Challenge: California-based, nonprofit WICS needed to migrate its emergency response management platform, Raven, from its existing on-premises data centers to a more secure, reliable and agile environment.
Solution: Cloud Migration Services from Hitachi Vantara were chosen by WICS to provide end-to-end cloud services. The company’s solution team assessed the unique needs of the Raven platform to deliver a robust architecture in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud that supports emergency operations and ensures mission-critical performance.
Worldwide Incident Command Services Corporation needed to migrate Raven, its extreme-scale, emergency management R&D application, to a reliable, resilient and secure operational platform for worldwide use. Raven is a mobile, webbased command and control system, which has a long-range aim to deal with dynamically escalating incidents, from first response to extreme-scale. It also is set to facilitate collaboration across all levels of government, commercial and private use for all hazard events. Raven was designed to serve a specific category of operator: The Tired-Dirty-Hungry Responder Under Extreme Stress. Since 2010, while still transitioning from R&D status, Raven has been used on several hundred emergency incidents, a large number of which involve Type 1 Incident Management Teams.
Before Raven went online and was hosted at Amazon Web Services, the earlier R&D versions (LDDRS and NICS) were hosted primarily at the San Diego Supercomputer Center on the campus of the University of California at San Diego. A few databases were hosted on the developer’s servers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology Lincoln Laboratory (MITLL).
The services team provided the software and systems development for engineering Raven’s transition to AWS Cloud. The team’s development work was to take the code from MITLL that was posted on the open source library, GitHub, debug it and make it operational on AWS. The team assessed WICS operational needs and developed a technology strategy that incorporated the following core requirements as shown in Figure 1 and described below.
In addition to hosting Raven onto AWS for the purposes of scalability and resilience, WICS instituted enterprise-level managed services that were supplied by the Cloud Migration Services team, as well as application migration, cloud hosting, IT support, design infrastructure and managed services. With WICS development firmly rooted in operational expertise, the Raven project has always been about concept of operations (CONOPS) innovation rather than just technology.
The decision to work with the services team allowed the WICS staff, who are subject matter experts on emergency management, to focus on their core competencies. The services team handled the technology strategy, also educating the WICS team on managed services.
The insights that the services team shared with the WICS staff expanded their knowledge on the capabilities of managed services without over-reaching the needs and skill set of the first responder. This exchange of information and insights allowed WICS to focus on innovation instead of technology and catapult Raven to the next level.
The interplay between WICS operational staff with the Cloud Migration Services technical team resulted in a successful collaboration. Through the security framework, the AWS tools enable:
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