabilities that extend the services offered over BRASS.
This whitepaper describes the new Archive capability in M-Link, and how it enables searching of archive data by end users and operators. It describes operator and management capabilities, including archiving, search, storing statistics history and how very long term archiving can be achieved using PDF/A storage.
Measurements of Skywave HF Radio Intermediate Term Variation and Implications for Optimizing Link Performance
This whitepaper describes the results of Over The Air (OTA) HF Radio Skywave tests looking at the effects of Intermediate Term Variation (ITV), and considers how these results can be used to improve the performance of applications running over HF Radio. The tests were performed in conjunction with Rockwell Collins using both narrow band and wideband HF. The results were initially reported in a paper presented at the HF Industries Association (HFIA) meeting in Portsmouth in September 2014.
Security Labels are a key component of systems providing security, particularly for military and government use where they are used to provide protective marking on information and as the basis for access control. Security Policy controls the detailed structure of security labels and how they are used to provide access control. This whitepaper explains Isode's open standards approach to supporting security policies in extremely complex environments. It also shows how our tools can be used to support simple environments using open standards, avoiding the need for a proprietary approach.
Forms are important for military operations, and there is often a need to handle forms quickly and share with a large number of users. XMPP based open standard instant messaging is widely used by military organizations and is a sensible framework for sharing forms. This whitepaper looks at the requirements for military forms and how XEP-0346: Form Discovery and Publishing (FDP) can be used to address these requirements. The paper looks at how capabilities provided by M-Link support military forms using FDP, and how gateways can enable integration with other services.
Using OCSP, LDAP and HTTP for Certificate Checking in a Large Scale Distributed Environment and over Constrained Networks
This whitepaper looks at the options for checking certificates and considers issues with each of these. It then looks at the new Online Certificate Status Protocol (OCSP) and HTTP capabilities found in Isode’s R16.2 version of M-Vault, that directly support standardized certificate checking options and the benefits of this integration. Finally, the paper looks at supporting PKI for deployments on constrained networks, and shows how this can be cleanly addressed.
When using STANAG 5066 to communicate over HF Radio and Wide Band HF (WBHF), transmit speed and other parameters can be modified to optimize performance. This paper describes ongoing Isode research on possible new approaches to give better performance for traditional and modern applications.
This whitepaper looks at the use of S/MIME (Secure/Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions) to provide security for SMTP based Military Messaging and messaging in other high security environments. The paper gives an introduction to S/MIME, looking at commercial use and why it is the best choice for military messaging. It then looks in detail at capabilities needed for use of S/MIME in a military environment, which go significantly beyond the basic use of S/MIME in commercial deployments.
This whitepaper looks at how a STANAG 4406 Military Messaging Service that provides conformant STANAG 4406 protocol interoperability can also make use of SMTP messaging to provide a service equivalent to the full STANAG 4406 service to all users.
M-Link and M-Link Edge are configuration options of the same core product and peering controls are central to the difference between the two. Peering controls can be used to support use of these products with XMPP Gateways and Guards and generally to control traffic handled. Peering controls can also be used to support constrained networks and integration with XML Guards. This whitepaper explains how peering controls work, and how they are used in Isode's XMPP server products.
Isode's applications make extensive use of digital signatures and strong authentication, providing significant security and administration benefits. Recognising that PKI has a reputation for complexity, we've worked hard to make management and deployment of these capabilities as straightforward as possible. This whitepaper looks at some of the issues that arise when deploying applications that use PKI, and how Isode's management toolset helps address these issues.
This whitepaper looks at how IRC (Internet Relay Chat) and XMPP (eXtensible Messaging and Presence Protocol) text chat services can be interconnected. It describes both services briefly and then looks at how a number of existing IRC/XMPP gateways work. It then describes the approach taken by the new IRC Gateway capability in Isode's M-Link XMPP server, looking at the operational, security and migration benefits of this approach.
XMPP (the Internet Standard eXtensible Messaging and Presence Protocol) Multi-User Chat (MUC) is normally provided by a single server, with clients accessing a MUC Room via their local XMPP servers. This standard approach gives performance and resilience problems when operating over constrained networks. This paper looks at how federating the MUC service can address these problems. Isode's approach to Federated MUC as implemented in the M-Link XMPP server is described in the context of evolving XMPP standards, and benefits of Federated MUC for purposes other than Constrained Networks are considered.
