Disaster response teams can use cloud computing to achieve greater mission success, according to a simulation by the Network Centric Operations Industry Consortium (NCOIC).
The NCOIC presented a simulation based on the 2010 Haitian earthquake which demonstrated the use of an interoperable, federated, open cloud. The cloud was used to network response organizations from all over the world to supply and retrieve critical geospatial information.
The presentation was made for the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), to demonstrate the concept of NCOIC’s Geospatial Community Cloud (GCC).
“This Geospatial Community Cloud project shows that precious time and money are saved when you can quickly and efficiently access a cloud infrastructure instead of waiting for an onsite IT hosting environment to be established,” Tip Slater, NCOIC director of business development said. “In dramatic fashion, the project also underscores the need for interoperability to enable different systems and users to communicate across borders and boundaries.”
The challenges associated with onsite IT hosting were made clear during Hurricane Sandy. Hosts like Internap experienced difficulties keeping data available while cloud provider Nirvanix simply moved customer data elsewhere.
The NCOIC is an international not-for-profit organization with over 50 members and advisors from businesses, governments, and organizations in 12 countries. NCOIC members the Aerospace Corporation, Boeing, NJVC, Raytheon Company, Telos Corporation and Winthrop Management Services were involved in the GCC demonstration. They provided the technical services and applications which would be used by both emergency responders in the field as well as managers participating remotely.
The central challenge of the project is interoperability, and the NCOIC will provide a process called NCOIC Rapid Response Capability (NRRC) to groups which may be part of emergency efforts in order to achieve the necessary interoperability quickly.