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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-24-2007, 02:35 PM
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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-24-2007, 03:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Botnst
Speaking of Pitabytes, I attended a workshop this week in which we were doing a lessons learned/what's undone for this year's hurricane season. One GIS guy from the state said they'd probably need to be able to serve 4-5 pitabytes of GIS files to all sorts of folks from first responders to university eggheads to Washington bureaucrats & the military. I talked with an IT guy who I met in August, 2005 (recently retired from the 82nd Airborne, E-9, IIRC, he was one of the first of the 82nd on the ground in NOLA in 2005) and he's wondering how to pipeline and filter the abundance of data to the first responders. The guys on the ground don't need a petabyte on a laptop, they need a laminated paper map & hi-res imagery in-hand that depicts ephemeral yet essential data. It's a tough nut.

B
Sounds like a good place for virtualization and thin-client technologies to come into play. Guys on the ground could access the data as if it were local, by hitting thin-client servers through RDP or ICA for example...the thin-client application tier could do the heavy lifting and pound the database through high-speed networking links, ran in VM's for portability and high-availability. A mainframe can run an awful lot of VM instances.
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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-24-2007, 06:48 PM
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Originally Posted by mcbear
No, two very angry mid 40's guys, one with a megaphone. I kinda expected him to break out into "Winchester Cathedral” with the ‘phone.

Other big protests were at the UN. Two of my meetings were at the Chrysler Building on 42/Lex which was just a small walk to the UN. The place was crawling with Secret Service [which were not so secret since you could spot their Yukons a mile a way]. There was also air support with Slicks w/shooters so I expect there was something going on. Seemed like back in 2000 when Clinton’s motorcade almost ran me down in SoHo. The team kept me from mooning it as I was needed for a meeting and bail would have had to come out of an AmEx Corporate card.
I take it we were a mere block away from each other at one point - I had to take my daughter to her pediatrician off 38th and Lex via Grand Central.

I shoulda paid more attention when visiting my wife's office on 42nd floor just off Grand Central to see if I could spot any sharpshooters stationed on rooftops od nearby buildings.

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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-24-2007, 10:25 PM
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Don't let NYC traffic cramp your style or upset your schedule.
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-25-2007, 04:46 AM Thread Starter
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Don't let NYC traffic cramp your style or upset your schedule.
I put the car in a garage the day I got here and it stays until this afternoon when i peel out and head to Detroit for the Cars and Guitars Exhibit at the HenryFord Museum with some friends. I did run into holidays which closed B&H Photo which kept me from picking up some equipment I needed.

When I lived up here I learned to either walk/subway or cab whereever I need to go and never use the car.

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post #16 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-25-2007, 08:42 AM
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Originally Posted by QBNCGAR
Sounds like a good place for virtualization and thin-client technologies to come into play. Guys on the ground could access the data as if it were local, by hitting thin-client servers through RDP or ICA for example...the thin-client application tier could do the heavy lifting and pound the database through high-speed networking links, ran in VM's for portability and high-availability. A mainframe can run an awful lot of VM instances.
At least one of the presenters was playing in your sandbox. Several companies and most state & fed agencies with a role to play have made significant efforts in various networking solutions. The field is ripe for a major paradigm shift. Everybody feels it but nobody has quite put it together, IMO.

Related...
A FEMA IT gurette (female guru?) suggested that most of the S&R folks in large-scale, large area disasters will not be trained S&R (a lesson learned by Katrina-Rita and the multitudinous storms to hit FL in the past decade). Most will be local hunters and fishermen who have the technical skills and working knowledge to navigate unfamiliar areas and use ATV's and boats. That's most of day 1 at least, and perhaps as in Katrina, up to day 3 or 4.

From questionnaires and interviews post-Katrina/Rita (unpublished as yet, we're working on that), these people were pretty uniformly contemptuous of all levels of government and were motivated strictly by humanitarian concerns. Being basically a mob, they're not as efficient and take a lot more risks than trained responders. They are far more likely to become a casualty of their own efforts than trained S&R. This is why local gov and FEMA keep the untrained civilians out (also, there's the predator factor -- some people are there to loot and disguise themselves as big-hearted rescuers).

However, as anybody who works with emergency situations will tell us, the first few minutes and hours are the most important. No bureaucracy on Earth could self-organize and deploy effectively in a large-area, large-scale disaster in less than a half-day. So those first critical hours will depend almost exclusively on the goodwill of ordinary citizens. Of all first responders, these are the people who will have the greatest impact on life and property but are least-likely to deploy effectively. No amount of technology is going to help them in the critical time when they need it the most. By the time the bureaucracy responds effectively the true first-responders will have floundered around for probably a half-day or so, probably saving more lives and rendering more aid in those hours, however inefficiently, then the trained S&R personnel will accomplish in the next 3-4 days.

It's a tough nut.

B

Last edited by Botnst; 05-25-2007 at 08:47 AM.
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post #17 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-25-2007, 11:44 AM Thread Starter
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It is going to be hard for any national org like FEMA [even in a perfect world] to put together a dataset that will provide much of the initial work. Like bot said, a map for the locals is the best hope. And they only need minimal information at the onset.

One of the things that we keep running into is that government wants databases to hold EVERYTHING and for everyone to have the data. That makes it very hard for the pipes to hold the flow of info. In a disaster, first info has to come from the ground and flow UP and be sorted. Only then can decisions be made that address bigger steps. With all the technology, most disasters remain a sweat environment with technology just scratching the surface.

Only thing that I would have really like to have seen in Katrina/Rita that did not occur was either Keyhole or U2/SR71 hourly info that could have been a predictor of levy problems. They had that information [and recommendation] from their drill that was done just one year earlier yet no one used any of the lessons from that drill [a Cat5 hitting New Orleans of all places]. That is where technology could have helped predict weaknesses in those systems.

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post #18 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-25-2007, 11:50 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by QBNCGAR
A Petabyte...holy crap.

What technology stack are you using for the database?
Looks like hardware is going to be a combo of Sony Media Servers and IBM Servers flying the DB2 side of things. They play well together and can hold the DASD farm.

After discounts on hardware [since CMU is involved] we tipped $8.5M for, architecture, hardware, development and delivery [90 days]. I picked the wrong life to not drink.

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