This whitepaper looks at message transfer over HF Radio, and looks at how the ACP 142 protocol can achieve optimal performance, and the use of flow control and timers to achieve this. HF Radio can be an unreliable channel, and so it is important that performance is optimized in the event of channel failures. Use of timers to deal with failures is considered in detail.
This whitepaper looks at how Isode’s M-Switch product can make use of Security Labels to perform Access Control and how it can map between a wide range of Security Label formats and message transport mechanisms.
This whitepaper looks at how tracking end to end message acknowledgements can improve service reliability for mission critical messaging. This is achieved by enhancing message tracking services and providing information on messages being delivered and read. It then describes how this can be extended to provide a "Fire and Forget" quality service, using operator alerts and guaranteed action points (GAP). The paper also shows how these capabilities are provided in Isode's M-Switch product.
ACP145 is a specification from the CCEB (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, UK, USA) of how Military Messaging is exchanged between nations. This whitepaper gives an overview of ACP145, and how it is supported by the Isode product set. It looks at how this can be used to support both STANAG 4406 national systems, and SMTP national systems using MIXER conversion.
Digital signatures are a key part of modern secure communication to provide authentication and integrity services. This paper looks at requirements for using digital signatures with XMPP messages, and how these are addressed by XEP-0290 (Encapsulated Digital Signatures in XMPP), which Isode believes will evolve to be the de jure standard for XMPP message signatures. Finally the paper looks at support for XEP-0290 in Isode’s M-Link and M-Link Edge products.
XMPP has a Publish-Subscribe capability, generally referred to as PubSub, which many XMPP experts see as very important. This whitepaper seeks to explain PubSub and its significance to non-experts. It also looks at the problems addressed by publish-subscribe systems, shows how XMPP PubSub has beenused by two services (Collecta and buddycloud), discusses PubSub capabilities & potential applications and outlines M-Link's PubSub support.
This whitepaper looks at how Isode's M-Vault directory server provides failover capabilities in support of disaster recovery. It looks at requirements for replication, and describes the architecture of Isode's approach and how this addresses disaster recovery requirements.
Military Message Handling (MMHS) is specified in STANAG 4406, which operates over the X.400 Messaging protocols. This whitepaper looks at how MMHS could be provided over SMTP noting where this can be done with existing standards, where there is active work to define standards, and where there are currently no standards. It concludes with a summary of what is needed to make MMHS over SMTP a reality that can meet operational requirements.
SCRAM (Salted Challenge Response) is a new protocol and data storage mechanism to support password based authentication. This whitepaper looks at the security benefits of SCRAM, and how it should be used to complement PKI based strong authentication. It describes Isode’s current support and future plans for SCRAM.
This paper looks at how Isode client and server products can make use of Kerberos authentication, in configurations where Isode provides both client and server, and in conjunction with third party clients and servers, including Microsoft Active Directory. It looks at how Single Sign On (SSO) can be achieved for Isode products using Kerberos, and compares this with use of other SSO approaches.
This whitepaper looks at approaches for checking XMPP (Internet Standard eXtensible Messaging and Presence Protocol) traffic at organizational and other operational boundaries. It looks at the requirements on various approaches, and shows how Isode’s M-Link and M-Link Edge products can be used in these approaches.
This paper sets out the results of measurements made when running applications and layer protocols to support applications over IP via HF Radio using STANAG 5066. The goal of this work was to get a quantitative measure of the performance impact of using applications running over IP over HF Radio in comparison with applications running directly over specialized HF Radio protocols. This paper concludes that the performance impact of using IP is massive, with small message latency increase from at typical value of 6-20 seconds using applications optimized for HF to a smallest measured value of 89 seconds when using IP.
This whitepaper sets out the results of measurements done by Isode of STANAG 5066 over military HF Modems and emulated HF Radio. These test show that good line utilization can be achieved (83-94 %) for speeds ranging from 75 bits/second to 9600 bits/second. To achieve this, care must be taken with how the application uses STANAG 5066.
