U.S. Military Using XMPP

XMPP is the eXtensible Messaging and Presence Protocol, which is the Internet standard for instant messaging, real-time messaging, and presence. On January 16, the sale of an XMPP client and server solution by Jabber.com to the U.S. Marine Corps for 280,000 users was announced.

This large sale ties in with XMPP activity at leading U.S. military groups such as the USJFCOM (U.S. Joint Forces Command) and SPAWAR (Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command). See here.

XMPP is also now included in the U.S. DoD IT Standards Register as mandatory.

There is a clear trend toward the U.S. military broadly adopting XMPP, which will have an impact on U.S. government choice and military organizations worldwide.

... Steve Kille

One Comment

  1. Posted January 25, 2008 at 1:07 PM | Permalink

    XMPP/Jabber has clearly established itself as the standard for IM interoperability. SIMPLE has gone the way of all things.

  2. Scorpster
    Posted January 28, 2010 at 6:49 AM | Permalink

    I work for one of the largest defense companies. I can tell you that the military is only using XMPP for chat applications. The overhead is too high for other uses, it has no support for Quality of Service (QoS) and doesn’t natively handle binary data. Even Google abandoned XMPP for their Android OS for the mobile phones.

  3. kille
    Posted February 1, 2010 at 7:53 AM | Permalink

    Scorpster,

    My experience with the military suggests that there will be multiple approaches to many technologies.

    Given its effective compression and target at small payloads, I am unconvinced that the lack of binary is an issue for XMPP. Google do not make good decisions every time. They are heavy users of XMPP, and in particular Wave makes use of XMPP for real time event driven updates.

    QoS could be added easily to XMPP if there was an application with a clear need.

    Steve

  4. Scorpster
    Posted February 4, 2010 at 5:32 PM | Permalink

    I just know that XMPP has gotten ahead of itself in the marketing department compared to what it is capable of. I do believe it is the future of chat and collaboration. However the high overhead is inherent in the XMPP architecture and unavoidable, making XMPP unsuitable for some other middleware uses that it is being marketed for.

  5. herodotus
    Posted April 8, 2010 at 5:24 PM | Permalink

    Actually there are a number of DOD projects using XMPP for things other than chat. The main non-chat use is C2 of sensors and sensor data delivery.

    XMPP’s overhead is not very high. it worse than IRC which is an insecure non-authenticated unencrypted protocol but compare to SIMPLE its quite good.

    XMPP can use normal TCP QoS mechanisms.

    btw, the iPhone notification system is based entirely on XMPP and Apple is delivering nearly 1 billion notifications a day using it.

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