NCOIC Earthquake-Response Simulation Shows Power Of Interoperability, Open Cloud Computing

Demonstration for National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency highlights technological advancements, life-saving benefits of federated cloud environment

WASHINGTON, Sept. 12, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- An industry-government team today demonstrated how plugging the cloud into an international disaster-relief effort can improve response time, collaboration and mission success.

The Network Centric Operations Industry Consortium (NCOIC) led the real-time, open cloud computing demonstration for the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA). More than 150 government and business leaders watched in McLean, Va., as a complex, major disaster-response simulation based on the 2010 Haitian earthquake unfolded. They saw how a federated cloud infrastructure can be quickly activated and a diverse group of response organizations from different parts of the world -- all using different technologies and applications – can supply and retrieve critical geospatial information to meet a range of needs.

"An interoperable cloud computing environment gives the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency the capability to effectively collaborate with international mission partners and share non-classified information, while maintaining U.S. security and protecting access to sensitive data," said David Bottom, director of NGA Information Technology Services. "This technology can help us to deliver humanitarian assistance and save lives around the world." 

Six NCOIC members participated in the Geospatial Community Cloud (GCC) concept demonstration. The Aerospace Corporation, Boeing, NJVC, Raytheon Company, Telos Corporation and Winthrop Management Services provided technical services and applications for emergency responders in the field and for mission managers sitting thousands of miles away from the action.

The NCOIC members also served as "actors" in the simulation and portrayed government and civilian response units from several different countries. For example, they depicted search-and-rescue teams assisting the injured and civil engineers inspecting damaged roads and bridges as they dealt with aftershocks and physical hazards.

The NCOIC project team defined and built the GCC infrastructure earlier this year and addressed such issues as ownership, security, access, bandwidth, latency and portability. A three-month test phase led up to today's demonstration.

"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," said Tip Slater, NCOIC director of business development. "In dramatic fashion, the project also underscores the need for interoperability to enable different systems and users to communicate across borders and boundaries."

Based on today's successful demonstration, a new, open process, known as NRRC™ (NCOIC Rapid Response Capability), will be made available to international, federal, state and local governments as well as non-governmental organizations and businesses that need to build a federated cloud environment. NRRC will include checklists, rules and patterns designed to help these organizations achieve interoperability so they can act quickly and succeed at their work, while minimizing technical risk, saving time, reducing cost and ensuring reliability.

"When you can plug your everyday application into a cloud, it becomes more robust – for you, the users you collaborate with, and the others they interact with," said Slater. "Interoperability is an important consideration for the developers who build applications, the customers who buy applications and the users who rely on applications to get their jobs done."

NCOIC will provide its final project report to the NGA next month and video highlights from the GCC demonstration will also be posted on the NCOIC website.

The Network Centric Operations Industry Consortium works to enable cross-domain interoperability in and between such areas as aerospace, civil and military operations, air traffic management, health care and more. NCOIC is an international not-for-profit organization with more than 50 members and advisors representing businesses, government agencies and organizations in 12 countries. It has a nine-year history of developing world-class skills and tools that help its members and customers operate effectively across diverse global market sectors and domains.

For more information on the Consortium and the GCC concept demonstration project, visit www.ncoic.org.

SOURCE Network Centric Operations Industry Consortium



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