Data Diodes are low level hardware devices, with very high assurance, that allow data to flow in one direction while preventing data from flowing in the opposite direction. This whitepaper shows how Isode applications can be used in conjunction with a Data Diode to give high assurance one way flow of data.
File Transfer by Email can be useful for moving data between systems when standard file or data transfer mechanisms are not available. In particular it is useful for supporting Directory Replication, as described in the Isode whitepaper Directory Replication by Email and over 'Air Gap'. This paper looks at requirements for File Transfer by Email, and describes the architecture of Isode’s solution.
XMPP is widely used by military and government organizations with stringent security requirements, where it is critical to ensure that sensitive information is not sent to inappropriate individuals or domains. Security Labeling is the mechanism of choice for handling sensitive information in high security environments. This paper looks at the use of Security Labels in conjunction with XMPP services, and how Isode plans to enhance its M-Link product to provide Security Label based controls for user-to-user messaging and for Multi-User Chat.
Directory replication is an important feature of most directory services, commonly achieved by use of directory protocols. There are a number of situations where using directory protocols to perform replication does not work well, these include: HF Radio and other constrained links, system boundaries where only email traffic is allowed, directory gateways performing security checks and tactical directories with irregular network access. This paper looks at these scenarios, shows how directory replication over email and 'air gap' can address them and describes the architecture and key features of Isode's solution.
This paper looks at how Security Labels can be used to provide security and management benefits to directory services. It shows how Security Labels can be used to control access to data based on the Security Clearance of the user accessing the directory, and how Security Labels can be used to control access to directory services and selective directory replication.The paper looks at the functionality that can be achieved, and how this functionality may be useful in handling a number of security problems.
Modern military communications are a key component of Network Centric Warfare. HF Radios are used extensively for military communications, and, although very slow, provide effective long distance communication in a wide range of situations. This paper looks at how HF Radio fits with Network Centric Warfare, and looks at approaches for integrating HF Radios to maximize their effectiveness.
STANAG 5066 is a NATO specification for running data applications over HF Radio. STANAG 5066 operates over an HF modem, and provides an interface for data applications to use and share an HF modem. STANAG 5066 provides core services to enable applications to operate efficiently over HF radio, and specifies a protocol that enables a clean separation between applications and modem/radio level. This paper describes STANAG 5066, and shows why it is key to deploying applications over HF Radio.
Military Messages often need to be transferred over low bandwidth networks, in particular HF Radio and Satellite Networks. Isode provides ACP 142 and STANAG 4406 Annex E as a part of its M-Switch X.400 product. This paper describes Isode's approach to implementing these protocols, and how this addresses basic and advanced operational problems, management approaches and integration with other components as part of a larger solution.
HF Radios are important for military communications. IP is widely used and is the basis for most network communication. This paper looks at use of IP over HF Radio and the efficiency of different types of application over IP and concludes that applications intended for regular use over HF Radio should not use IP and should instead be directly integrated with STANAG 5066.
AMHS is being deployed worldwide to support ground to ground communication such as flight plan distribution, and is replacing the older AFTN service. This paper describes the security features of AMHS, the benefits they provide, and how these services can be deployed.
Security Labels provide an important mechanism for controlling access to information in many high security environments, and are also useful in environments with lower security requirements. This paper provides a reasonably detailed description of how security labels and clearances work, while attempting to avoid the high level of technical complexity seen in many papers in this area.
In this whitepaper we look at password policy for directories, its major capabilities, benefits, how it is integrated into other applications and how it is used. The paper looks at password policy features implemented by Isode’s M-Vault in Release 14.1. A few features are described that are planned for Release 14.2. M-Vault implements a comprehensive set of password policy features, and so this paper covers all features which are likely to be of interest. The paper focuses on showing how features appear to the end user and can be used and controlled by an administrator.
This paper considers authentication systems based on smart cards, where the smart cards will be issued by many organizations, and authentication must work at any location. An important example of this type of deployment is the US Government planned deployment in support of HSPD (Homeland Security Presidential Directive) 12.
This whitepaper looks at the role of SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol) in managing systems using Isode messaging and directory servers. It explains why SNMP support is provided, the sub-agent architecture used by Isode products, and approaches to deploying SNMP monitoring.
X.400 Bridgehead for Microsoft Exchange ("X.400 Bridgehead") is a new product from Boldon James, produced in collaboration with Isode. It's primary goal is to provide X.400 protocol connectivity for Microsoft Exchange 2007, this capability was provided as a part of Exchange 2003 and earlier versions, but is not included with Exchange 2007. This paper describes the architecture of X.400 Bridgehead, and summarizes it's key features. It is particularly oriented towards understanding the capabilities of X.400 Bridgehead in the context of older versions of Exchange and full X.400 Message Transfer Agents (MTAs).
ACP 133 is the NATO Standard for Military Directory: "Common Directory Services and Procedures". The current version is "Edition B", published in February 2000. "Edition C" is being developed, and is expected to be published shortly. This whitepaper gives a short summary of ACP 133 aimed at readers with some familiarity with directory services.
The concept of "push email" has been widely marketed as a desirable feature of mobile email services, to enable users to get immediate notification of and access to new messages. This paper looks at various approaches to meeting user requirements, and concludes that the Internet Standard IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol) IDLE command is the best way to achieve this service.
The Aeronautical Traffic Services (ATS) Message Handling Service (ATSMHS) defines a set of security services for use as part of the Extended ATS Message Service for providing that ATS Message Handling System (AMHS). This whitepaper describes these security services, how they are provided and how they can be deployed. The paper concludes that AMHS Security is needed now, and should be pursued urgently as a part of AMHS deployment.
LDAP and the X.500 directory protocols can all use strong authentication based on X.509 PKI (Public Key Infrastructure). This paper looks at the benefits and issues in using strong authentication for directory. It considers security threats to directory and looks at how strong authentication can be used to address these threats. It also looks at administrative benefits and drawbacks. This paper argues that strong authentication should used wherever possible for server to server communication, and for administrator access.
Why Strong Authentication? – The Security and Administrative Benefits of using X.509 PKI based Strong Authentication
Strong authentication based on X.509 PKI (Public Key Infrastructure) is available in a number of protocols and provides both security & administrative benefits and drawbacks. This paper looks at the security and administrative benefits (and draw backs) of using strong authentication. This paper looks at generic issues that apply to many applications and protocols using strong authentication. Future whitepapers will look at specific applications of strong authentication.
In a previous whitepaper on Distributed Directory and PKI we took a "top level" view, and focused particularly on the relationship between departments and what is needed to be supported in the middle. This follow-on paper takes a departmental view, and looks at what a department will realistically need to do in order to provide a directory service that will integrate into the complete system. Whilst this whitepaper takes a generic approach, the models set out are written in light of the requirements of US Government departments that need to conform to Homeland Security Policy Directive 12 (HSPD12) and will interconnect using the Federal Bridge as part of the US Federal PKI
This paper looks at the uses of directory made by a PKI (Public Key Infrastructure) system and PKI-enabled applications. It defines requirements in terms of directory and then looks at how directory can be used to meet these requirements, and implications on provision of a distributed directory.
There are many situations that require large distributed directories using LDAP (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol) and/or X.500, such as Government, Military and Aviation. Organizations building these distributed directories will often be making use of Microsoft Active Directory (AD). AD provides a number of key functions in a Microsoft server network, which impact its use as part of a distributed directory. This paper explains these issues, and then looks at three different approaches to using AD in the context of a distributed directory.
Directory is an important component of Tactical Military operations. This paper looks at requirements for Tactical Directory, explains why there are special replication requirements, and that this is the only area where requirements differ significantly to other military directories.
AMHS (Air Traffic Services (ATS) Message Handling Services), as specified in the ICAO ATN (Aeronautical Telecommunications Network) SARPs, is the new standard for ground to ground messaging communications. The "ATS Message Service" is the end to end message service that AMHS provides. AMHS specifies the service, and the underlying infrastructure that is used in order to provide this service. To build a complete system, the ATS Message Service needs to be provided to end users, sitting at terminals. This paper looks at various approaches to doing this.
This whitepaper looks at issues related to replication, when building a highly distributed and replicated directory. It argues that X.500 DISP (Directory Information Shadowing Protocol) is the best solution to this problem. This paper looks particularly at military directory, which has strong requirements for highly replicated directory. The paper is also applicable to other environments.